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Bride’s ‘coffee-stained’ wedding dress doesn’t go down well

Wedding dress up close, which looksl ike a 'coffee stain'
Coffee stain or high fashion? (Picture: that’s it i’m wedding shaming/Facebook)

No matter what you wear on your wedding day, people will have thoughts.

Sometimes raising an eyebrow at a gown is justified – there have been some odd choices. Others have been cheap but spot on.

One woman’s unique sartorial choice for the big day, however, was rated as off the mark.

Sadly for the bride, her gown – with large brown streaks on the front and back – was slammed by members of a wedding shaming group.

They were not impressed by the ‘coffee-stained’ look.

The dress on a mannequin
(Picture: that’s it i’m wedding shaming/Facebook)

The floor-length gown was actually sent in by a friend of the bride on the group That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming.

Clearly, she had no time for the dress as she wrote it looked like a massive stain.

She wrote: ‘So she feels beautiful and loves her dress, which is ultimately what matters, however, all I see is what looks like a giant coffee stain on the front.’

Others agreed, adding: ‘It fits her well but the stain makes it look like one huge tampon.

Bride's facebook post saying she's picked the dress and is now looking to accessorize
The bride seems to like it (Picture: that’s it i’m wedding shaming/Facebook)

‘Coffee down her front, period down her back who TF thought this was a good idea,’ quipped another.

One person said: ‘I don’t understand this at all,’ while another couldn’t unsee the coffee: ‘It could be nice but the front is gross and it does look like she spilt a pot of coffee.’

The big brown mark didn’t alarm the bride at all who was more concerned with how to accesorise the outfit.

She wrote: I’m so excited but I’m really torn on accessories and makeup. I was going to go for a bold lip but love the natural look too.

‘What makeup would you do for a fall wedding in this dress? It’s an outdoor olive grove wedding and the dress is made from hemp, so everything will be simple and natural.’

A person replied to the friend saying: ‘The perfect accompaniment to that dress is to buy a new one.’

Ouch, tough crowd.

MORE: Bride has to order second wedding dress after online shopping fail

MORE: Teen wore her mum’s 20-year-old wedding dress to prom to save money

MORE: Wedding dress slammed for looking like a ‘used tampon’

Woman with head-to-toe psoriasis says strangers shunned her because they thought she was contagious

Kirsty and the psoriasis patches on her leg
Kirsty has psoriasis all over her body (Picture: PA Real Life)

When Kirsty Crook, 31, first noticed a tiny red patch on her forehead about 10 years ago, she thought little of it.

But soon more appeared over her body and eventually, her scalp, face, back, legs and groin were covered.

Kirsty, of Liverpool, Merseyside, was diagnosed with psoriasis – a condition that causes red flaky patches across the body. She also latter developed psoriatic arthritis – where the immune system attacks healthy tissue.

For years, the condition and cruel comments from strangers have knocked her confidence but now she says she is determined not to let her condition ruin her life and takes comfort in sharing her journey on social media.

She said: ‘I would never go out wearing shorts, skirts, dresses or short sleeves. I’d even wear long sleeves in the summer because I would be so worried about people being judgemental.

‘People came up to me and asked if I had been in a fire, and a lot of people would say, “I’m not touching what she’s touched because it’s contagious”.

‘I’d do everything to cover it up. I’d put loads of make-up on to hide it even if I was just going to the corner shop.

‘It takes a long time to become comfortable in your own skin – and some days I’m still not there. But I want people to look at me and see that I’m still smiling.’

Kirsty explained that her nightmare began a decade ago with a tiny mark on her forehead.

A year later, in the winter of 2010, she was officially diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the condition.

Over the next five years, it gradually spread until 95 per cent of her body was covered.

Then, aged 30, she was also diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis – a long term condition which develops from psoriasis and can led to joints becoming permanently damaged.

She had has treatments, including prescription creams, chemotherapy drug methotrexate and phototherapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under medical supervision.

Sadly, though, nothing seemed to have much of an effect.

Kirsty with psoriasis on her arm and face
Kirsty with psoriasis on her arm and face (Picture: PA Real Life)

She said: ‘All of my left leg was covered in blotches, from my groin to my toes.

‘It was on my back, front, face, scalp and even in my ears, which still affects my hearing.

‘They are angry, red raw blotches and you can’t get away from it.

‘I couldn’t go swimming because of the chlorine, or wear perfume because it was an irritant. I couldn’t even shave my legs.

‘The heat was especially bad. It’d be so itchy that I’d feel like I had ants crawling all over me, while in the winter it would crack and bleed to the point where I couldn’t lean or sleep on it.’

Also battling the pain of her arthritis, on her worst days, Kirsty could scarcely get out of bed.

Dealing with the condition also impacted her mental health and two years ago she had to give up work.

Kirsty with psoriasis on her leg
Kirsty with psoriasis on her leg (Picture: PA Real Life)

Kirsty continued: ‘It really knocked my confidence, and I needed constant reassurance from everyone in my life, which isn’t healthy.

‘It’s affected my romantic relationships and dating life in particular.

‘I try not to stay at people’s houses because I’m so paranoid about bleeding on the sheets.

‘When I take my clothes off it’s like it’s been snowing because of all the dead skin. I get embarrassed and feel guilty.

‘Because it is also on a private part of my body, again I need that reassurance.

‘I’ve been single for a few months and I feel like if I met someone, I would have to tell them what I have and let them know I understand if they don’t want to stay. Although having said that, I’ve never met anyone who was bothered by it.’

For the past six months, she has been having fortnightly injections of Amgevita, a biological medicine used to reduce inflammation by acting on the immune system – and it appears to be helping both her arthritis and her skin.

Kirsty said: ‘I got to wear a dress for the first time in 10 years this summer. I felt like a princess because I usually go out in a tracksuit or jeans.

‘I could shave my legs without them bleeding. That was one of the happiest days of my life.

Kirsty has psoriasis
Kirsty says people have refused to touch things she has touched (Picture: PA Real Life)

‘People were telling me that I looked well and had a healthy glow. It’s amazing because nobody had said that to me before.

‘It is now manageable so, I feel really excited about the future and what I might achieve.

‘After the injection I will feel knocked out for a couple of days but then after that I will feel like a ballerina or that I can run a marathon.’

Kirsty has also started sharing videos and pictures on Instagram – finding a community of psoriasis survivors who turn to her for advice.

She added: ‘I would put up little videos of me doing make up, and people would ask me to tell them about myself.

‘I thought I had not seen much about arthritis in younger people, or psoriasis so I wanted to share my experience and how I cope.

‘It really opened my eyes. Lots of people messaged me saying they had the same, and that seeing me share my experience had given them more confidence.

‘I share with my followers if I’m having a bad day or struggling with my mental health. I’m never fake.

‘If I’m feeling really low, I imagine myself in the tunnel and I keep going to the light.

‘Things will be thrown at you along the way – but you keep fighting and you will get there eventually.’

MORE: Women are reclaiming the word ‘barren’ to talk about their fertility issues

MORE: What are the benefits of having an orgasm?

Is it legal to marry animals and inanimate objects?

Elizabeth Hoad marries her dog on This Morning
Elizabeth Hoad married her Golden Retriever Logan live on This Morning (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

This Morning raised a few eyebrows on Tuesday after it featured a wedding ceremony for a woman who was marrying her dog.

Alison Hammond was seen struggling to keep a straight face as she officiated at the marriage, in which Elizabeth Hoad wed her Golden Retriever Logan, having given up on men after four failed engagements.

Of course she’s not the first person to have laid claim to marrying something non-human – with a woman recently revealing she is planning to marry a chandelier and another This Morning guest revealing she recently ended her union with a pirate ghost.

And let’s not forget that time a man married a pillow.

But just what are the rules regarding marrying outside of your species – wedding either an animal or an inanimate object?

Here’s what you need to know…

Is it legal to marry an animal?

Human-animal marriage is not specifically mentioned in national laws – meaning technically that there’s nothing to stop you entering a state of holy matrimony with your dog, cat, hamster. rabbit or whatever species you favour.

However the act of bestiality – of engaging in sexual acts with an animal – is illegal in many countries, including the UK, where you could face a two-year prison sentence for committing such acts.

Also bear in mind that such a marriage would be spiritual and symbolic rather than legally binding.

Is it legal to marry an inanimate object?

Once again there are no specific laws relating to this, as it’s not possible to officially marry an inanimate object – although that hasn’t stopped people from enjoying wedded bliss with such items (and in some cases landmarks), with many of those people identifying as an objectum sexual – someone who is attracted to inanimate objects.

However Amanda Liberty, who recently revealed she was planning a wedding to her favourite chandelier, Lumiere, explained that she identified as an objectum sexual, and that she hoped holding such a ceremony would help legitimise this.

Amanda, who also plighted her troth to the Statue Of Liberty – even changing her surname to reflect this – said: ‘I’m determined to have this commitment ceremony, to prove that I’m here for Lumiere and that my love is going to last.’

Other similar weddings include that of San Diego native Carol Santa Fe, who ‘married’ Santa Fe train station in 2017, and Erica Eiffel, who famously wed Paris’ Eiffel Tower in 2007.

The phenomenon of marrying inanimate objects dates back even further than that, with Eija-Ritta Berliner-Mauer getting hitched to the Berlin Wall in 1979.

Elsewhere in the world people have married inanimate objects for cultural significance rather than their attraction to them.

The phenomenon of symbolically marrying a tree, for example, is common in Hindu culture among brides who are born ‘manglik’ – or Mars-bearing – which according to their astrologcial chart means they are cursed and could potentially cause their husband an early death.

The custom dictates that to break the curse, the bride-to-be must marry a peepal or banana tree, which is then destroyed, ahead of their wedding.

MORE: Woman weds zombie doll and they’ve even consummated marriage

An adorable chihuahua pug is looking for a home – and the adoption ad will make you laugh

Split image of Lillian, a pug chihuahua who is up for adoption
Lillian needs a home (Picture: Adopt a Pet)

Adoption agencies work hard to encourage people to give pets a home.

Unfortunately, competition is fierce.

Popular breeds and puppies get snapped up quickly, while the more unusual or ‘ugly’ pets wait around months or sometimes years for a human to glance in their direction.

Lillian, a pug chihuahua with a strangely long neck and perpetually sad face, is one such dog.

The two-year-old pup needs all the help he can get (even if we think he is adorable).

Lillian is currently up or adoption on Adopt-a-Pet.com and to entice prospective dog owners to look beyond his odd face, they created a witty description.

‘Yes, HIS name is Lillian,’ reads the ad.

‘There was a miscommunication about his gender at the shelter and it stuck and he likes it and hey, we don’t subscribe to gender norms in this rescue.’

Before he was saved, Lillian was found wandering the streets and has not been treated well throughout his young life.

He’s described as a ‘pug/chihuahua on stilts’, who mostly likes ‘eating sticks and ripping up paper’, both of which are fairly cheap toys – so there’s always that added benefit.

Lillian, a pug chihuahua who is up for adoption, sat in front of the camera with a sad face
He looks a little weird, but is a sweetheart (Picture: Adopt-a-pet)

As for his personality, Lillian is an ‘introvert out in the world’, but an ‘extrovert in his home’.

He’s also still a young pup, so you can expect some mischievous behaviour, but he’s always up for playing with his ‘BFF [best friend forever]’, a huge German Shepherd mix.

In fact, Lillian is quite social so if you’re looking to take him in, he’ll need a sibling, preferably of the ‘L-XL variety’ so that he can be the small spoon.

Lillian, sat in a car with a sad look on her face
He might look sad, but he’s a very sociable little guy (Picture: Adopt-a-pet)

Nobody’s perfect, and that includes Lillian – he’s still working on ‘stranger danger and basic manners’, so will need a patient and loving human parent to give him lots of attention.

His spirit animal is the meerkat ‘Ideal Family: Patient,’ the ad reads.

‘One that understands he needs time to feel safe before he shows you how awesome he is. Low key.

‘New people make Lillian nervous so tons of guests coming and going won’t be a good fit. Encouraging. One that celebrates the little things…the first time he wags his tail, you see a play now or he paws at you to pet him.’

Speaking of petting him, the ad recommends his ears.

‘They are so soft and they fly behind him and turn “inside out” when he races around the yard.’

He’s not a fan of kids and has yet to encounter a cat fun enough to become best buds with – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there.

Oh, and his spirit animal is the meerkat.

Fancy adopting a dog? Unfortunately for dog lovers in the UK, Lillian is based in Connecticut.

Don’t fret, there are plenty of amazing dogs that are struggling to find a home on this side of the pond, too.

We just can’t guarantee they’ll be as awesome as Lillian.

MORE: This Glasgow gym lets you work out with your dog

MORE: Couple got married and had a dozen dogs attend with one as their best man

MORE: There’s a hotel that will bring puppies and prosecco to your room

Couple wants to pay someone £5,000 to prepare a roadkill banquet for their wedding

A chef cooking in a kitchen
Don’t worry – this isn’t roadkill (Picture: Getty)

Everyone wants a wedding day worth talking about.

But one couple have maybe taken that a little further than most.

They plan to serve their guests a roadkill banquet – but won’t let them know until after they’ve eaten it.

Of course, preparing everything isn’t going to be easy – so they are planning to pay a chef £5,000 to help them prepare everything.

The ad on Bark.com asks for someone who has the skills to prepare a mixture of woodland squirrel, pheasant, rabbit, partridge and deer.

They want someone with previous experience in preparing wild meats, like being able to skin, butcher and joint the cuts of mea

Apparently they already have 20kg of roadkill in their freezer so no need to worry about sourcing anything.

Is it safe and legal to eat roadkill in the UK?

The couple in the ad say their roadkill is safe, fresh and clean but is it ok to eat roadkill?

Of course, picking up something of the side of the road does come with some risk as you don’t know how safe it is to eat the animal.

Animals raised on a farm undergo health checks throughout their life to ensure the meat we eat doesn’t contain any diseases that may be harmful.

When eating a wild animal that has been killed on the side of the road, you don’t know what sort of illnesses they could have.

It’s also important to assess to see how fresh the meat is when you find it – if it has been lying there for a while, it’s not safe to eat

It is legal to eat roadkill in the UK, provided the animals have been killed accidentally and you don’t have any plans to sell the meat.

The couple have been eating roadkill for three years so wanted to share their way of life with their 30 guests.

The request states: ‘The environment is so important to us, and will continue to be as we settle down and start our family. Although money isn’t too much of an issue, weddings are resource heavy and result in so much waste that we don’t want to have any part in that.

‘We know that this isn’t something the ‘average’ chef would be happy in helping us with, but are hoping that someone with the right skills and our same passion for the environment can step forward and help us out.

‘We have sourced the meat, so all they’d need to do is come up with some delicious recipes to put on a roadkill banquet for our 30 guests, we have approximately 20kg of roadkill meat in our freezer!’

MORE: Is it legal to marry animals and inanimate objects?

MORE: Bride’s ‘coffee-stained’ wedding dress doesn’t go down well

Getting married? Domino’s might just cater your entire wedding for free

A bride and groom with Domino's pizza
YES to a pziza wedding (Picture: Domino’s)

If you’re getting married this August, you might want to rethink your sit down meal, because Domino’s is offering 10 soon-to-be weds a chance to have their wedding day catered for.

So yes, you can fill your day with love, laughter and a load of Pepperoni Passion pizza. Amazing.

Recent research carried out by Domino’s shows that 46% of wedding guests admit to being served food they didn’t like, and 22% would rather eat pizza instead. And we don’t blame them.

Ian Straughan, Head of Product Innovation at Domino’s said: ‘We’re seeing a growing trend from couples ordering pizza to provide wedding guests with a fun, modern twist on their big day.

‘With wedding season in full swing, we were surprised to learn that nearly half of guests don’t like the food they are served.

‘Almost a third say they tend to avoid at least one course, leaving them hungry for an alternative to soggy sandwiches and dehydrated chicken nuggets later in the evening.

Bride and groom with a tower of domino's pizza
Why not ditch the sit down meal? (Picture: Domino’s)

‘Domino’s delivers fresh, quality, hot food ensuring everyone is happy. In fact, we receive lots of requests for wedding pizza especially as many couples invite more guests to join them for a bigger party after the main meal.

‘Fun sharing food such as pizza makes everyone feel part of the special night.’

So, if you fancy being in with a chance of having your wedding filled with pizza, all you need to do is email TyingTheKnow@Dominos.co.uk to apply.

The winners will be gifted 20 of their favourite large pizzas, being able to choose from traditional favourites such as the Pepperoni Passion, Hawaiin or Vegi Supreme.

Or if you fancy getting wild, you can even create your own wedding day pizza from a load of toppings.

Hey, you could even go all out and ditch your wedding cake for a large pizza instead.

At least it would be easier to cut.

MORE: Bride’s ‘coffee-stained’ wedding dress doesn’t go down well

MORE: Women are reclaiming the word ‘barren’ to talk about their fertility issues

These pictures are black and white but fascinatingly, our brains colour them in

These pictures are black and white but coloured grids make us think otherwise (Picture: Øyvind Kolås )

The internet is fascinated with how we each see things – be that the dress or the shoes.

Optical illusions, particularly, are trippy and therefore instantly viral-worthy – we want to know how others perceive them.

The latest illusion to blow our minds comes in the form of black and white images. Only, they’re not black and white to most of us.

In a series of images shared by economist Lionel Page, coloured lines, grids, and dots were placed on top of colourless pictures.

What ends up happening to the original images is that our brain colours them in, as a result of the hues of each line.

So cool.

These pictures are black and white but our brains colour them in
Coloured lines and dots have the same effect (Picture: Øyvind Kolås)

He revealed the images on Twitter, saying: ‘This is a black and white photograph. Only the lines have colour. What you “see” is what your brain predicts the reality to be, given the imperfect information it gets.’

And it’s not just lined grids that create the effect, coloured dots on greyscale pictures elicit the same reaction from our brains.

Over on his Patreon page where Lionel asks supporters to pay for the codes he creates, he added some extra explanation.

He wrote: ‘The image for the post is a visual/artistic experiment playing with simultaneous contrast. An over-saturated coloured grid overlayed on a  grayscale image causes the grayscale cells to be perceived as having colour.’

In less sciency terms, our brains don’t know what to do with ‘imperfect information’ i.e the contrast of bright coloured lines against non-coloured images.

As a result, it fills in the gaps.

These pictures are black and white but our brains colour them in
How do you see these images? (Picture: Øyvind Kolås)

It’s similar to why we saw the infamous dress in different colours.

Our brains decide what colour something is by taking in all the light from that object and ‘throwing away’ the light from surrounding objects.

So, you see the colour of the dress in relation to the colours of the objects surrounding it. In the that photo, the surrounding colours are so jumbled that our brains can’t actually determine what colour the dress is.

Those who see the surrounding colours as dark are more likely to see the blue in the dress as white, and the black lace as gold.

But not everyone online is convinced with the black and white pics. Some believe the images are already coloured and we’re being trolled.

Others said, for them, the images remained black and white.  We’re not sure why that is but regardless, we’re blown away by it.

MORE: What do you see in this image? A stormy beach or a car door?

MORE: Incredible optical illusion sees pink rainbow light up sky

MORE: Weird optical illusion makes model’s legs look scarily skinny

Woman’s photo of all the dirt and dead skin cells from her mattress will make you reach for the vacuum

A woman has shared photos of all the dirt and dust lurking in her mattress
A woman has shared photos of all the dirt and dust lurking in her mattress (Picture: Facebook)

Prepare to see some images that will shake you to your core.

A shocked and horrified woman has revealed all the dust, dirt, and dead skin cells that were lurking in the mattress of her bed.

As you might expect, it was a lot. It turns out mattresses are really, really gross, and managing to wash your bedsheets once a week isn’t quite enough to get rid of all the grime you’re snoozing in each night.

Posting in a Facebook group dedicated to cleaning, the woman shared photos of the gunk that she emptied out of her vacuum cleaner after running it over her bed.

‘All this came from my mattress,’ she wrote. ‘Please don’t crucify me. I just wanted to show everyone how much stuff can come from one queen-sized mattress.’

woman's mattress before cleaning it
Vacuuming the mattress lifted up lots of dust and dead skin cells (Picture: Facebook)

She’s not just an exceptionally dusty person. You likely haven’t made any attempts to clean your mattress in years, if ever, and if you attempt to vacuum it you’ll likely find results that are just as horrifying.

You’re not alone in the whole ‘sleeping in your own skin flake collection’ thing, though, if that’s any consolation.

The comments on the post are filled with people saying they’ve never vacuumed their mattress and are now a tiny bit worried about what they’ll find when they do.

One person chipped in with this disturbing tidbit: ‘This is why mattresses get heavier over the years, build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and bodily fluids.’


The dust that collected from the mattress
The dust collected from the mattress (Picture: Facebook)

Obviously you’d have some trouble wedging your mattress into your washing machine, so it’s worth learning some other tricks to keep your mattress looking and smelling fresh.

An occasional vacuum is a good shout, if only as a visual aid to see just how much gross stuff is sitting on the fabric.

It’s also worth giving your mattress a good airing. When it’s warm outside (and it’s definitely not going to rain), just leave your mattress out in the sun for a bit.

The easiest way to remove stains and give your mattress a refresh is with a spray.

You can mix some washing up liquid and water in a spray bottle, spritz it on a stain, then dab with a sponge, or mix fabric conditioner with water in a spray bottle to make everything smell lovely.

There’s also the baking soda trick, if you like a home remedy. Just sprinkle a light layer all over the mattress, leave it to sit for ten minutes, then vacuum it up. Easy.

MORE: Whiten your trainers with this cleaning hack using a razor and nail polish remover

MORE: You should wash your tea towel every day unless you want to risk food poisoning

MORE: These are the harmful areas in your home that are especially important to keep clean

Nine women open up about what anal sex really feels like

couple in bed
Make sur to use lots of lube (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Anal sex is nothing to be ashamed of – and can be a really enjoyable experience.

The key is to take it slowly, relax and use lots and lots of lube.

Having anal sex without preparation or enough moisture can be incredibly painful – and can even tear the thin, delicate skin inside the anus.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it safely and enjoy it at the same time.

To have good anal sex, try some foreplay first. Start with using your fingers and then a small toy or a butt plug to open your anus up and relax the muscles within it.

Once you are relaxed enough, penetration will be a lot easier.

If anal sex is incredibly painful for you, you are not prepared enough for it – and you shouldn’t carry on until you are.

It’s important to have mutual trust and respect with your partner, and to only do what you are comfortable with.

We spoke to nine women who have had anal sex, to find out what led them to do it, what it felt like and whether they enjoy it.

Here’s what they said.

‘It was like a backwards poo’

‘My ex wanted to do it. And I guess I was curious too but I doubt I would have pushed it if he hadn’t.

‘It was like a backwards poo.

‘Barely got an inch in before I ran off screaming.’

Sex and dating illustration
Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

‘I decided it wasn’t for me at first’

‘Me and my boyfriend tried anal a few months into our relationship when we were drunk. We were having normal sex and he randomly asks me can I put it in your bum? So me being drunk was like yeah, why not?

‘Very strange sensations. I felt pain, nothing, then pain again, then it felt ok, and then nothing. After that I decided it wasn’t for me.

‘However, a year and six months into our relationship, we broke up and recently got back together and to spice things up we decided to try anal again, and ever since we got back together three weeks ago we do anal every time we have sex.

‘Not being on any contraceptive makes it easier for him to not worry about cumming because obviously you can’t get pregnant through bum sex.

‘I actually quite enjoy it now, there’s discomfort at first, but then it feels really good!’

‘I think it feels good because it’s wrong’

‘I had never tried anal sex up to meeting my partner. My ex was very unimaginative in the bedroom. When he suggested we try anal I was excited and nervous at the same time. He didn’t go blindly in – we worked up to it using plenty of lube and slowly bigger toys.

‘When we eventually did anal it was amazing and still is.

‘I’m not sure why it feels so good. I sometimes think it feels good because it’s wrong.’

An illustration of a woman masturbating
Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with (Picture: Ella Byworth/ metro.co.uk)

‘It can add another dimension to sex’

‘I have anal sex fairly regularly as part of my sex life.

‘Anal sex has never really scared or put me off or anything so when I started having sex it didn’t seem that big of a deal to have anal sex too.

‘I tried it initially because I bought a butt plug and really enjoyed that sensation, so anal sex made sense.

‘It’s hard to describe the feeling other than different. I think also that the “taboo” of it sometimes adds to the pleasure. It can just add another dimension to sex, which is exciting to me.’

‘It was about getting off on the power’

‘I am a lesbian and my girlfriend and I have tried it.

‘For us, it was about getting off on the power; the person giving it feeling as though they have total control and can do what they like to the other, and the other person being completely submissive.

‘We only did this once we were at a point in our relationship where there was complete trust and mutual respect.’

‘We absolutely loved it’

‘Me and my ex-partner absolutely loved it. I love it, I think the stigma towards it is starting to fade and it’s becoming a subject people aren’t scared to approach (well I know I’m not,I’m very open about it).

‘The stigma that you’re gonna poo on someone is bizarre, if you feel unwell it’s a no go but I don’t think women know that you can clean yourself out and that doesn’t have to be just for anal.

‘Anal is a different kind of orgasm for me and the fact you can have your front played with at the same time fascinates me.’

An illustration of a bum
Anal sex is very enjoyable if you do it correctly (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

‘Painful… and messy at times’

‘It was painful… and messy at times but we persisted. Wish I’d known about lube. Went years without trying it again until I met my husband – as our relationship and trust deepened I wanted to try it again.

‘We were living abroad at the time without access to sex shops or online ordering so when he went to Korea to visit a friend I asked him to come back with souvenirs of lube and poppers (to help me open up).

‘We’re not frequent with it but when I get super horny and kinky, we get “the box” out. The key is lube, lube, lube!’

‘I HATED it’

‘I hated it. Tried it more than once. It did absolutely nothing for me and I’ll never do it again.

‘Tried it the first time because my ex was obsessed with it and I really liked her. Next few times were with guys who were insistent that she just did it wrong. ‘

‘Outside of it being painful, it also just felt like I had to poop. No part of it was enjoyable to me.’

‘It’s a regular part of our sex life’

‘I’d tried anal once with an ex-boyfriend but I guess I wasn’t relaxed enough for it and I didn’t really enjoy it. But then I met my new boyfriend and we discussed it before deciding to give it a go.

‘But we did it properly this time – we used lube, toys and did some foreplay to relax me, and then when we did it we went slow.

‘It ended up being really enjoyable, it’s a sensation I can’t really describe, like all of your senses are suddenly heightened. It’s an overwhelming feeling but I really like it.

‘Now, it’s become a regular part of our sex life!’

MORE: Men and women open up about the times they faked an orgasm

MORE: 11 people open up about how they found out they were being cheated on

What to do if you find your partner on a dating app

Illustration of a couple hugging
First, make sure it’s not an old profile (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Imagine the following scenario: you’re with your best mate, swiping through a dating app on their behalf.

Because even though you are in a relationship, that doesn’t mean you don’t like to window shop, as well as make sure your friend ends up with someone kind and funny that you can double-date with.

And then there it is: your partner’s face, glaring up at you with his/her best ‘come-hither’ look in a profile that clearly states ‘I’m available’.

Before you let the panic set in, there’s one very important factor to determine: is this a new or updated profile, or just remnants from a former single life? Most dating apps will keep your profile in their system even if you delete the app itself, so this could very well be the case.

However, if there are new photos – like one from the group holiday to Ibiza that you both went on a month earlier – then it’s likely an active profile.

Once you’ve determined this is indeed the case, you have limited options on how to proceed.

‘Dating apps can be a minefield, but it’s important to remember that the majority of singles in the UK have at least one profile,’ relationship experts at JigTalk, a new dating app, tell Metro.co.uk.

‘If you find your partner on one, before reacting, think rationally – could it be an old profile that your partner never got round to deactivating perhaps?

‘If you think that’s the case, let them know it has upset you – their reaction should tell you everything you need to know about the seriousness of your relationship.’

You could ask them to delete it.

After all, if they are happy in your relationship, why do they need to keep an inactive profile on an app designed to help people find love?

‘If you’re adamant it’s live or they refuse to delete the account, then take it as a sign that your relationship isn’t meant to be,’ JigTalk experts said.

‘If they are looking elsewhere then clearly they don’t have the maturity or respect for you that they should have or that you deserve.

‘Confront them, and see what they have to say, but if your gut is telling you something is wrong, then it probably is. It’s time to get rid of them, and fast!’

An illustration of two people fighting
Take a breath and collect your thoughts before you talk to your partner about it (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Relationships aren’t black and white, and breaking up is not the only solution to this scenario.

Ask your partner if there is a specific reason as to why they are still on the app – it’s worth discussing before you cut the cord.

Before you sit down with them, take a breath and collect your thoughts, Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist and relationship expert at We-Vibe, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘If you find your partner’s profile on a dating app and if you have a particularly strong emotional reaction, wait until your emotions have reduced before you approach the topic, try not to make assumptions about the situation until you give them the opportunity to explain,’ she said.

‘When you do approach the topic with them, start with a positive statement which is true such as “I really care about you and this is why I am bringing this topic up, I have learned that you have a profile on a dating app and this upset me, I am wondering if there is an explanation as to why the profile is there?”.

‘Who knows, it might be from before the relationship or there may be another reason, which isn’t as bad as what you think.

‘During this conversation ask for what you need, “I need you to remove this profile and promise that you leave all dating sites”.

‘After the conversation, check in on your feelings, how did your partner make you feel in that conversation, loved, valued and respected or something else?

‘If you still don’t feel right about things and your partner’s behaviour consistently triggers you to feel upset, then you have every right to consider leaving that relationship and this might be the healthiest choice for you.’

Everyone has different limits when it comes to emotional cheating and some only consider it to be cheating if the person acts on it.

For instance, some people are OK with flirting, others are not. There are also couples who indulge in fantasies where this type of behaviour could be a turn-on, if you’re both on the same page and aware of what’s happening.

It’s important to talk about where you draw the line, before you settle down with a partner.

Should you find yourself in a situation where you do not feel comfortable or where your significant other is disrespecting you and your relationship, then it’s time to talk – or walk away.

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Tiny dog can finally enjoy her dinner after having her wonky jaw fixed

Poppet before her surgery
Poppet had her little jaw fixed (Picture: Dr Ryk Botes /SWNS.COM)

A tiny dog can finally enjoy her dinner for the first time in her life after a vet fixed her wonky jaw using a 3D printer.

Poppet the Shih Tzu had struggled all her eight years because generations of inbreeding had left her with a severely deformed bottom jaw, which was too small to hold her tongue.

But now she can finally enjoy her food after vet Dr Ryk Botes performed surgery on her, replacing her entire lower jaw with one he made using a 3D printer.

Dr Botes, a specialist in orthopaedics and replacement surgery, successfully fitted the dog with a 3D printed titanium implant.

Poppet’s tongue permanently hung out from her mouth, leaving her struggling to eat or clean herself.

Poppet the dog before the surgery.
Poppet’s jaw was wonky before the surgery (Picture: Dr Ryk Botes /SWNS.COM)

Poppet’s owner, Daphne Harrigan, says her ‘dream came true’ after the tricky hour-long op left her with ‘a different dog’.

Daphne adopted Poppet, suspected of being used for illegal puppy farming, two years ago.

Her daughter Debbie Crouch said Poppet has made a good recovery and is a ‘different dog’ following the operation.

She said: ‘Before the operation, her tongue lolled out of her mouth permanently and she couldn’t eat or clean herself properly.

‘Now she can and it’s as if she has a whole new lease of life.

‘It’s a dream come true for mum to see Poppet living a normal, happy life.

Poppet after her jaw fix
Poppet has now had her jaw fixed (Picture: Dr Ryk Botes /SWNS.COM)

‘It’s wonderful to see her – and equally wonderful to see how happy she makes my mum.

‘We can’t thank Ryk and his team enough for what they’ve done for Poppet. He has really gone above and beyond and we’re so grateful to him.’

Poppet helped fill a hole in Daphne’s life following the loss of her husband 11 years ago.

She has other health problems which suggested she may have been used for breeding on a puppy farm.

Dr Botes, a branch partner at Medivet in Faversham, Kent, felt the only way to properly fix the dog’s jaw – which had a large segment missing – was to attempt a partial jaw replacement.

Jaw replacements are common in humans but Poppet’s small size made it particularly difficult to design and produce a custom-made implant.

Dr Botes sent CT scans to specialist firm 3D Metal Printing to create the titanium jaw for Poppet.

Now, Poppet is healthy, happy, and enjoying all the food she can fit into her little belly – totally pain-free.

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Babies born during Shark Week are getting adorable Baby Shark onesies

A baby wearing a shark week onesie
Adorable (Picture: The Christ Hospital)

It’s never too early to introduce your child to Baby Shark.

That’s why one hospital is giving all babies born this week an adorable onesie.

It is Shark Week until 3 August so it’s the perfect way to celebrate.

It’s an annual week-long series of programmes on the Discovery Channel, based around (you’ve guessed it!) Sharks.

The Christ Hospital Health Network in Cinncinnati, Ohio, U.S., has created the cute outfits featuring the famous Baby Shark from the hit viral song, and the ‘Do do do do do’ that you can’t get out of your head.

The hospital gives out onesies for other holidays so they decided Shark Week should be part of that.

Bo McMillan, a senior marketing consultant at The Christ Hospital Health Network, told CNN

‘We typically pick a holiday in a specific month and give out onesies on that day or the weekend of the holiday.

‘This is the first time we’ve done it for a full week.’

Apparently over 75 babies have already received onesies and they have about another 150-175 babies due before 2 August.

New parents also get a Shark Week treat – two tickets to Newport Aquarium.

The hospital also used Shark Week to showcase some of the ways a baby shark differs from a human baby.

Turns out a baby Epaulette shark is on average six inches long but a human baby is about 19 inches long – but both are 30% of their adult length.

Baby Epaulette sharks are also nocturnal – which is something they have in common with lots of human babies.

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National Orgasm Day: Do men have a G-spot and where is it?

Woman's hand sticking a finger in a peach
The prostate is the male version of a G-spot (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Ah, the G-spot, the most elusive part of the female body.

The existence of this erogenous zone is widely debated but usually in regards to women. Researchers claim it’s just an extension of the clitoris.

As many women have attested to having amazing orgasms when the area is stimulated, men have wondered whether they too have a G-spot.

The closest they have to it is the prostate – the walnut-sized gland behind the penis. The prostate has nerve endings that arouse all kinds of good feelings.

Though some men struggle with the idea of anal play, the area is most easily stimulated through the rectum.

If you’re looking for a better climax this National Orgasm Day, you might want to take the plunge.

While the prostate is popularly attributed as the male G-spot, sex psychotherapist Silva Neeves says there’s another region that promises the good stuff.

‘The two most common G spots for men are the prostate and the head of the penis, the part that is covered by the foreskin,’ she tells Metro.co.uk

‘The head of the penis is sensitive and produces a lot of pleasure when stimulated by hand (with lube it is even better), a masturbation toy or when having intercourse with a partner.’

But the prostate is still a huge factor in driving male pleasure, she adds.

‘The prostate produces much pleasure when stimulated,’ says Silva. ‘You can reach it through the anus. More and more men of all sexual orientations are becoming curious and fascinated by the prostate’s sexual pleasure.’

How to stimulate the prostate:

The prostate is located internally underneath the bladder, so you can’t actually poke it directly. Instead you can stimulate it through the perineum or the rectum.

You can do this through anal play, either with your finger or a sex toy designed for anal play.

Start by gently stroking the perineum during sex to see how that feels. If you’re ready to turn things up a notch, lube up your finger and locate the prostate – it’s around two inches into the rectal canal. You’ll know you’ve found it when you can feel a ball of tissues that feels different to the other bits of the rectum.

The prostate will swell when the person is aroused, which should make it easier to find.

Go slowly, gently, and make sure your fingernails are short. Make a come hither motion, starting gently then stroking more once you know how it feels.

If you’d like to try toys, make sure you use sex toys specifically designed for anal play – ones with a flared base so the toys can’t get lost inside the rectum.

The sex toy We-Vibe Vector is specially designed to reach the prostate effortlessly and massage it in the way that will produce intense pleasure.

When men stimulate their prostate as well as stimulating the head of their penis, they may have stronger ejaculations.

Play safely.

If you are looking for orgasmic fun on this special day, then planning is key.

Stock up on lube, cut your fingernails, wash your toys, and chat with your partner before you start.

Now go forth and get your orgasms.

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Ava the orphaned pony is so tiny even her teddy bear is bigger than her

Ava the foal, who is being kept in quarantine and is fighting for her life after her mother died on Dartmoor, at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary next to her comfort teddy
Ava is smaller than her teddy! (Picture: Mare and Foal Sanctuary /SWNS.COM)

Rescuers are fighting to save the life of a tiny orphaned Dartmoor pony who is smaller than the teddy bear given to her to keep her company in quarantine.

The pony, named Ava, was orphaned after her mother died. She’s now being nursed around the clock after being found terrified and alone.

The mare and foal sanctuary says it is facing a race against time to keep Ava alive.

Ava still has breathing difficulties and is being fed every two hours and is being given antibiotics.

And at just a few weeks old, she is smaller than the giant teddy bear she has been given to keep her company.

She is in the full-time care of the dedicated team at the Sanctuary’s Beech Trees centre near Newton Abbot, Devon.

Quarantine manager Nicola Weall said: ‘Because of Ava’s young age and fragile health, she is getting 24-hour care with the Sanctuary’s grooms taking it in turns to stay overnight and monitor CCTV cameras – and doing everything they can to comfort her.

A picture of Ava laying down
She’s currently receiving around-the-clock care (Picture: Mare and Foal Sanctuary /SWNS.COM)

‘Ava is still undergoing tests, but with antibiotics and nutrient rich formula it is hoped she will soon turn a corner.

‘She is being bottle fed as we don’t hand rear. The bottles are attached to a feeder so she can help herself. It’s important she doesn’t associate us with her milk.

‘We also set boundaries while handling her. We don’t want her to think it’s ok to try to climb all over us. Being overly affectionate to a foal can cause behavioural issues. When they get a lot bigger it can, in fact, prove dangerous.’

Head of equine Sally Burton said: ‘We are doing everything we can to keep Ava comfortable. Losing her mother at such a young age would have caused her to deteriorate both physically and mentally.

‘At just a few weeks old foals are reliant on their mother’s milk. So, we are feeding her every two hours around the clock. We’re all glad she was found and rescued. Now she just needs time and a lot of care.’

Nicola added: ‘When she first arrived, she was very nervous. She hadn’t had much to do with humans and she kept turning her back and didn’t like being handled.

‘But now she’s enjoying the occasional good scratch. She’s also nibbling hay and grass and getting used to her surroundings.

‘She’s a really bright little thing. Which is great to see after what she’s been through. Now all we can do is support her as best we can and hope she gets stronger.’

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It’s National Orgasm Day, so here are seven different types of male orgasms

Illustration of a half naked man on a colorful background
Which orgasm should I have today? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

It’s National Orgasm Day and in honour of the occasion, we’ve explored the many ways men can climax.

Most people are familiar with a standard ejaculation during sex or while masturbating, but there are other options to try – some of which could intensify your experience.

Get comfortable and settle in for some educational fun that could boost your orgasm game, with top tips from Annabelle Knight, sex and relationships expert at the sex toy website, Lovehoney, on how you can get yourself off.

Are you a woman? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered as well (and lucky you, because you have 12 types of orgasms to choose from).

Ejaculatory or ‘standard’ orgasm

You’ll be familiar with this one.

The ejaculatory orgasm can happen during both sex and masturbation, and is essentially the bog-standard climax that most men know and love.

But have you ever wondered what actually happens in the penis when a man comes?

‘When a man is stimulated physically or psychologically, he gets an erection,’ Annabelle tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Blood flows into the corpora – the spongy tissue running the length of the penis – causing the penis to grow in size and become rigid. The testicles are drawn up toward the body as the scrotum tightens.

‘Semen – a mixture of sperm (5%) and fluid (95%) – is forced into the urethra by a series of contractions of the pelvic floor muscles and prostate gland and then leaves the penis in a process called ejaculation.’

Blended Orgasm or whole body orgasm

It’s not as difficult as you might imagine.

A blended orgasm is essentially when you climax while several areas of your body are being stimulated simultaneously.

For instance, if your partner is playing with your nipples, clitoris or G-spot all at once and you orgasm as a result, but are unsure which area is responsible for the delicious feeling.

‘They can occur when you’re in the middle of fast-paced sex, or when you’re slowly building up to the main event,’ said Annabelle.

‘This is a great way to get loads of erogenous zones lighting up all at once.’

Wet Dream orgasm

There is a myth that wet dreams only happen to teenage boys during puberty.

While this is usually the case, adults – both women and men – can have them too.

The dream does not need to be erotic for this to happen (only 8% of dreams feature sexual content) so don’t be alarmed if you wake up in a small puddle of sperm after having a dream about running through a field, dressed as a flamingo.

Sex and dating illustration
Let’s try multiple orgasms tonight, honey (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Multiple Orgasms

There are two types of multiple orgasms and not all men have had them.

The first version is where you climax, take a break – to hydrate, most likely – and then do it again.

However, if your tank is dry, you might find that you orgasm without a release of semen, which is completely normal.

The second variation is the holy grail of orgasms, as they just keep on coming with no resting period required.

‘If you’re hungry for more, try sequential style first,’ said Annabelle.

‘Orgasm, then take a 30-minute to rest (known as the refactory period when the male body recovers post-orgasm, this time lapse increases as men get older) and enjoy the extra oxytocin (known as the love hormone, it is secreted during sex) flooding the brain.

‘Then go back for round two! Two-thirds of men (67%) have experienced multiple orgasms, according to a survey of 1,000 men by Lovehoney.’

Pelvic orgasm

To achieve a pelvic orgasm, you’ll need to work for it.

This can be done through a method known as edging, where you bring yourself to the, well, edge and then stop.

The aim is two-fold; to gain better control of your orgasms and to increase the intensity for when you finally do decide to let go.

Prostate orgasm

Both men and women have a G-spot that can be stimulated for extra pleasure – but where is it and how should you play with it?

‘The male G-spot is the prostate gland, also known as the P-spot,’ said Annabelle.

‘This pleasurable point is a small walnut-sized gland that is accessed through the anus.

‘It sits inside the body at the base of the bladder and can be most easily stimulated by a partner with a lubed index finger or P-spot toy. It is ultra-sensitive and men can orgasm through it being rubbed gently.

‘Prostate stimulators have been developed specifically for prostate pleasure.’

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Juno the cat looks absolutely furious at all times

Juno the cat looks absolutely furious
Juno has a very angry looking face (Picture: Caters News)

Meet Juno. He’s not absolutely fuming with you, or annoyed, or even just disappointed. That’s just his face.

Sweet cat Juno is secretly lovely and chilled, but he suffers from a serious case of angry resting face – his features make him look like a grouchy grandpa ready to scold you.

Thankfully his furious looks haven’t put people off, instead getting him more than 185,000 followers on Instagram

Juno’s followers are such big fans they even demanded the cat bring out his own merchandise (which he now has).

Owner Dominique Teta, 21, from New Jersey, USA decided to set up an account for the cat after seeing the reactions of those who met him.

Dominique said: ‘Juno looks aggravated 95% of the time.

Dominique Teta, 21, holding grumpy cat Juno
He’s actually really chilled (Picture: Caters News)

‘We think this is mainly down to his strange breed, because Juno is actually really chilled and not angry at all.

‘Juno is primarily a Himalayan mix – we believe his mum is a brown point Himalayan and his father we were told was half Himalayan and half Burmese.

‘We’re currently waiting on DNA results to specify this but I’ve known Juno since the day he was born, actually and I do find his story funny – he was the lone kitten in a litter, which is very unusual and completely unexpected.’

We reckon that Himalayan breed has a lot to answer for – all that fur does make Juno look quite intimidating.

But in reality, he’s not grumpy at all.

Juno the furious looking cat sitting on a table
He’s Instagram famous (Picture: Caters News)

‘Despite his facial features, Juno is such a chilled cat,’ says Dominique.

‘He likes to play by himself at night in the kitchen, we think because he was the only kitten in his litter he learned to play solo.

‘He always has to be nearby and will occasionally come on your lap for chin scratches, his face only looks angry.

‘The only time he meows is while he is playing or if he hears us humans argue and then he will get concerned and meow in your face.’

As Juno has become a full on celebrity, Dominique has had to become a part-time social media influencer.

She loves the job – and Juno does too, even if he doesn’t show it.

‘I am definitely surprised at the reaction he gets,’ Dominique says.

‘I mean – I know he is one of the coolest looking cats, don’t get me wrong, but to have over 185K followers was never a thought in my mind.

‘I love seeing that he has followers all over the world; we have people walking around in Germany and Australia wearing Juno’s merchandise sweatshirts.’

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Meghan Markle is launching a workwear collection with M&S, John Lewis and Jigsaw

Meghan at the Smart Works charity
Meghan at the Smart Works charity (Picture: Clodagh Kilcoyne – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

We love Meghan Markle’s style and soon you’ll be able to pick up her own collection on the high street.

The Duchess of Sussex is teaming up with M&S, John Lewis and Jigsaw to launch a workwear collection in aid of charity.

The line will help Smart Works – one of the charities she is a patron for since January 2019.

Smart Works help women get back into the workplace by providing clothes and giving them coaching to help them with job interviews.

Meghan Markle September Vogue cover
The cover of British Vogue’s September issue, edited by the Duchess of Sussex (Picture: Peter Lindbergh / KENSINGTON PALACE / AFP / XGTY / Getty )

In the September issue of Vogue she guest edited, Meghan explained: ‘I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friend, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe.’

For every item purchased from the collection, one is donated to the Smart Works too.

Meghan added: ‘Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together.’

Meghan Markle visiting Smart Works
Meghan has visited Smart Works several times since she became patrol (Picture: Clodagh Kilcoyne – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The collection will be released in September but the pieces haven’t been revealed yet but expect a range of classic and adaptable workwear looks.

She explained that although Smart Works do amazing work helping women, the clothing they have doesn’t always fit together.

In Vogue, she says: ‘When you walk into a Smart Works space you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes.

‘Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colours, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes.’

Both John Lewis and M&S have worked with Smart Works before but this latest collaboration is sure to be extremely popular with the Duchess being involved.

Meghan is already a big fan of M&S and is sometimes spotted wearing outfits from the store.

In January last year, she wore a classic black round-neck bell sleeve jumper and she wore a double crepe bodycon dress from the brand in November 2018.

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Cadbury is releasing a white chocolate range of bars, giant buttons and Freddo Treasures

Cadbury white chocolate bars, giant buttons and freddo treasures
We can’t wait for these (Picture: Cadbury)

Good news white chocolate fans – Cadbury is releasing a whole new line made of the creamy stuff.

From September, you’ll be able to pick up white chocolate bars, white chocolate giant buttons and white chocolate Freddo Treasures.

There is a catch – the range is exclusive to Asda so you’ll have to get down to your local store to try them.

The bar comes in 180g size so it’s perfect for sharing with your family, and giant buttons come in a 110g resealable bag, meaning there’s plenty to go round.

The Freddo Treasures are like the standard Treasures – a bag of chocolate buttons and a toy – but obviously in a creamy white chocolate instead.

The bar costs £2.49, while the buttons cost £1.50 and the Freddo Treasures are on sale for £1.50.

Nancy Galvin, Brand Executive for Cadbury said: ‘We’re always looking for ways to grow and innovate our Cadbury range and are delighted to be bringing the new Cadbury White Chocolate range to stores across the UK.


‘We can’t wait to hear what our fans think about these delicious new products.’

The white chocolate range was revealed on Instagram by newfoodsuk and people were pretty excited.

‘I cannot wait! My dreams have come true,’ one person said.

Others pointed out that it’s a bit like the often missed Dream bar, which were launched in 2002 but discontinued a few years later.

‘The dream bar used to be my favourite !! I cannot wait for these,’ another Instagram fan added.

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23-year-old graduates from university despite being homeless and being pregnant

Emily with her daughter after graduating
Emily graduated with a first (Picture: Emily Hattersley /SWNS.COM)

A woman who was homeless as a teenager and then pregnant during her first year of university has now graduated with a first.

23-year-old Emily Hattersley was studying for her GCSEs when she found herself without a home – but continued her college studies while sofa-surfing with friends.

She put herself into care at the age of just 17 in order to finish college, and managed to get accepted to study Media and Communications at Cardiff University.

But in the summer at the end of her first year at university, Emily fell pregnant – and said that her ‘whole life flashed before her eyes’ as she stared at the positive pregnancy test.

Ever-determined Emily, from Rhondda Cynon Taf in south Wales, pushed on with her university studies, balancing studying for her second year exams with breastfeeding her daughter.

Despite all the challenges she has faced in the past few years, Emily has graduated from Cardiff University with a First-class degree.

Emily, who describes herself as ‘a very stubborn person’, told The Cardiff Tab: ‘I had one thing in my mind the whole time.

‘I had set myself a challenge and I was going to complete it, no matter how hard.’

Emily said: ‘My dad died when I was nine, and I was made homeless at 16, following my first spinal surgery.

Emily with her family
Owen Gillard with daughter Daisy Elizabeth Gillard, aged one, with Emily Hattersley at her graduation (Picture: Emily Hattersley /SWNS.COM)

‘During this time I also had to complete my GCSEs. Studying while being homeless came with its challenges.

‘Mental health issues left me with barely enough energy to attend college, which then further affected me mentally as I felt I wasn’t achieving anything, and was just in a stage of limbo.

‘After a year of sofa-surfing at friend’s house, I decided that I would put myself into care. I felt I didn’t want to be a burden on them any longer.

‘I felt like it would be nice for someone to look after me for a change, so I could focus on my studies.’

But Emily said that, after being independent for so long, she found it difficult to be restricted in care – and so at 17 she moved into her own flat provided by social services.

She said: ‘At this time I had to learn how to take care of myself and how to budget.

‘My flat was far away from anyone, and I very often didn’t have enough spare money to catch public transport to see my friends or my partner.

‘I also didn’t have the funds to pay for internet, so this was a very isolating time – but it did mean that I had a lot of time to spend on my A-Level coursework.

‘I managed to achieve grade ABC in my A-Levels which meant I could go to university. I applied for Cardiff University to do Media and Communications, and got accepted.’

In the summer of 2017, at the end of her first year at university, Emily completed an internship with S3 Advertising in Cardiff.

Emily Hattersley with daughter Daisy
She graduated even after being homeless and having a baby (Picture: Emily Hattersley /SWNS.COM)

She said: ‘After a night out, I had a hangover that lasted for three days, so I knew something wasn’t right.

‘The two pink lines were as clear as day and I immediately got tunnel vision. I started hyperventilating and had to sit down.

‘I could see everything I’d done in my life flash before my eyes.

‘I knew the statistics of students completing their degrees with babies were low. I knew I had a tough decision to make.

‘My partner came into the bathroom with me, and we cried together.

‘We spent the next few days just talking about what we were going to do, and discussed every possible outcome, as you have to in these situations.

‘Four days after we found out, we had just had a big cry and fallen asleep together, and my partner looked up at me and said “We can do this Em”. I’ll never forget those words.’

Emily decided to keep her pregnancy a secret for as long as she could, so she could finish her time at university without judgement.

‘I didn’t want to be laughed at when I told them my plan to finish the rest of uni with a baby,’ said Emily.

‘My friends from university would invite me to party with them, and I would make up different excuses not to go, so I wouldn’t have to explain why I wasn’t drinking.

Emily with newborn Daisy
Emily with newborn Daisy (Picture: Emily Hattersley /SWNS.COM)

‘I did feel lonely a lot of the time, as a lot of socialisation in university is through going out and having a drink.

‘Luckily, though, my partner always made an effort to make me feel special, and I realised that I would have plenty of time to socialise after the baby was born.

‘Of course, the idea of dropping out of university was always in the back of my mind.

‘We lived quite far away from my uni building while I was pregnant, and it would take me 40 minutes to walk there in the morning, which made 9am lectures especially painful.

‘While I was pregnant, I stayed long hours in the library after my contact hours, and stayed up all night sometimes to finish my assignments.

‘In my head, I wanted to get the best grades as I could before she was born, so it would help if having a baby had a detrimental effect on my grades.

‘If I’m honest though, the time I most thought I would quit was after she was born.

‘I was allowed to take out extenuating circumstances straight after she was born, so I could complete my modules in the August resit period.

‘However, I didn’t realise how hard this would be.

‘I was breastfeeding every two hours, but still had deadlines looming, and my partner needed to go to work, and focus on his own dissertation in the day times.

‘But I had one thing in my mind the whole time; I had set myself a challenge and I was going to complete it, no matter how hard. I’m a very stubborn person.’

Emily has just graduated with a First-class honours in Media and Communications, with her partner and her daughter by her side.

When asked what advice she would give to anyone in her position, Emily said: ‘Don’t overthink anything.

‘Nothing is permanent, any stress you are under will end eventually, so just ride it out and keep your head up.

‘But also, I’d advise to not be afraid of asking for help. We all struggle, but those that succeed are the ones that shared their problems and got help from others.

‘And my final piece of advice would be to never regret anything that happened in your past.

‘I see everything that has happened to me as a learning experience that has made me the person I am today.

‘Life is a journey of personal growth, and every experience is a lesson.’

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Woman who thought she was suffering with hay fever actually had a brain tumour

Gurcharan before and after the surgery
Gurcharan thought she just had hayfever (Picture: Gurcharan Kaur /SWNS.COM)

A woman who thought she was suffering from hay fever was shocked to find that the reason her eyes were stinging was a brain tumour.

30-year-old Gurcharan Kaur suffered with irritated eyes for weeks, but just shrugged it off as an allergy caused by pollen or dust, and dosed up on antihistamines.

But when sightseeing in London last month, she noticed her eyes were becoming more irritable than normal, and it was becoming painful to blink.

Gurcharan went to an optician for help. Despite initially being told to use eye drops, she returned and a test revealed she had optical nerve damage on her left eye.

Doctors discovered she had a small colloid cyst – a slow-growing tumour in the centre of her brain, behind her left eye.

She was weeks away from developing seizures, they said, and needed brain surgery to remove the benign mass.

Now tumour-free, Gurcharan, from Wolverhampton, wants to warn others of downplaying possible life-threatening symptoms.

She said: ‘I just thought I was developing hay fever.

Gurcharan Kaur in hospital
Her eye was itching and it started getitng sore (Picture: Gurcharan Kaur /SWNS.COM)

‘My eye would just sting in the morning but I’d just take an antihistamine and it would go away.

‘I knew you could develop it at any time and I just thought it was just a case of that.

‘I’d also been feeling dizzy and tired for a couple of months but I just shrugged it off.

‘I’ve always had perfect vision so it didn’t even cross my mind it would be something this serious.

‘I feel like walking past Vision Express was a sign.

‘If it hadn’t been there I would have just ignored it and avoided getting it checked out.’

Gurcharan was on her way to meet older sister Sharan, 36, last month when she finally decided to get checked out.

She walked past a Vision Express store and decided to pop in, but she couldn’t get an instant appointment, and experts advised her to get eye wash.

Gurcharan Kaur in hospital
She was later diagnosed with a brain tumour (Picture: Gurcharan Kaur /SWNS.COM)

Gurcharan said: ‘My eye was itching and I just thought it was a sign.

‘My sister was still at her job interview so I had a bit of time by myself.

‘I only went in there on a whim. I didn’t actually think I had something wrong with me.

‘It was just a coincidence that I walked past it.’

A few hours later Gurcharan returned to the Oxford Street store after noticing her left eye was beginning to turn red.

Staff did a standard eye test and discovered Gurcharan – who hadn’t had an eye appointment in ten years – had optical nerve damage on her left eye.

She said: ‘I just kept complaining about how much it hurt.

‘I kept getting my mirror out of my bag to check if there was anything in my eye.

Gurcharan Kaur after the surgery
She’s now had the surgery and is doing fine (Picture: Gurcharan Kaur /SWNS.COM)

‘My eye was just really, really itchy.

‘I only went back as my sister was getting bored of me banging on about it.

‘By this time my eye started to get a bit red and it started to hurt when I blinked.

‘The last time I went to the opticians I was told I had 20:20 vision so it just didn’t seem right.

‘I went up to the desk and the employee went to get a second opinion.

‘A different member of staff saw me this time and said they could squeeze me in.’

She was referred for a CT scan, and the pair took the train home and went straight to New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton.

Doctors discovered abnormal fluid on her brain, and a further scan revealed a small colloid cyst behind her left eye.

Days later she had a two-hour operation which saw doctors cut her head open through minimal invasive surgery to remove the mass, sending Gurcharan home with a two-month course of epilepsy tablets.

Gurcharan said: ‘Thankfully it wasn’t any bigger.

‘I’ve been scared for my life.

‘I just want to warn people about ignoring what can be quite serious symptoms.

‘I just kept shrugging off. I would feel sick but after I took a hayfever tablet it would stop.

‘But walking past that Vision Express shop was almost like a sign.

‘I had been burying my head in the sand but I just knew something wasn’t quite right so that’s why I went back.

‘The doctors told me if I hadn’t gone in it would have grown and I would have started having seizures.’

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