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M&S forced to change name of Porn Star Martini after backlash

Porn star martinis
(Picture: M&S / GETTY)

Sex on the beach, slippery nipples, and even sex with an alligator – harmless cocktail names for some, dangerous instructions that children might somehow follow to others.

We wrote a few months ago that Marks & Spencer had faced backlash for their tinnies of Porn Star Martini, with online commentators aghast at how the word porn could be used as the name of a drink.

While M&S certainly didn’t invent this drink – as any customer of All Bar One or Slug and Lettuce will know, they’ve been around forever – they bore the brunt of the heated conversation on Twitter, started by trombonist and lecturer Sarah Brand.

In the thread, other people added their shock, saying: ‘What next? Male Prostitute Prosecco. Drug Trafficker Tequila’ and ‘Yep, beyond belief. Dreadful judgement.’

It appears that the wholesome supermarket chain has taken on these comments, and has now renamed their canned concoction Passion Star Martini.

The drink – which costs £2.25 for a can – was launched by M&S in September last year, and Campaign Magazine have stated that its rebrand is due to a complaint by a member of the public.

According to alcohol watchdog, The Portman Group, the name breached rules stating alcoholic drinks shouldn’t have connotations of ‘sexual success’ linked with them.

The original complaint stated: ‘Porn stars are idolised as people who have sexual success and paid for doing so.

‘Therefore, hearing this name on a can of an alcoholic cocktail is linking alcohol with sexual success.

‘If you continue to allow this, it will open the flood gates to others, eg Sex on the Beach, Slippery Nipple, Sloe Comfortable Screw, Liquid Viagra etc.’

Although M&S argued that this name has been in use since the cocktail was invented in 1999 by a man named Douglas Ankrah, they agreed to change the name as co-signatories of The Portman Group.

Thankfully now your children won’t have to drink lewdly named cocktails! Instead of thinking that their commute cocktail can is going to make them a Porn Star, they’ll aspire to be a Passion Star instead. Sorted.

A Marks & Spencer spokesperson said: ‘Porn Star Martini is a common name for a passion fruit cocktail drink. Our product launched in September 2018 and quickly became one of our most popular cocktails. However, as a Portman Group co-signatory, we respect the ruling and will be changing the name to Passion Star Martini.’

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Asda is selling orange flavoured After Eights so we’re already looking forward to Christmas

orange after eights
How do these make you feel? (Picture: Asda)

There are a few chocolate treats that shall forever make us think of Christmas: Celebrations, Quality Street, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and After Eights.

Why has it taken so long for someone to combine them?

Sadly no one’s made a full fourway mashup of dreams, but Nestle has essentially smushed together those last two chocolates to create orange flavour After Eights.

Yes, friends. Orange After Eights now exist in the world, so you can finally combine your love of chocolate and orange with the sophistication of an after-dinner mint (we can’t explain why eating After Eights continues to make us feel so grown up, but that’s the truth).

Be warned, though. If you’re expecting a pure orange hit you shall be disappointed. After Eight mints are, after all, mints, and thus their official flavour is orange and mint.

We’ll let that sink in for a moment. Orange and mint fondant surrounded by chocolate. This either sounds absolutely repulsive or a Christmas-y dream.

The flavour was shared by newfoodsuk, whose post divided opinion.


One commenter painted a disturbing picture of the taste, writing: ‘I hope these don’t taste like when you drink orange juice after brushing your teeth. Vile.’

Another described the chocolate as ‘wrong on every level’.

You’re not alone if you do fancy the sound of orange and mint After Eights, though, as there are a few positive comments on the post. There are even some heart eye emoji.

The flavour has been around in France for a while, but this is the first time it’s come to the UK.

Asda is selling the orange and mint After Eights for £2 in store (they don’t appear to be available online just yet). Check for the little orange slices on the box to make sure you’re getting the right ones.

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Costco is selling a 20ft wide swimming pool for £499

Massive Costco pool
Fun times ahead (Picture: RandySchwartzPhoto)

Unless you’ve been living under a cool rock this week you’ll know that the UK has been very very hot.

Scorching weather sends us British folk into chaos but we’re usually okay after a drink in a beer garden or a dip in the pool.

Trekking to the local gym for a quick swim isn’t ideal so in a perfect world, we’d have a pool in our backyard.

Good news then that Costco is selling a giant pool to help you make the most of what’s left of summer.

The 20-ft wide inflatable has just gone on sale with the bulk retailer and it comes with its own pump.

Of course, it is massive so you’ll need some help getting in. Thankfully, the Intex Pool comes with a ladder, perfect for those Instagram boomerangs you probably want of you getting in and out.

The summer staple is on sale for £499 which might sound a bit steep but it’s a bargain considering its original price.

It was previously on offer for £799, so you’ll be saving £300. And the price also includes shipping.

On the website, it describes the item as ‘featuring a blue tile print and an elegant graphite exterior.

‘This pool if perfect for summer fun with family and friends,’ it continues. ‘The uniquely designed frame combines high quality galvanised steel with a precision-engineered locking system, enhancing the overall quality, durability and stability of the pool.

‘The sand filter pump provides the best filtration performance and unmatched water clarity. Maintenance is incredibly easy as the filter pump sand only requires a routine backwashing and replacement every five years.’

If all that sounds like it’s up your street either for the remainder of this summer or next then hurry to Costco now.

You can get the Ultra XTR Frame Pool on the Costco website.

So go forth and enjoy your garden parties. But no diving in, mind.

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Girl opens PrettyLittleThing order only for live spiders to crawl out

Georgia with her order
This is the stuff of nightmares (Picture: Jam Press)

One woman experienced our worst nightmare after a clothes order arrived and a bunch of spiders crawled out of the package.

Yes, it’s already making our skins crawl just thinking about it.

21-year-old Georgia Rattray had bought some clothes from PrettyLittleThing.

However, Georgia, from Falkirk, was horrified when she opened the packaging only for a load of spiders to crawl out on her bed – with more dead ones inside the clothes, including a white polka dot print bardot playsuit, which cost £25.

Georgia described the scene as the ‘stuff of nightmares’ and decided to video it out of disbelief.

The spiders in the packaging
This is just horrifying (Picture: Jam Press)

She said: ‘I was buying holiday clothes and a dead spider was in one of the playsuits.

‘The live spiders were in about the packaging which was on my bed.

‘At first I was disgusted when I saw the dead spider, but then I was terrified when I saw the live spiders on my bed!!’

Georgia then took to Twitter to tell her followers what had happened, and to reach out to the retailer.

spiders emerging from prettylittlething package
(Picture: Jam Press)

She wrote: ‘Ordered over 100 worth of stuff from @OfficialPLT (@OfficialPLT_CS ) and feel like sending it ALL back after live SPIDERS crawled out onto my bed and finding a dead one in one of the playsuits.

‘It’s disgusting so annoying cos I loved all the stuff.’

Georgia said the whole thing was ‘awful’, especially as she had to catch the spiders herself.

She said: ‘They were quite big spiders, maybe a little bigger than a 50p.

‘I chucked them out my bedroom window in tissues.’

A picture of Georgia in a polka dot dress
Georgia had to chuck the spiders out of the window (Picture: Jam Press)

People on Twitter described Georgia’s experience as being ‘the fear’ with one telling her to send the clothes back in case the spiders had laid eggs.

Luckily PrettyLittleThing dealt with the situation, offering both a full refund and replacing the clothes.

Georgia said: ‘I was happy with how they dealt with the situation and they’re one of my favourite shops so I do feel I would shop there again – hopefully it was a one off!!’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to PrettyLittleThing for comment and we will update this article if they reply.

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Asda unicorn sprinkler pool down from £18 to just £1.80

Intex Mystic Unicorn Inflatable Spray Pool
Not bad for less than the price of a coffee (Picture: Asda)

Although the heatwave has been on and off since last week, over the Bank Holiday we saw record temperatures reaching into the 30s.

Many of us were clutching our hand fans and wishing our bed sheets were made of ice. Not kids, though; they’re in their element during a heatwave.

If you have children you’ll know that all you need to do is plonk them in the garden with a bucket and a water gun and they’re set for the day.

Better yet, however, is a paddling pool, and even better still a unicorn paddling pool with a built-in sprinkler.

Asda’s offering was already an attractive prospect to spruce up your back garden and splash around, but even more so now they’ve knocked 90% off the price.

Intex Mystic Unicorn Inflatable Spray Pool
(Picture: Asda)

The Intex Mystic Unicorn Inflatable Spray Pool costs up to £29.99 in other stores, and was previously £18 at Asda.

Eagle-eyed bargain hunters managed to find it for a tiny £1.80, though, and understandably started to snap them up.

The pool is around 2.7 metres by 1.7 metres, and you can attach your garden hose to the sprayer for extra laughs.

It’s all sold out now on the Asda website, but commenters on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains group on Facebook say they’ve still been able to find them in store.

They will go fast – particularly now word is out – so get down to your local supermarket quick, or call first to check if they’re in stock.

If you do miss out, you can grab Tesco’s slightly larger unicorn paddling pool for £7.50, compared to the usual £30.

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Bride-to-be shames partner of eight years for ‘tiny’ ring he bought her

Bride shames fiance for tiny ring in social media post
This bride-to-be was not happy with this ring (Picture: Reddit)

There are lots of rules surrounding engagement rings – you have to spend three months’ salary (though that’s being ignored these days), rings have to be the right size, the right shape and so on.

Ignore these rules and you’ll feel the wrath of ring shamers.

Unfortunately for one fiancée, the person shaming him was his bride-to-be.

The woman who received a ‘tiny’ ting wasn’t pleased with her engagement jewellery and took to social media to slam the thing.

She wrote: ‘We been together for eight years and talking about getting married for almost three.

‘This is the ring he said he saved up to buy me. Am I being shady or materialistic if I tell this mf ion want this little a** ring?’

She accompanied the post with an image of the gold band, complete with a small diamond in the middle.

The image has been circulated on Reddit but has now been deleted from Twitter where it was originally posted.

Reactions to the fiancée’s message were mixed as some said the jewellery is ideal for ants while others loved the ‘modern’ look.

Bride shames fiance for tiny ring
The original post (Picture: Reddit)

In the critical camp, users didn’t hold back. One person wrote: ‘That is the saddest ring I’ve ever seen. I’m not a materialistic person, but it just doesn’t even look good. She should talk to him if she’s unhappy with it?’

‘I would not wear that ring, not because it’s small, but because it’s not my taste and I don’t want to look at it every day,’ said another.

Others worried about his spending habits, considering he saved up to purchase the item.

One person said: ‘Not gonna lie. I’d be more concerned about his “saving up” to buy something that little. Simply because it shows that a wedding is probably not in the budget.’

The bride’s admission got other couples wanting to start discussing the type of rings they want.

There were some who genuinely enjoyed the ring: ‘I kind of like her ring. It’s very modern and sleek looking. I’d wear that in a heart beat’.

While everyone has something to say when it comes to engagement rings, this one may not even be a real case.

As we say, the post has been deleted off Twitter but is now doing the rounds on Reddit – so it is possible that someone stole a picture of the hand and posted it online (people lying on social media? Imagine!).

Fake or not, the chances of you not liking your engagement ring may be very real. So what are you supposed to do?

What to do if you don’t like your engagement ring

Firstly, you might want to avoid posting on any forum or social media group slating the ring (your partner may be lurking).

Don’t forget that the person giving you the ring wants to be with you forever. You don’t want to start that with lies.

Be upfront – tell the person what you think, using affirmative words rather than being critical of their character. So rather than saying ‘I hate this ring’ or ‘you have no taste’, try something like ‘I think I’d prefer a ring like this, could we change it?’ or ‘thank you so much for the ring you chose, but it’s not quite my taste – could I help you pick out another.’

A bad ring doesn’t mean a bad partner – they might just need a little guidance.

If you think it’ll end in an argument, be tactical and prepare for it – what kind of an arguer is your partner?

Dating coach Hayley Quinn previously told Metro.co.uk that communication is important in being able to grow and improve in relationships.

‘Think of the relationship as a co-operative project you are working on,’ she explained. ‘None of us is perfect and to take stock of how you can improve is often more productive than hoping that your partner will change.’

If you really do hate the ring, wait until the grace period is over (perhaps 48 hours later) which is enough time to enjoy the good news but not so sudden as to be premature.

Have an honest chat about your budgets – you don’t want to be bankrupt after all, and a wedding is likely to follow soon, you’ll want to save for that too.

Ultimately, communication is the most important thing.

If all else fails, you could just learn to love it? Sorry.

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B&M releases bath bomb advent calendar and it’s £190 cheaper than the Lush version

The B&M advent calendar on a colourful background
It’s cocktail-themed (Picture: B&M/Getty)

Just a few days ago, Lush announced the arrival of its first-ever advent calendar, filled to the brim with fragrant, colourful and glittering bath bombs.

The calendar is very exclusive with only 500 up for grabs and will become available tomorrow (29 August).

Unfortunately, the 24-window advent calendar also comes with a price tag that isn’t all that lush – it costs £195.

If you don’t fancy spending that much on an advent calendar – or don’t manage to get your hands on one – but dream of festive baths throughout December, there’s another option to try out.

B&M has released a Christmas calendar too, and it comes at a fraction of the Lush price at just £5.

Cocktail lovers in particular will love this one, as the bath bombs are themed after various tipples.

Bask in tequila sunrise, cleanse your nose buds with minty mojito or dream of holidays past with strawberry daiquiri scents.

There is one significant difference between the two calendars; the B&M one only features 12 windows.

Then again, you can get 39 calendars for the same price as one from Lush, so there’s that.

‘The advent is the perfect choice if you love to relax in the bath at the end of a long day – as it’s filled to the brim with cocktail scented bath fizzers,’ said B&M.

‘So your bath water will be transformed into the sweet, citrus flavours of the classic tequila cocktail, or contain scents of the traditional light and refreshing mint Mojito – you’ll be wanting to drink your bath contents!’

The B&M bath calendar is already available and can be bought at any of the retailer’s stores.

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Should we ask our bosses for a mental health break every few months?

Image of a bedroom with an illustration of a person in a blue t-shirt and purple trousers sitting on top of the bed with their back turned to the reader
One in four of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetime (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

In the last month, several celebrities have announced that they are taking a break after an intense working period.

Ed Sheeran, who has just released a new album and finished a lengthy tour, will be taking 18 months off, while Love Island‘s Maura Higgins is taking time out from personal appearances at clubs – where she earns thousands of pounds each time – because she is ‘burnt out’.

While most of us probably can’t afford to take more than a year off work or give up projects that could see us walk away with a lot of money, we might well benefit from taking a well-earned break every couple of months.

Would our mental health benefit if our employers allowed a few weeks, or even a month, to unwind when we’re feeling stressed, in addition to our annual holiday days? It’s an interesting prospect.

The millennial workforce has already influenced businesses to offer flexible working in order to promote a healthy work/life balance.

There’s growing demand for it; 65% of office workers that don’t currently have the option of flexible working revealed they would be more productive if they had this option, according to a study by The Brew. One in four people also said it would let them manage their mental health and overall wellness better.

Perhaps a longer period of time off work is the next step.

Dr Paschos, a consultant psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health, tells Metro.co.uk that offering short-time sabbaticals could be a way to give employees a chance to reboot and appreciate their jobs more.

‘Our brains need both rest and stimulation to function optimally,’ Dr Paschos said.

‘Boredom from a repetitive sedentary job and mental tiredness can affect work performance, motivation, productivity and eventually the mental health, personal life and physical health.

‘Taking a break from work can be very advantageous, enabling the mind and body to recharge, refocus and can also inspire creativity. It also allows individuals to engage in hobbies and focus on personal goals.

‘Returning to work after a sabbatical or time out may even feel like starting a new job, returning feeling energised and motivated, with a fresh perspective and ready for new challenges.’

However, money isn’t the only obstacle to a mental health break.

‘Time out is a great solution!’ said Mel Pledger, a coaching expert and founder of the personal development programme, DNA Light Up.

‘The ability to kick back, relax, breathe, reconnect with what makes us feel good, enjoy nature, connect with friends and families… but how many of us can actually do that?

‘First off, how many of us have the opportunity to take time out from a pressurised job?

‘And secondly, even if we can take time out, how many of us feel so consumed with guilt about taking our foot off the gas, that we’ve forgotten how to enjoy ourselves and take the time to relax?’

Natalie, 30, believes that taking time off work could actually cause her more stress and is worried about how it would make her look to her superiors.

She said: ‘As much as I would value the odd day here and there to properly step away from the manic pace of work, I think I would definitely feel some guilt.

‘I would worry that I would miss out on important developments or opportunities.

‘There would also be a part of me that would worry that my bosses would think of it as a weakness. Like if I need to take these breaks, then maybe I’m not capable of taking on more responsibility.

‘I always like to give the impression that I can go above and beyond and cope with any amount of stress – so a mental health sabbatical might make me feel more anxious. I think that means that the culture of work and expectations would have to change dramatically to make this work.’

She’s not alone in these fears.

According to a poll by the charity Time to Change, which was released in 2017, only 13% felt comfortable talking about mental health problems in the workplace. Comparatively, 36% would be open to discussing any physical health concerns.

This figure is especially worrying when you consider that one in four people in the UK will suffer from mental health concerns in their lifetime.

Alex Lichtenfeld, the founder of the business development agency Client Matters, believes that although short-term sabbaticals can be helpful, it’s more important to look at the whole picture.

If the reason for your stress or anxiety is specifically caused by something in the workplace, a break will not magically resolve the problems. More often than not, you’ll simply fall back into this negative pattern when you return.

‘It is important for employees to consider the reasons behind wanting to take time off work, for example if they are finding work relationships challenging or a lack of good solid relationships are causing stress and anxiety, these issues will likely still be there upon returning to work after time off,’ she said.

‘In terms of taking scheduled breaks from work, some employers offer sabbaticals which often incentivises employees to work hard in order to “earn” that extended time off.

‘Surprisingly, many employees also do not use their full allocation of holiday time. Employees often claim work is too busy to take time off, and feel pressurised to work longer hours to deliver results. Holiday time is built into contracts for a reason, so employees should make sure they take it.’

The problem with asking employees to earn additional time off is that it doesn’t focus on the mental health problem.

If you’re already feeling burnt out, you’re unlikely to want to work harder so that you can look after yourself. In fact, there’s a risk that you may feel worse.

However, bear in mind that if your employer truly values your work, they will listen to your concerns and try to find a way to accommodate or help you.

This might not mean a full month off, but perhaps just a few days or a week, or even the option of working from home.

And if your workplace won’t help you, it may be time to move elsewhere.

The most important thing to remember is that your health – whether physical or mental – should take priority.

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Two ‘inseparable lovedogs’ are looking for their forever home after months in shelter

These pups are looking for a home
Can you give these two a home? (Picture: Support Adoption For Pets)

Two dogs so inseperable they have been dubbed ‘lovedogs’ are looking for their forever home.

Samir and Sabina have been in a rescue home together for over 200 days. They were found together cold and starving in a field and were saved by Doncaster’s pet rescue centre.

They were taken in by Tia Rescue in January after being found by a dog warden.

Their fur was thinning, their ribs were protruding, and they had sores all over their bodies.

Sabina and Samir are inseperable
They’re inseperable (Picture: Support Adoption For Pets)

But they kept each other going with their love and support for one another.

The ‘lovedogs’ are absolutely head over heels for each other and refuse to leave each other’s sides, doing absolutely everything together.

After seven months in the rescue centre, the pair are looking for a new owner.

The dogs are now healthy and happy, having put weight on and grown back their fur.

According to the rescue, they are the ‘perfect dogs’ and are super easy to look after.

The dogs together
They absolutely love each other (Picture: Support Adoption For Pets)

However, they are being picky about their new owner – as Samir and Sabina need lots of love and attention.

The rescue believes a retired couple would be perfect for the pups, but what’s most important is that they are kept together – so a loving family will also be suitable.

It’s heartbreaking seeing two lovely dogs who have so much love to give and have been through such a tough time in a rescue, when they deserve unconditional love and a place in a forever home.

If you think you could give Samira and Sabina your undivided love and attention, call the rescue on 01302 772935.

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The Royal Mint is right, Enid Blyton’s racism tarnished my childhood

Enid Blyton standing by her book case with a copy of her book
I know Blyton was a product of society, educated to think less of people of colour or anyone different to what she considered the norm to be (Picture: Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

When I think of Enid Blyton a picture of a golliwog emerges in my mind and I feel almost tearful.

While the Royal Mint’s decision to not produce a 50p coin with her on it – due to her racist and homophobic views – has been met with outrage, I applaud the decision.

You see, I was that six year old girl, arriving in a small Hertfordshire town in the late 1960s from Jamaica, taken to an almost all white school. It was there where I was introduced to Blyton for the first time and it is safe to say, she was a culture shock.

The children in my class thought the golliwogs in Enid Blyton’s books looked like me, the only black child in the class, bringing laughter from my teacher.

I knew the golliwog didn’t look like me – but it was extremely upsetting and uncomfortable that my little classmates thought that it did and that this was also okay with the teacher.

I know Blyton was a product of society, educated to think less of people of colour or anyone different to what she considered the norm to be. She came from a time where the majority of her peers accepted these beliefs. She was writing from a place of privilege, where her own experience showed her ignorance, lack of understanding and total disregard for other cultures.

Cover of the Famous Five story 'Five on a treasure island' by Enid Blyton. A survey has shown that children are reading more but that their choice of literature is dictated by what they see on television rather than reading the classics.
The six year old inside of me was never able to comfortably enjoy the Famous Five

As a black woman and an author, I’m attracted to writing books that represent me and my environment, books that will entertain my readers and bring them into the private and intimate lives of diverse characters.

A racist is a racist, racism is racism, no matter when it took place or who the perpetrator is or was

You hope they love the characters you create them to love, your protagonist, and loathe the antagonist. That’s exactly what Miss Blyton did – but it doesn’t mean that her prejudice shouldn’t be held to account now.

I hear Richard Madeley and all the other opinions that condemns the Royal Mint’s decision. I say, they have no idea of what this means for many children and people of colour; only the privilege that white skin gives can say, ‘don’t use 21st century ideals to judge 20th century work of art’.

I get it. I get that it’s pretty upsetting for the proud, heroic Great British Empire to be associated with anything that downgrades her greatness. But what the British Empire did historically, and how minority communities have been presented and represented in British literature, has had far reaching affects on non-white communities across generations.

Institutional racism is prevalent, alive and kicking but is always being justified, denied even. What perhaps the 21st century has highlighted is how unequal, unconcerned and unaware our society is, and that we can decide that a certain person shouldn’t be called a racist because they contributed to the development of an industry or our country. Again this is a privilege only given to certain sections of society.

The six year old inside of me was never able to comfortably enjoy the Famous Five when the teacher read it out in class. My little heart would beat so fast, because I kept thinking a golliwog was going to pop up in the story, and I would be laughed at again.

A racist is a racist, racism is racism, no matter when it took place or who the perpetrator is or was.

Racist’s works should never be celebrated, and I applaud the decision of the Royal Mint to think outside of the dominant elite culture of the privileged few (who seem to believe everything they think), and not to downplay racism or racist narrative.

MORE: To stop racism we need to rewrite our history books

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How anxiety affects your sex life

Illustration of naked couple in bed together
Are you having sex anxiety? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Anxiety disorders can be debilitating to the point they stop you from working, make it difficult to leave the house and social events can be overwhelming.

Not only is anxiety a mental illness but it can affect you physically, too, causing symptoms such as stomach aches, chest pains, heart palpitations and panic attacks.

And, of course, anxiety can affect your sex life.

Clinical Sexologist and Psychotherapist Catriona Boffard tells Metro.co.uk that sex issues with anxiety is very common.

She tells us: ‘I’d say that in almost all the clients I see, there is anxiety present and something that needs to be worked with.

‘Performance anxiety is most common, but anxiety relating to body or genital image, the relationship, work, family and more can all impact one’s experience of sex.’

Many of us can relate to this – perhaps we worry about how we look without our clothes on or whether we’re actually good in bed, or maybe we just have so much on our minds that sex is the last thing we can focus on.

While it does suck, it is totally normal – and these stressors can affect your ability to orgasm.

Illustration of two people lying in bed together
Anxiety can make your sex life difficult (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

So, why is this?

Catriona explains: ‘When the part of your brain responsible for telling us we’re anxious is activated (i.e. fight or flight response kicks in), it is not possible for the part of our brain which we need to work during sex, to be active.

‘So if you’re anxious, you will struggle with getting in the mood, getting an erection, getting lubricated and even achieving orgasm.’

Not being able to get erect or have an orgasm during sex can be frustrating for both parties involved – but it’s important that you don’t get frustrated at yourself, because this only piles on the pressure.

Lots of people have sex with the lights off
It’s important to talk to your partner and seek support (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Don’t try to force anything, because this will only increase your stress and make sex even more difficult.

But it is important to get to the root of the cause.

Catriona continues: ‘If anxiety is getting in the way of your sex life, the most important thing is to recognise it and not avoid it.

‘We avoid things when we’re anxious and this unfortunately won’t help at all.

‘Things that really help anxiety overall include mindfulness (which could be practiced on your own – all about compassion and present moment awareness), talking to your partner about your anxieties, getting support from a professional, like a psychologist or counsellor, managing stress better and exercising more.

‘If you notice the anxiety only comes up during sex, then talk openly to your partner about it – because its very common for partner’s to think it’s something regarding them – and seek help and support from a psychosexual therapist.’

It is important to know that your sex life won’t be like this forever, you just need help with controlling your anxiety during these moments.

So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, don’t feel angry at yourself or guilty, and accept that you’re dealing with something that means you need some support. That’s completely okay.

Once you start dealing with it and get the right support for you, you’ll soon be back to enjoying sex once again.

Orgasms are worth the extra help, right?

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Are finstas and hidden accounts the answer to pressure to be perfect online?

Illustration saying 'are you sure you want to delete?'
Do you delete posts because you second guess them too much? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

Just before I tweeted something banal, I found myself Googling the word ‘bleak’. I knew what it meant, but I was struck with panic: Had I used it incorrectly in the context of the tweet? Has the definition changed? Have I been using it wrong my whole life?

This attitude is symptomatic of a wider issue with anyone online – striving to be perfect. Or more accurately, not wanting to be called out for a mistake or a tone-deaf post.

It’s one of the reasons so many users have been urging Twitter to allow an edit button – to be able to filter out errors in spelling, grammar and inappropriate sentiments – despite all the problems this would pose.

We’ve become fixated on presenting a clean-cut, politically correct and constantly alert version of ourselves online, thanks to call-out culture, the potential for our mistakes to be spread and shamed and the real-life ramifications a poorly worded social media post can pose.

We know that one bad tweet can cut us off from opportunities, see us face months of abuse, or ruin our lives.

Famous people and those in positions of power are held to strict standards. They can be judged for tweets from years prior or picked apart for a spelling mistake in a hastily written post.

But while it makes sense for those with major influence to be held to account, many of us set the bar just as high for ourselves, feeling immense pressure to be unproblematic, free of any errors, and to fit everything we post into our manufactured ‘personal brand’.

Think of how often you may have deleted a post because you second-guessed it too much. Is it too controversial, too lewd, too uninformed?

How many times have you felt the niggling need to go back through all your old posts, just in case you were unknowingly offensive?

We’re afraid of looking stupid. And it’s not just with typos, it’s a fear of using the wrong word, problematic terminology, steering from socially acceptable personas, or posting something that could be misinterpreted or used against us.

There’s an immense pressure to be perfect online, from fitting essay-level sentiments that are inclusive, typo-free, and woke into 280 characters to artful selfies that can only remain on the grid should they receive enough likes.

To counteract this pressure to get everything right, some people have resorted to secondary social media accounts such as finstas – fake Instagrams – and locked Twitter accounts only accessible to a select few.

Tony, who says social media elicits a pressure to be beautiful and charming, has a finsta.

‘I started my finsta after I caught my friend posting on hers and I thought it looked funny,’ he tells Metro.co.uk.

‘It’s the perfect place to take the piss out of Instagram culture and not worry about the anxiety over likes and validation. My finsta has 37 followers and they are all close friends of mine and so I don’t care about looking like an idiot.’

Could fake or private accounts be the solution to the pressure to be perfect online?

‘One of the reasons we aspire for perfection is to gain social capital,’ says psychologist Max Blumberg.

‘We understand ourselves by comparing to the behaviour of other people.

‘Putting up a level of perfection is about acquiring social status. It makes us feel less alone if we achieve this.

‘We love to delete evidence of our mistakes even when it’s as small as a spelling error because humans have a need to present themselves as perfect (whether to make friends, partners, be more likeable).’

Max says some are more prone to caring about their image than others.

‘Parents have a lot to do with it,’ he explains. ‘They need to give unconditional acceptance to their children so they don’t feel like they’re not good enough.

‘Children learn to strive for perfection for acceptance from their parents. People who do not like making mistakes on social media have low self-esteem and it also stems from not having been good enough for your parents.

‘It’s almost like hearing your mother’s voice ask you what you’re doing.

‘Competing for social status is a must-have for everyone hoping to go up the social ladder. If you’re going to make lots of mistakes, you’re not going to progress.

‘But what separates the top tier of those who have good social status to the intermediate and lower are other factors like looks, wit, the company they keep. Everyone aspires to be on that level (subconsciously or not).’

Professor Blumberg warns that chasing the level of perfection can be detrimental if you’re constantly inauthentic. Being too invested in the social ladder may make you less happy, he warns.

Zara Patel isn’t keen on uploading a polished version of herself online. She has a finsta to show her unfiltered self which contradicts her family and professional life.

‘My issue with social media came when my family began following me,’ she admitted to Metro.co.uk.

‘Since then I don’t post anything seemingly controversial. My family is very religious and conservative.

‘Tired of bringing “shame” upon my family, I created a finsta. Everything you can imagine is on there.’

Zara is very careful with who she lets in. Her colleagues or distant friends do not know about the account. As a result she can say and do what she wants without fear of judgement.

‘It’s wonderful. I’ve created a small private village on a social media platform,’ she adds. ‘It feels as though I’m having 12 conversations all at once. Keeping up with friends is much more fulfilling when I can present my genuine self to those I love.’

Zara even uses polls to let her small circle of followers decide her life decisions. It might mean bad advice about an ex or an ill-advised haircut, but she’s not afraid to look unpolished.

Having a finsta or a second secret social media account isn’t just about being free of social constraints that prohibit problematic language. It’s about the freedom to look silly, whimsical, vulnerable. You can be a basic b*tch without judgement. Most of all, it’s a space where you’re allowed to grow and learn as you go without everything you post remaining publicly available.

In 21st-century cancel culture, it’s easy to ruthlessly dismiss those whose personal politics are messy and not aligned with ‘wokeness’. We expect everyone to just be socially conscious.

But no one arrives at wokeness without work. It’s a learning process.

That’s not to say problematic (read: offensive) language should be celebrated or embraced, or that we should unthinkingly post online – but our own self-editing process may mean we hold back and feel restricted as a result.

Sarah says people are too quick to judge the things we post, and often finds herself staying silent.

‘People online are too ready to be aggressive and call people out brutally instead of inquiring into what they meant by a comment,’ she says.

‘Sometimes I feel like it’s not worth posting because on some topics no matter what you say someone is going to pick a hole in it.

‘It’s sad we are not more kind to each other online and it’s sad that we are not more resilient.’

Instead of a knee-jerk reaction to cancel people who err in these areas, perhaps we could practise empathy and understanding and teach without virtue-signalling.

In this way, we may create healthier online habits. Because let’s face it, we’re never getting that edit button on Twitter. Maybe that’s a good thing.

But while we wait for the internet to become a kinder place, having a throwaway account where you can post freely – alongside your ‘official’ one where everything is curated – might be a solution.

It can be easy to say ‘just don’t post’, but these days this is not always a feasible option. An active online presence keeps you in the know, connects you to many different voices, offers conversation-starters, and can be required for work purposes.

It makes sense that just as we have our ‘professional selves’ and outside-of-work selves, we have a public-facing online character and a space where we can be freely ourselves.

With the latter, you can curate your your following and know you won’t be judged for using the wrong word.

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Amazing Twitter thread shows the hypocrisy of what we expect from the rich and poor

Thread shows hypocrisy in how we treat rich and poor people
The rich/poor divide is still around (Picture: Getty)

With the amount of news pundits on TV telling us that poor people spend all their money on TVs and iPhones, it’s understandable that understanding of real poverty is limited.

A divide is created between the haves and have-nots, with certain people with money unhappy that joy isn’t all theirs to hog.

Because, if you can blame someone else for their situation, it’s a lot easier to stomach that bad things happen, rather than acknowledging that the world can be very, very unfair.

This divide – and the double standards that go along with it – was what Twitter user Lucy was thinking about when she asked her followers: ‘What’s one thing that’s seen as allowed/ok/not a problem if you’re already rich but controversial/wrong if you’re poor?’

When she did, the answers came in thick and fast.

The answers that people sent in exposed the reality of how society views people based on how much money they make. If somebody who’s already wealthy chooses to take time for themselves, it’s empowering. When a poorer person does this, however, they’re seen as workshy or weak-willed.

Drinking and drugs came up consistently – with the idea being that, for the rich it’s all a big jolly-up, but a worrying way to be for the poor. Law-breaking was also a constant, which likely stems from how we see famous people treated when they’re arrested compared to the average person.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Lucy says: ‘I’ve noticed a real rise in animosity towards the poor under the current government, it’s always been there but lately just like with racism it’s becoming more apparent, people are becoming bolder with their cruel opinions and views, it’s a real hostile environment.

‘I’d tweeted earlier in the day about the poor being entitled to little luxuries and someone showed me a reddit post about the disparity between rich and poor, what’s acceptable for them but not us so I put it to Twitter.’

‘My favourites,’ said Lucy, ‘are probably surrounding drug use – particularly cocaine and weed. Boho for the rich to roll a fat one, but the poor are druggy wastrels etc.’

She adds: ‘The necessity of smart phones is something that the wealthy appear to not understand and begrudge the skint having, despite them being required to find and hold down employment.’

The cycle of poverty is already soul-crushing for those trapped in it, and adding enjoyment to life is a necessity for anyone – particularly when it’s in the form of something like a television or phone that can be kept and used for multiple purposes.

It’s a great wake-up call to those who judge, with the message being that we have no idea what people’s lives are like behind closed doors. This judgement and prejudice only serves to entrench long-held and wrong beliefs.

As Lucy says: ‘If we’re told were shit often enough that’s what we become and, likewise, if all our bad behaviour is excused, we’ll go through life believing we’re untouchable and superior.’

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Woman says ‘miracle’£7.99 cream saves her from the pain of severe eczema

Amy has praised a miracle cream costing just £7.99 for soothing her eczema
Amy has praised a £7.99 cream for soothing her eczema (Picture: Jannica Honey Photography/PA Real Life)

One of Amy Roberts’ earliest memories is of being swaddled in cream-covered bandages to soothe her irritated skin.

Amy, 24, was has faced severe eczema for years but says she’s finally found some relief – in the form of a £7.99 cream.

Amy, of Glasgow, had tried 30 different prescribed lotions, including steroid creams, with little effect on her angry, itchy, and cracked skin, before finding Balmonds Skin Salvation cream, which costs £7.99 for 30ml.

After reading reviews that claimed the balm was good for eczema, the nursery worker decided to give it a go – and was blown away by the results.

Following use of the balm for two weeks, Amy said people commented on how much better she looked, and she felt a significant drop in the pain of her skin.

‘My skin completely changed,’ said Amy. ‘It stopped feeling fiery, stopped flaking and people even started to compliment me – telling me my skin looked really nice.’

Amy before using the cream
Amy before using the cream (Picture: PA Real Life)

The cream is made of hemp, beeswax, olive and sunflower oils, which Amy says has soothed her dry and cracked skin.

It won’t work for everyone and definitely isn’t a magical perfect-for-all cure, but the cream might be worth a try for anyone whose skin needs soothing.

For Amy, it’s a ‘miracle’ to find something that works after years of pain.

‘I suppose I isolated myself, especially at High School, because I knew I was different and felt self-conscious about my eczema,’ she said.

‘I remember other children not wanting to hold my hands, because my skin was so dry and cracked.

‘I didn’t have the power or support of social media, from other eczema sufferers sharing their stories, so it was very isolating.’

Amy's eczema made her skin feel like it was on fire
Amy’s eczema made her skin feel like it was on fire (Picture: PA Real Life)

With eczema flare-ups sometimes covering her whole body, Amy’s eczema without the cream feels like it’s on fire.

‘My skin will feel like it is burning’” she said. ‘Sometimes it’s been so bad that only a very hot shower has relieved the pain.’

She discovered the cream after visiting Glasgow’s Health and Allergy Show, following tests that revealed she was ‘allergic to just about every known allergen’.

She found the Balmonds cream among the products on offer and decided to give it a go.

‘It was amazing,’ she said. ‘After a few weeks, my skin was feeling much better.’

Amy has no plans to go back to her prescribed creams.

‘I can see where I’ve used those prescribed creams, on my hands and around my eyes,’ she says. ‘The skin there is definitely thinner, so now I try really hard not to use steroids and to find other treatments.

‘I just don’t want to use the prescribed creams anymore.

‘I used to think the doctor must always be right, but now I realise I can find some great treatments, if I go out and look for them myself.’

Amy has found support in her battle with eczema online. Now she’s found something that helps, she’s started an Instagram page to share her story – and to encourage other people to not feel ashamed of their skin.

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Why do people like hate sex and is it healthy?

An illustration of two people, a man and a woman, arguing
You might hate them, they might hate you or you might both hate each other (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Ever had mind-blowing sex with someone you despise?

The theory is that the experience, known as hate sex, is so intense because of the disgust you feel towards the other person.

Your anger is translated into passion, which then transforms to a steamy session between the sheets.

Hate is a strong word and the level of resentment you feel towards your ‘hate sex partner’ may not actually be all that deep. It might just be an annoying colleague that you don’t like very much or an acquaintance who always manages to get under your skin.

Most often, people seem to mention hate sex in relation to exes. Perhaps you had a messy break-up that left you with a jumble of feelings. You might not love them anymore and their breathing may be enough to piss you off, but that doesn’t mean that the idea of getting freaky isn’t appealing.

However, the important question isn’t who we’re having hate sex with but rather, why do we like it so much?

What is hate sex?

According to professor Craig Jackson from Birmingham City University, hate sex is an ambiguous term and refers to a myriad of scenarios.

You might hate the other person, they might hate you or you might hate each other.

‘Some people think “hate sex” is a unilateral act, referring to one partner actively disliking the other person, and the sex takes on a form of micro-aggression and even retaliation and revenge,’ he said.

‘For others, “hate sex” is a shared experience where both partners may have a dislike for each other, whatever the source, yet still consent to sex, with the antagonism and tension between the two partners seemingly making things more zesty and spicy for both. It’s a collaboration.

‘Whatever the application of the term “hate sex” it clearly involves at least one person having negative feelings to the other and wanting to act out those negatives in a physical yet intimate way.’

Do bear in mind that while hate sex may take an aggressive form, like all other types of sex, it still needs to be fully consensual.

Why do we like hate sex so much?

‘When talking about sex and relationships we understand that the opposite of love is not hate, that it is ambivalence,’ Kate Moyle, sex expert at Lelo, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Hate sex, in short, is sex with someone you hate which can still be very passionate and for some people can offer a way of expressing emotions towards one another. The experience of arousal and adrenaline can make us feel charged up, which can be channelled into sex.

‘The reason that people may have this type of sex is unique to their individual context and situation, as will whether it feels good or bad for them afterward.

‘Although it may offer a very intense experience it won’t necessarily help the situation or change anything between two people, and it may feel confusing if you feel close to that person in the post-sex lull.’

There’s also a bit of science at play. When we’re attracted to someone our brain sends three chemicals – also known as neurotransmitters – to our nerve cells, according to a study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

Each of these chemicals has a different function:

  • Adrenaline: released when we feel stressed, excited or afraid
  • Serotonin: improves wellness and makes us feel happy
  • Dopamine: known as the feel good hormone

Here’s the interesting part; this is a purely biological reaction, meaning it doesn’t just happen for people you like.

When you’re angry, adrenaline is released in your body, which could partly explain why you fancy Brian from HR who is a bit of a dick or your annoying neighbour Nina who constantly tells you to keep the noise down.

However, while the myth is that hate sex is fantastic, that isn’t always the case.

‘I was going out with this girl and had every intention of breaking it off,’ said Peter*, 28.

‘Despite being completely fed up with her company, I went out with her for drinks one more time and we ended up having hate sex afterwards.

‘It was OK, but the thing is I was still mad about her behaviour and was more put off than I realised.

‘Still, I really just wanted to show her how good I was and the anger helped.

‘Not sure if she knew it was hate sex, but it definitely was for me.’

Is hate sex healthy?

Pam Custers, a Counselling Directory member who runs a psychotherapy practice and specialises in relationship issues and couples counselling, says that hate sex isn’t good for you.

‘While it may be dressed up as finding someone you despise as sexually attractive, it is abusive,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Dominating through sex is not intimacy, nor is it mutually respectful.’

Pam also differentiates between make-up sex and hate sex, and explains that the former can rekindle a flame and is ‘underpinned by love’ – while the latter is not.

However, not all experts agree.

Professor Jackson points out that hate sex can allow people to show a different side to themselves, such as calling their partner names or treating them in a way that they never would outside of the bedroom.

He also links hate sex back to a theory presented by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis.

‘…Freud believed that it was perfectly healthy to have negative feelings such as envy, hate, anger, jealousy, annoyance about everyone, including the people we like, are attracted to, or those we even love,’ said professor Jackson.

‘Sex, especially “hate sex” is an acceptable format to allow these emotions and feelings out. What would be unhealthy, Freud contested, would be to not let those emotions out but to suppress them.

‘So in short, many relationship experts would say that “hate sex” is a safe way to let off steam. Perhaps it is about being honest about one’s feelings.’

There is no clear-cut answer on whether it’s healthy to engage in hate sex, because like most other sexual emotions, it’s very individual.

However, there are certain risks.

Having sex with someone you don’t like or don’t respect could cause you to feel negatively about yourself. If you’re not the person who is angry or ‘hateful’, the experience might not give you the mental or physical satisfaction that you want, either.

Your sex life is yours to enjoy, and if hate sex is something you like, then by all means go for it.

Just remember to check in with your own feelings to make sure it’s what you really want.

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Toddler ruins perfect family photo shoot by running into a muddy river

Pic By Jasmine Tamlin / CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: Lincoln Mizzles in mud. ) - A naughty toddler interrupted his family's photoshoot by diving shoulder-deep into a muddy lake. Two-year-old Lincoln Mizzles, from Flint, Texas, became bored of the summertime photoshoot his family was having on July 23 with photographer Jasmine Tamlin, and decided to add some action to it. Flint ran away from mum and dad and jumped inside a muddy lake, spattering his clothes with mud and bringing the session to a sudden end. Dad Matthew, 24, had to dive in the lake himself to bring the naughty boy back to shore. - SEE CATERS COPY
Little Lincoln attempted to swim to freedom. (Picture:Caters News Agency)

We all want to capture precious family moments. Everyone looking picture-perfect in their best clothes for a photo that can take pride of place on the mantelpiece for years to come.

The only problem is that family life is rarely picture-perfect. Particularly when a two-year-old is involved.

One family showcased this in dramatic fashion as their idyllic photo shoot took a turn when one of the youngest members of the family broke away from the pack and launched himself into the nearby muddy river.

Matthew and Haleigh Mizzles, from Flint, Texas, paid for a professional photographer to take some precious pics of their clan, but two-year-old Lincoln ruined the dreamy, forest aesthetic by wading out into the water – up to his neck.

Dad Matthew had to follow him and fish him out, caking his beige chinos in mud in the process. What a nightmare.

Pic By Jasmine Tamlin / CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: Mizzles family. ) - A naughty toddler interrupted his family's photoshoot by diving shoulder-deep into a muddy lake. Two-year-old Lincoln Mizzles, from Flint, Texas, became bored of the summertime photoshoot his family was having on July 23 with photographer Jasmine Tamlin, and decided to add some action to it. Flint ran away from mum and dad and jumped inside a muddy lake, spattering his clothes with mud and bringing the session to a sudden end. Dad Matthew, 24, had to dive in the lake himself to bring the naughty boy back to shore. - SEE CATERS COPY
At least they got one nice shot before the … incident. (Picture:Caters News Agency)

Luckily, photographer Jasmine Tamlin kept shooting to capture the entire debacle – a window into what life is really like with a two-year-old.

‘Me and Matthew wanted to get a few shots alone so we had placed our children on a nearby mat, but still in view,’ said Haleigh.

Pic By Jasmine Tamlin / CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: Haleigh and Lincoln Mizzles ) - A naughty toddler interrupted his family's photoshoot by diving shoulder-deep into a muddy lake. Two-year-old Lincoln Mizzles, from Flint, Texas, became bored of the summertime photoshoot his family was having on July 23 with photographer Jasmine Tamlin, and decided to add some action to it. Flint ran away from mum and dad and jumped inside a muddy lake, spattering his clothes with mud and bringing the session to a sudden end. Dad Matthew, 24, had to dive in the lake himself to bring the naughty boy back to shore. - SEE CATERS COPY
The aftermath was not pretty. (Picture:Caters News Agency)

‘We then noticed Lincoln running towards the water, so we chased after him.

‘He just beat us and dad had to jump in after him. The photo shoot was immediately over after that.’

Don’t worry Lincoln, we probably would have made a bid for freedom too.

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OAPs with dementia find new lease of life with silent discos at care home

The elderly people at the care home
Cathie Leggate, left, with Gillian (r) and her mother-in-law Reta Machaffie (middle) at the Ya Dancer silent disco in Jordanhill Care Home (Picture: Newsquest/SWNS)

Dementia sufferers have found a new lease of life with a silent disco which gets them dancing and singing to their favourite bops – including Beatles hits and Scottish folk music.

OAPs with dementia in hospitals and care homes across Glasgow are putting on headphones and finding that hits from their youth are sparking memories and bringing them ‘back to normality’ – if only briefly.

Silent disco organiser Gillian Machaffie, 52, was inspired to take music into care homes after watching the effect it had on her own mother-in-law, Reta, 87, who has the illness.

Gillian was stunned to see her mother-in-law start dancing and singing, and says science backs up the anecdotal evidence she has seen on her visits.

Around 20 songs are played over a 90-minute session, and Gillian says The Beatles and Elvis often spark recognition – as well as Scottish folk music.

Gillian said: ‘People come back to life – conversation becomes more fluid.

‘I started doing trial ones, going round some of the care homes.

‘We noticed when we held a silent disco at my mother-in-law’s care home she got up to dance and sing and it was a distraction from her anxious thoughts and confusion.

‘She becomes more relaxed and gets swept up in the experience.

‘Music switches on the pathways in the brain that aren’t otherwise accessible.

‘For a person with dementia who is confused and anxious studies show that music will bring them back to a place of normality.’

The OAPs with their headphones on
They’ve all had so much fun at the silent disco! (Picture: Newsquest/SWNS)

The mum-of-one gave up a career running children’s nurseries to spend more time in Australia, where her daughter lives, which is where she came across silent discos and read research linking music with alleviating dementia.

And she set up her silent disco company, Ya Dancer, in 2017 after organising one for her own 50th birthday.

But she quickly realised that as well as putting on events for parties, the silent discos could help people in other ways.

The idea has proved so successful that she has visited hospitals including the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Dykebar Hospital in Paisley, Renfrewshire, and the dementia cafe at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

On one occasion, the daughter of a dementia patient was so moved by the effect the silent disco had on her dad that she invited Gillian back to the hospital to organise another one, for his 80th birthday.

So far, The Beatles’ Hey Jude is very popular with the residents, and Scottish singer Andy Stewart is another favourite.

Gillian says that sometimes, watching the effect the music has on the residents can bring her to tears.

Gillian, from East Dunbartonshire, said: ‘People put the music on and their faces light up, they’re clapping their hands and singing.

‘So for me watching it, it’s really enjoyable.

‘What gets me the most is watching families cry as they watch their lost loved ones return to their former selves through dancing, singing and feeling really happy.

‘One couple that were both in the home were singing to each other for an hour and a half.

‘It was very heartwarming.

‘They’re waving their hands and singing and you can see their eyes twinkling again.

‘It might be one of the only times they have strong memories come through.

‘With the headphones on they’re immersed in the music and there’s no distractions.

‘The music taps into a different part of their brains and the feel good factor is really high.’

Rosemary Walker, who runs David Cargill House where Gillian holds discos, said: ‘We noticed that people who don’t normally get involved participate because it’s so fun.

‘Residents have their own playlists and this brings lots of evocative memories and they feel special.

‘Staff love it too.’

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How to open a bottle of champagne and protect your eyes

Cork of a champagne bottle being opened
Surprisingly dangerous (Picture: Getty)

Opening a bottle of fizz is already hard enough, given everyone is watching and there’s chance of it fizzing it all over you.

However, it can also be dangerous, as former Love Islander Theo Campbell found out this week.

The former Team GB athlete had an accident with a bottle of champagne, with the cork hitting his eye and – as the star claimed in an Instagram post – ‘split it in half’.

He had bent down in a club while someone was popping a bottle, and it hit him in the eye. In a later tweet, Theo stated: ‘I currently have 7 stitches in my eye (gross) and the doctors say it’s unlikely I’ll see properly again, they done a good job saving it as they said I might loose my whole eye to begin with. But I’m hopeful and don’t want to believe my eye is gone forever. Anything is possible.’

Although it appears to be a freak accident, it’s one that could happen to anyone. There are ways to be extra careful, however.

Theo Campbell told he would lose his eye completely
Theo’s girlfriend Kaz Crossley has been staying with him in hospital (Picture: Theo Campbell/Instagram)

How to safely open champagne

Champagne corks can fly out of a bottle at roughly 80 kilometres per hour, so the first thing to do is reduce the pressure in the bottle by chilling it. That’ll make the cork less likely to force itself out.

Then, once you’re taking the bottle out, make sure that the top isn’t pointed towards anyone (or any priceless heirlooms for that matter). Try to keep the palm of your hand on it, too, as you remove the wire cage.

To keep things even more secure, you can wrap a towel around the bottle for grip.

From there, you’ll need to twist the bottle while holding the cork, and apply gentle pressure on the cork as it slides out. This stops it from firing right out of its own accord.

In general, as long as you’re mindful of the other people in the room, you should be fine. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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Hotel suite features two styles to save couples from arguing over decor

The stunning suite
The suite has been split into two (Picture: Hotels.com/SWNS.COM)

Katy Perry’s stylist has helped create a luxury hotel suite to help couples who can’t agree when booking a room.

Each half of the suite is decorated differently to appease both partners, with it having been described as ‘the perfect compromise’ for couples with drastically different preferences.

Johnny Wujek, who is behind some of Katy Perry’s most memorable looks, teamed up with fellow stylist Kaitlyn Ham to create the room.

The pair were recruited by Hotels.com to style the room in London’s The Curtain.

Johnny's half of the suite
It’s super fancy (Picture: Hotels.com/SWNS.COM)

The ‘So Extra So Chic’ suite, which is available from 30 September for £250 a night, is split right down the middle and features Johnny’s ‘maximalist’ decor on one side and the minimalist style of Kaitlyn on the other.

Johnny’s extravagant ‘So Extra’ half of the suite features golden ornaments, monkey lamps and a luminescent mini bar.

This side has also been accessorised with clashing prints, colourful rugs and dazzling wallpaper.

Johnny said: ‘I wanted my side of the room to feel exciting and “extra” but also comfy and cosy.

The half and half suite
Kaitlyn’s side is more minimalist (Picture: Hotels.com/SWNS.COM)

‘It’s a touch of overgrown Great Expectations with a dash of California casual.

‘Style is all about self-expression and, clearly, I have a lot to express.

‘Baby, you better stand out in this world.’

In contrast, Kaitlyn’s ‘So Chic’ half includes a statement white leather lounge chair, bespoke line-drawing art, decor pieces in muted tones and a plush wool throw.

She said: ‘I took inspiration from modern mid-century design to create a space that feels open and calming.

‘All the pieces were chosen for their style and functionality with a focus on quality.

‘The space should feel modern and light, yet have an inviting warmth that makes it feel like home.’

The minimalist side of the suite
Would you stay here? (Picture: Hotels.com/SWNS.COM)

The creation of the one of a kind room follows international research also commissioned by Hotels.com into different tastes when it comes to planning a holiday.

A fifth of the 300 Brits polled in a 7,200 person study would choose a luxury hotel styled with gold, marble and velvet – if money was no object.

In contrast, just 8% would opt for a simple ‘shabby chic’ according to the research carried out through OnePoll.

It also emerged those polled would like see their hotel rooms include a free-standing bath, a walk-in wardrobe and ‘incredible’ lighting.

Liz Oakman, senior director and general manager EMEA, from Hotels.com said: ‘No matter if it’s shades of grey or an explosion of patterns, we love that people want to stand out with their unique style even when they travel.

‘At Hotels.com, we’re all about trying new things, so with the So Extra So Chic suite, style-loving travellers out there can experience both ends of the minimal, maximal spectrum.

‘Now all that’s left is picking which side of the bed you’re on.’

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Jam should be applied to scones before cream, so say the majority

scones with jam first then cream
According to the majority of Brits, these are correct (Picture: Getty)

There’s one subject that divides Brits, and it’s nothing to do with Brexit.

Scones remain a major area of contention, from how to pronounce them (are you team rhymes with stone or gone?) to the all important question: what goes on first, cream or jam?

Many have attempted to settle this debate once and for all, to no avail.

In Cornwall, the preference is to put jam on the scone first, topped with plenty of clotted cream. In Devon, it’s the reverse, cream first, then jam.

A former royal chef for the Queen declared that at Buckingham palace it’s always jam first. Bakers at Bettys tea room say there’s no hard and fast rule.

But if we’re going with majority rules, it’s official: jam should be spread on scones before cream.*

*Just on a personal note, I strongly disagree with this and refuse to accept this ruling. I shall put cream first ’til the day I die.

A survey of 2,000 Britons from around the country found that 52% believe jam should be spread before cream.

Just 25% believe cream should go first while a further 19% say they don’t care either way.

We reckon that 19% could be convinced that cream should go first, but even then Devon style scone lovers wouldn’t have the majority. Sorry, all.

While you mourn the British public’s eating habits, you might also be saddened to know that the survey found most people think scone should rhyme with ‘gone’.

56% of those surveyed rhymed ‘scone’ with ‘gone’, while 44% rhymed it with ‘stone’.

This is one of those horrible moments when you realise you’re in the minority, look around at the country in which you live but do not recognise, and feel completely disillusioned.

These findings are all from a survey carried out on behalf of Village Hotel Club, who also found that the ideal afternoon tea is taken outside at 3pm on a summer’s day, and that the best sandwich for the occasion is egg and cress, followed by classic cucumber then smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Don’t be too upset by all this. In the comfort of your own home you can talk about and prepare a scone however you please. No one will be there to judge you. Cream first on a scone that rhymes with stone all the way.

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