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    Mum Nearly Dies Of Allergic Shock After Munching Mouldy McDonald’s Burger

    A MUM has told how she went into anaphylactic shock and could have died after biting into a mouldy McDonald’s burger bun.

    Shanie Granfield, 23, who is allergic to penicillin, was left gasping for air with a swollen face after biting into a South African stack burger.

     Shanie Granfield had taken one bite of the 'mouldy' South African stack burger before having an allergic reaction
    Shanie Granfield had taken one bite of the ‘mouldy’ South African stack burger before having an allergic reaction
    The bar manager had no epi-pen with her and panicked she would drop dead in front of her four children after chewing the rotten bread bun.

    She downed six antihistamine in the hope of unblocking her throat and an ambulance was rushed to the scene.

    Paramedics hooked Shanie up to monitors fearing the extreme allergic reaction could stop her heart.

    The medics eventually gave the mum the all-clear but warned it would take her weeks to regain full strength after the harrowing near miss.

     The mum-of-four thought she would drop dead in front of her children after leaving her epi-pen at home
    The mum-of-four thought she would drop dead in front of her children after leaving her epi-pen at home
    Shanie said: “I didn’t notice anything when I first bit into the burger – but then I realised I was going into shock and started to panic.

    “I looked down and saw the mould on the burger bun, which is a weak form of penicillin. I knew I was allergic and a bad enough reaction could kill me.

    “All I could think about was my children who were terrified at seeing what was happening to their mum.

    “My lips started swelling, my face was burning and itching and I started struggling to breathe. I knew if I didn’t do something that could be it.

     Shanie Granfield was terrified when she noticed the mould in the bun as it is a weak form of penicillin
    Shanie Granfield was terrified when she noticed the mould in the bun as it is a weak form of penicillin
    “I called my partner and he ran to the garage for a packet of Piriton. I was so worried I just took them all.

    “With anaphylaxis I knew my whole body could shut down within five minutes.

    “I called the NHS line and they sent an ambulance straight away.

    Mum-of-four Shanie said: “It was there by 6pm and they strapped me to an ECG heart machine and checked my blood pressure and blood sugar.

     The mum-of-four, 23, had taken her four children to McDonald's as a treat when she went into anaphylactic shock
    The mum-of-four, 23, had taken her four children to McDonald’s as a treat when she went into anaphylactic shock

    “It was awful for the children to see. They were in pieces. That’s not what you call a ‘happy meal’.”

    Shanie called McDonald’s the following day and a week later received an apology with £50 of shop vouchers.

    But the disgusted say they want a personal apology and assurances that they will bolster their processes to make sure it doesn’t happen again in any of their branches.

    A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry to hear about Ms Granfield’s experience.

     Shanie was disgusted by McDonald's initial apology as they just sent her £50 in vouchers
    Shanie was disgusted by McDonald’s initial apology as they just sent her £50 in vouchers

    “Food quality and safety are of the utmost importance to us and we place great emphasis on quality control, following rigorous standards in order to avoid any imperfections.

    “It seems that on this occasion we didn’t meet those standards.

    “As soon as this matter was brought to our attention, the restaurant team launched an internal investigation and found no other products were affected.

    “As a precaution, all other burger buns with the same expiry date were removed from the kitchen.

     McDonald's spokeswoman said all other burger buns in that particular branch were removed as a precaution
    McDonald’s spokeswoman said all other burger buns in that particular branch were removed as a precaution
    “The restaurant team apologised to Ms Granfield and offered shopping vouchers as a gesture of goodwill.

    “We hope to welcome her back into the restaurant soon.”

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    Mum Refused Sale Of Alcohol Because She Was With 17-Year-Old Daughter

    A mum has slammed Tesco after they refused to sell her wine because her 17-year-old daughter was with her – forcing the supermarket to apologise for being ‘over zealous’.

    Catherine O’Callaghan, 47, claims the cashier waited until she had unloaded all her shopping at the check-out at the Halifax branch of Tesco before asking if daughter Niamh had ID, which she didn’t.

    The mother was so enraged that she abandoned the rest of her shopping because she couldn’t buy the bottle of rosé.

    The ’embarrassed’ mum complained to customer services where she was allegedly told it was the cashier’s ‘first day’, but that it was ‘company policy’ to ask for ID if people appeared under the age of 25.

    Credit: Mercury Press

    Catherine was so unhappy with the outcome that she went to Morrison’s the next day to finish her shop – and has slammed Tesco over their ‘silly’ decision.

    Tesco have since admitted it was not their intention to ’cause offence’ and were sorry if their approach was ‘over-zealous’, but maintained their reasons were in line with the Think 25 policy.

    Catherine, Halifax, Yorks, said: “I felt so embarrassed. I just left my shopping on the till and took my four bags for life with me.

    “It’s political correctness gone mad. That bottle of rosé was nearly the last item to be scanned and I had to abandon the whole shop.

    “So, what are they saying, I can’t buy alcohol just because I’m with a 17-year-old? It just doesn’t make sense to ban parents just because they’re with a child.

    Credit: Mercury Press

    “If that rule is to be taken seriously then it would affect how I shop because I wouldn’t be able to bring my children if I wanted to get wine – it’s so silly.”

    Catherine says she complained to customer services, who suggested she return and pay for her shop in the first instance.

    She then claims Tesco called her the following day to offer an apology but says it was ‘not good enough’, adding that she wanted a complimentary bottle of wine in compensation.

    Catherine said: “Everything was going fine. We were putting all the items through and my daughter was chatting with the cashier about her A-Levels and things.

    “After the whole thing I complained to the assistant manager who asked me if she was ‘new’.

    “But then she just said, ‘Well, it’s policy to refuse to serve if they think that the alcohol is meant for someone else.’

    Credit: Mercury Press

    “I just think it’s totally unfair. The checkout girl could have at least asked for a manager and used a bit of common sense.

    “They offered me an apology but it just wasn’t good enough. I had to do my shop the following day in Morrisons.

    “I think they should change the rules. Otherwise as parents we’d never be able to buy alcohol with our children there.

    “If my daughter was ‘dressed up’ and I was getting alcopops I’d understand it, but it was a bottle of rosé with a full shop.

    “What next? Are parents who get medications with their children now going to be refused?”

    A Tesco spokesperson said: “We take our responsibilities as a retailer of alcohol very seriously, so we have a strict Think 25 policy.

    “Customers may be asked for ID if our colleagues believe there is a chance that a product may be consumed by someone who is under the legal age.

    “It is never our intention to cause offence and we’re sorry if we were a little over-zealous on this occasion.”

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    Lidl Manager Sacked From Budget Supermarket For Arriving Early And Working Too Hard

    A Lidl manager is suing his former bosses after the budget supermarket chain sacked him for working too hard.

    The dedicated employee – named only as Jean P. by Spanish media in Barcelona – would regularly arrive at his branch by 5am.

    He would then spend hours shelf-stacking, checking orders and price-checking to make sure the branch was ready for when sales staff arrived.

    But he was dismissed by bosses who claimed he had breached Lidl’s rules banning unpaid overtime.

    A dismissal letter accused him of “very serious laboural unfulfillment” after regional bosses checked the shop’s CCTV security footage.

    Lidl ‘only benefited from any breach of the rules’ (Image: Getty)
    Bosses say he often started work up to an hour and a half before clocking in and was regularly in the branch alone – also a breach of company rules.

    Lidl said in Jean’s dismissal letter he had broken a regulation banning unpaid overtime that states “every minute worked is paid, and every minute that is worked should be clocked in”.

    But an employment court heard that Lidl admitted it had never instructed Jean – who had worked for the company for 12 years – not to come in early.

    And his lawyer Juan Guerra stated that Lidl only benefited from any breach of the rules.

    Bosses say Jean P often started work up to an hour and a half before clocking in (Image: Getty Images Europe)
    He said: “He is sanctioned for working too much – something that is unusual – and also for making an effort to get the shop running properly.”

    The lawyer claimed his client only worked longer hours because he was under pressure to meet sales and performance targets in a restructuring programme.

    He said: “The heads of the supermarket knew this and were aware that these changes required time and dedication.”

    The case continues.

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    Mum Stunned To Hear Doll Bought From Argos SWEAR When Daughter Opens It On Her Birthday

    A Birmingham mum was stunned to discover the doll she bought for her daughter’s second birthday seemingly SWEARS instead of saying “Mama”.

    The My Little BABY Born Walks doll from Argos is described as a walking doll that can say “Mama” and “Papa” when voice activated.

    However, when little Aria opened it on her big day, her mum Rachael Horton couldn’t believe what she heard.

    “It was my daughter’s birthday on Tuesday but we were at Butlins so she didn’t open her presents until the weekend,” said Rachael, from Stechford.

    “When we took the doll out of the box and started playing with it, I couldn’t believe what we heard.

    “She’s supposed to say “Mama” and “Papa” but instead she seems to be saying “you bitch”.

    “Now my two year old is copying her and trying to say “bitch” herself.

    “I’m shocked, especially as it’s very clear what the doll is saying.”

    Rachael Horton with her daughter Aria and the My Little BABY Born doll from Argos (Image: Birmingham Mail)

    The My Little BABY Born Walks doll is manufactured by Zapf Creation and sold by a number of retailers.

    Rachael contacted Argos customer services and was told she could return the doll and exchange it for something else.

    But the mum-of-one thinks the store should being doing much more and ought to withdraw the product so the same thing doesn’t happen to other parents.

    My Little BABY Born doll from Argos (Image: Birmingham Mail)

    “I spoke to customer services via an online chat and, to be honest, they weren’t very helpful,” she said.

    “They just said it’s best to come in and change it, which I don’t think is acceptable.

    “I don’t want to just switch it for something else.

    “My daughter is only two, I don’t want her hearing words like that.

    “As a result, she’s been trying to say “bitch” herself.

    “I’m very shocked that Argos would sell something like that.”

    My Little BABY Born doll from Argos (Image: Birmingham Mail)
    And it seems that Rachael isn’t the only parent to have been stunned by the doll’s words.

    She said: “When I looked on the Argos reviews, a woman had posted on there that she thought the doll sweared too.”

    The review entitled Doesn’t Walk Even On Laminate was posted on the Argos website on October 18, 2017.

    It reads: “Doll tries to walk but barely moves even on laminate flooring.

    “She sounds like she is swearing or talking in a foreign language.

    “Returned as daughter was very disappointed on her birthday.”

    Review of the My Little BABY Born doll from Argos
    On the description on the Argos website , it says: “My Little BABY Born will walk when voice activated or when she hears her rattle and says “Mama” and “Papa”! Includes rattle. Styles may vary.”

    It says the doll is supposed to be suitable for children aged two years old and above.

    My Little BABY Born doll from Argos (Image: Birmingham Mail)

    Rachael paid £34 for the doll when she bought it from the Argos store in Chelmsley Wood but it has since been reduced to around £30 online.

    A spokesman for Zapf Creation, the manufacturers of the My Little BABY Born doll, said: “At Zapf Creation we take all feedback very seriously.

    “Our BABY born products are created to be a fun introduction to imaginative parent-child play.

    “The My Little BABY born Walks doll includes baby babble sounds that are in no way meant to represent language or cause any offense to users.”

    An Argos spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have shared the customer’s feedback with the manufacturer and are contacting her to apologise for any offence this may have caused.

    “We’ll also arrange an appropriate replacement doll for her daughter.”

    Argos top toy predictions for Christmas 2017

    The latest tech driven toys look set to dominate this year’s wishlists, together with childhood classics like LEGO and dolls.

    And this year’s big films also feature, with entries of Disney Cars 3 and Transformers The Last Knight toys too.

    There’s also a doll on the list, but it’s not the My Little BABY Born doll. It’s Luvabella which is supposed to be a lifelike doll, with animated features enabling it to drink milk from a bottle and fall asleep.

    Luvabella doll

    These are the toys that could be on your child’s Christmas wishlist, according to Argos:

    Luvabella doll

    LEGO Friends Sunshine Catamaran

    Airhogs DR1 Official Race Drone

    PJ Masks Headquarter Playset

    Disney Cars 3 Lightning McQueen

    Transformers: The Last Knight RC Sqweeks

    Hatchimals & new ColleGGtibles

    Tiny Treasures twins

    Fisher Price ‘Teach n Tag Movi’

    LEGO BOOST

    Paw Patrol Sea Patroller

    Tiny Treasures Twin Set

    SoundMoovz

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    Your Gigantic Face Printed On Your Luggage Might Be Outrageous But It’s Actually Genius

    For frequent flyers, suitcases are nothing but essential. And when on important trips, nothing’s more inconvenient than taking forever to spot your luggage in a sea of similar-looking travel bags. Sure, luggage tags or bright-colored ribbons are helpful but not that much. If you really want to make your suitcase stand out, maybe it’s time you try a new and unique travel case.

    Firebox, a London-based online retailer that specializes in unique items, is selling Head Case – a stretchable and customizable travel case that can fit luggage of different sizes. What makes it unique? Well, Head Case literally puts a giant picture of your head onto your suitcase, making it easier to find and deterring anyone who might want to steal it.

    Buyers can customize their travel case with a headshot of their choosing.
    Source: Firebox

    They just have to go to the Firebox page, choose a size, click ‘Personalize,’ and upload a high-resolution photo of their face, a family member, a friend, a celebrity – or even of an enemy! The image will then be printed on both sides of a polyester and spandex blend material.

    The retailer claims that the ‘possibilities are endless’ with Head Case.
    Source: Firebox

    The Firebox website says:

    “Prevent ‘Baggage Reclaim’ drama and make sure your bag stands out from the crowd by slipping it snuggly inside a Head Case. After all, nothing says that’s my luggage!’ quite like a giant version of your own face, smiling back at you as it shudders round the conveyor belt.

    The idea of your face printed on a huge material for everyone at the airport to see might seem terrifying, but that’s the price you’ll have to pay (plus $26.00 to $39.00, depending on the size) for convenience and practicality.

    Is this something you’ll be interested in buying?
    Source: Firebox

    It’s worth a try if you ask us.

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    Backpacker Uses Life Savings To Fund Home For Orphans She Met In Nepal

    A woman who spent the money she saved babysitting in high school to save children half a world away is one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of the Year.

    Maggie Doyne decided to take a year off before college in 2006 to backpack around the world. She only got as far as Nepal when she called home and asked her parents to send all $5,000 of her life savings.

    The New Jersey teen wasn’t in trouble. She just wanted to help the kids she met who were in desperate need–the refugees and orphans from the country’s decade-long civil war.

    She used the money to start the Kopila Valley Children’s Home in Surkhet. In Nepali, “Kopila” means flower bud, and during the last 8 years the orphanage has blossomed like that, bringing new hope to 50 resident orphans.

    Through her nonprofit, Doyne’s Blink Now Foundation, the side-tracked backpacker, now 28, continues to fund the home, along with a primary school she built shortly afterward which educates nearly 350 local kids.

    (WATCH the CNN video below)  Photo: CNN video

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    10 Countries Where You Can Earn More As An Expat Than You Would At Home

    Taking home a bigger paycheck sounds nice to just about anyone.

    It sounds so nice to some people that they will move to a different country to earn more money.

    Globally, 41% of expats relocated because of their career or their partner’s career, whether by choice or out of necessity, according to the Expat Insider 2017 report from expatriate network and global guide InterNations.

    To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 12,519 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries around the world.

    In the survey, expats were asked to compare their current income to the income they would earn at home for the same or a similar job.

    The top 10 countries where at least 60% of expats said they earn more than at home are concentrated in the Middle East and Northern Europe. But it’s all relative — the report found expats’ satisfaction with their personal finances varied greatly depending on cost of living and the state of the country’s economy, even if workers were earning a higher dollar amount than in their home country.

    For instance, 76% of expats in Luxembourg report earning a higher income — a greater share than any other country surveyed — but 23% said their disposable household income is still not enough to cover everything they need in daily life.

    Below, learn more about the 10 countries where expats are earning more money than they would at home, and how it affects their personal finances.

    10. Singapore

    10. Singapore
    Prasit Rodphan/Shutterstock

    • 62% of expats in Singapore think they make more than they would in a similar position back home — one-third believe their income is a lot higher.

    • 43% have a gross annual household income of more than $100,000. On average, 21% of global expats have household earnings above six-figures.

    • Still, cost of living is particularly high in Singapore, securing it a spot in the bottom 10 on the cost of living index.

    9. Norway

    9. Norway
    Shutterstock

    • 72% of expats in Norway believe they make more than they would in a similar position back home — 33% say it’s a lot more.

    • Yet, 71% judge the cost of living less than favorably.

    • On the bright side: Norway ranks among the top 10 destinations for work-life balance worldwide.

    8. United Arab Emirates

    8. United Arab Emirates
    Karim Sahib/Reuters

    • 71% of expats believe they make more in the UAE than they would in a similar position back home — about half think that they make a lot more.

    • 16% have an annual household income of more than $150,000, compared to only one in ten expats worldwide.

    • However, 67% rate the affordability of housing in UAE negatively, and 27% say their disposable household income is not enough to cover everything they need for daily life.

    7. Nigeria

    7. Nigeria
    Shutterstock/Bill Kret

    • 68% of expats in Nigeria believe they make more than they would in a similar position back home.

    • One in ten expats has an annual household income of more than $200,000 — 86% say their disposable household income is enough to cover everything they need.

    • Despite coming in at No. 12 on the personal fiance index, Nigeria ranked last on the quality of life index due to poor rankings for health and well-being, safety and security, and transportation.

    6. Saudi Arabia

    6. Saudi Arabia
    Fedor Selivanov/Shutterstock

    • 70% of expats in Saudi Arabia think they earn more than they would in a similar position back home — 42% think that it is a lot more.

    • 87% say their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to cover everything they need in daily life — 22% even say that they have a lot more than enough.

    • Despite good pay for workers, Saudi Arabia ranks low on the indices for family life and child education options.

    5. Bahrain

    5. Bahrain
    trabantos/Shutterstock

    • 70% of expats in Bahrain believe their income is higher than what they would make at home — 41% think their income is a lot higher.

    • Bahrain tanks third in the working abroad index, thanks to excellent ratings in job & career and work/life balance subcategories.

    • 93% of expats in Bahrain work full-time, spending an average of 42.9 hours a week at work compared to the global average of 44.3 hours.

    4. Kuwait

    4. Kuwait
    Arlo Magicman/Shutterstock

    • But 70% of expats in Kuwait think their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position in their home country.

    • Still, incomes are low — 62% have a disposable household income of less than $50,000.

    • Many expats in Kuwait move from India (22%) and the Philippines (13%), countries with low incomes, which could explain why they rate their incomes in Kuwait as much higher.

    3. Qatar

    3. Qatar
    Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock

    • 76% of expats in Qatar believe their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position back home — 46% say it is a lot higher.

    • One-third of expats have disposable household income of at least $100,000.

    • 67% of expats in Qatar found the cost of housing to be unaffordable — yet, 81% still feel that their household income is enough or more than enough to get by.

    2. Switzerland

    2. Switzerland
    Vogel / Shutterstock

    • 77% of expats in Switzerland believe their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position back home — 44% say it is a lot higher.

    • 57% of expats in Switzerland have an annual gross household income of at least $100,000 —14% make $200,000 or more.

    • Due to the high cost of living, 17% of expats are still unhappy with their financial situation.

     

    1. Luxembourg

    1. Luxembourg
    Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

    • 76% of expats who are working in Luxembourg believe that they make more than they would in a similar position back home.

    • Still, 23% of expats in Luxembourg say their disposable household income is not enough to cover everything they need in daily life.

    • 66% of expats rate the cost of living negatively in Luxembourg.

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    Mum Says Netflix Kids’ TV Show Features A Hidden Rude Drawing… So Can YOU Spot It?

    A FURIOUS mum has warned other parents to check what their kids are watching on TV after claiming to find a rude drawing in a cartoon.

    Chey Robinson took to Facebook where she shared a clip of the Netflix show Maya the Bee, which she says features a phallic image.

     Mum Chey Robinson says she has spotted a very rude drawing in an episode of Netflix cartoon Maya The Bee
    Mum Chey Robinson says she has spotted a very rude drawing in an episode of Netflix cartoon Maya The Bee

    The scene in question comes from the 35th episode in the first series of the TV programme and shows the lead character hiding under a log trying to escape from bad guys.

    But the background appears to show a certain part of the male anatomy, which she says is inappropriate for children.

    After taking a screenshot of the clip, she wrote on Facebook: “Smh. Please be mindful of what your kids are watching!!

    “I did NOT edit any images whatsoever, this is Maya & The Bee, Season 1, Episode 35.”

    Since posting the warning last week, it has been shared more almost 13,000 times and has over 3,000 comments.

     The circle shows the rude drawing that Chey claims she saw in the background of the cartoon
    The circle shows the rude drawing that Chey claims she saw in the background of the cartoon

    And many parents were shocked by Chey’s discovery and said it was disgusting.

    One mum wrote: “Ridiculous. Regardless of whether the child will focus on that and see it, they slip things like this in there. Disgusting. Not more of this show for us.

    While another said: “People are so damn perverse and trying to corrupt innocent children. Makes me sick!!”

    However, some parents brushed off the clip, saying it was hardly noticeable.

    One said: “Are you being serious? my kids would not look that closely at a tree trunk. Plus, they wouldn’t even know what that was.”

     Chey later posted a warning on Facebook telling other parents about the hidden drawing
    Chey later posted a warning on Facebook telling other parents about the hidden drawing

    The studio behind Maya The Bee are yet to comment on the clip.

    However, it is not the first time eyebrows have been raised by kids TV.

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    Mum Has Her First Child Aged 50 After A £14k PPI Payout Meant She Could Finally Afford IVF

    A MUM has had has her first child aged 50 after a £14,000 PPI payout meant she could finally afford IVF treatment.

    While PPI calls are a nuisance for many, Alison John, 51, says a mis-sold PPI refund made her dreams come true.

     Alison and Phillip finally got the child they yearned for after paying for IVF with money from a PPI refund
    Alison and Phillip finally got the child they yearned for after paying for IVF with money from a PPI refund

    Alison and her husband Phillip, 58, had given up hope of ever having kids, after a sixteen year battle of trying to conceive proved fruitless.

    But the couple’s luck turned around when a £14,000 PPI refund paid for the couple to complete three cycles of IVF – resulting in the birth of a little girl, Megan, three weeks before Alison’s 51st birthday.

    In 2000, Alison, then 34, came off the contraceptive pill after she and Phillip decided the timing was right to start a family.

    But a decade passed and she hadn’t fallen pregnant.

    Doctors couldn’t find anything medically wrong with the couple and the couple couldn’t afford IVF  – leading Alison and Phillip feeling as if they would need to come to terms with being childless.

    Alison said: “Our relationship has always been strong. We have been married for 26 years now. But not being able to have a child was hard.

     Alison and Phillip are now parents to baby Megan and hope to have another baby in the future
    Alison and Phillip are now parents to baby Megan and hope to have another baby in the future

    “We considered IVF until we discovered the cost of it and then we knew it was impossible.

    “I’d completely given up until a chance meeting at our bank with a financial advisor.

    “They looked at our accounts and asked if we had ever considered looking into the PPI scandal.

    “I’d heard of it but didn’t think to check if we were eligible for a payout.

    “I’d had loans over the years and credit cards.

    “The bank gave me a number to call and a few months later we were told that the bank would pay us £14,000.

    “I was blown away.”

    With £14,000 in the bank Alison and husband Phillip decided that the one thing they wanted most in the world was a child of their own.

    Alison added: “We thought about going on holiday but once it’s all over all you have are memories and photographs.

    “We already owned our own house and both worked full time.

    “After a bit of soul-searching we deciding trying IVF was the right thing to do.

    “Phillip was apprehensive about his age. He needed a bit more reassurance than me.

    “He said ‘I’ll be the oldest dad at the playground.’

    “But I still feel the same as I did at 34. To me age is just a number and I wasn’t going to let it hold me back from becoming a mother at any age.

    “I felt so excited that we could finally have the chance to be parents.”

    However, Alison admits that medical professionals were quick to advise her on the risks involved with having a baby at 50.

     Alison gave birth to Megan three weeks before her 51st birthday
    Alison gave birth to Megan three weeks before her 51st birthday

    Alison said: “I was asked over and over if I was sure I wanted to put myself through it.

    “Doctors warned me about the heightened risk of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome or suffering a still birth.

    “But every pregnancy has a risk factor. I never changed my mind for a moment.”

    After receiving hormone therapy Alison had five eggs removed from her ovaries which were later fertilised with Phillip’s sperm in a laboratory.

    Alison said: “It was a gamble with our money, we knew there were no guarantees, but Phillip and I agreed it was money we would never have had and so it was worth the risk.

    “The first two cycles of IVF didn’t work, but after the third cycle I fell pregnant.

    “I told my mum who was ecstatic. She was going to be a grandmother for the first time aged 77.

    “She told all her friends and our family.

    “I couldn’t blame her but sadly I later miscarried the baby.

    “It was devastating having to go back to everyone we had told and say that we had actually lost the baby.”

    Heartbroken Alison and Phillip decided to try again but this time kept their IVF a secret and only told family on a need to know basis.

    Alison said: “Our fourth attempt resulted in my pregnancy with Megan.

    “All of the doctors and midwives I met with were fixated on my age but I’ve still got my health, I’m active, I’m busy, I volunteer.”

    After a caesarean section Megan was born weighing 5lb 8oz.

    Alison said: “I hadn’t expected the C-section. I thought I’d be giving birth naturally in a pool but it wasn’t to be.

    “The baby was breech and doctors decided I’d need surgery immediately.

    “My age was a huge factor in how they treated me. I was monitored so closely.”

     Alison hopes to complete her family with a brother or sister for Megan
    Alison hopes to complete her family with a brother or sister for Megan

    Alison admits there are moments when her age does cause confusion when she is out with Megan.

    She said: “Sometimes I correct people if they think I’m her Nan but often I just ignore it.

    “I started off breast feeding but I switched to bottle because my supply wasn’t enough.

    “I don’t know if the milk dried up because of my age but I didn’t mind giving up. I just wanted her to be happy and well fed.”

    Megan is now 13 months old and Alison and Phillip are hoping to try for a brother or sister for Megan in the near future – as they still have a cycle of IVF left to try.

    Alison said: “I’m hoping for a baby boy, a brother for Megan and one of each for Phillip and I.

    “But we don’t mind either way.

    “Megan is everything we ever dreamed of and we are so happy to finally be parents.

    “At some point we are planning to go back to the clinic to give Megan a sibling. Another baby would just be the icing on the cake.”

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    Scaffolder’s MUM Wades In After ‘Snob’ Artist Posts McDonald’s Pic Of Him With Caption ‘These Guys Look Like They Got 1 GCSE’ And Says She Should ‘Keep Her Mouth Shut’

    THE proud mum of a scaffolder taunted in a cruel social media post by a ‘snob’ art blogger has branded her a “moron”.

    Hetty Douglas sparked an angry backlash after posting a picture of Warren Butt, 40, and colleagues queuing at a McDonald’s with the caption “these guys look like they got 1 GCSE”.

     Warren's mum stuck up for her 'well-mannered' son
    Warren’s mum stuck up for her ‘well-mannered’ son
     The cruel social media post sparked an angry backlash
    The cruel social media post sparked an angry backlash
     Hetty Douglas has been branded a 'spoilt rich girl'
    Hetty Douglas has been branded a ‘spoilt rich girl’

    Warren, who has a 13-year-old son, has demanded an apology from the South London-based blogger, who works at super-hip clothing shop Supreme in London’s West End.

    Patricia, from Wallington, South London, told Sun Online that 25-year-old Douglas has no right to judge her hard-working son.

    She said: “He’s always worked all his life and he looks after his son and provides for him.

    “She wants to keep her mouth shut, she’s a moron. They are workers what does she expect.

    “So my son does not have any GCSEs. He’s got manners, he’s been brought up proper.”

    The colleagues were grabbing a bite to eat at the fast food chain near Piccadilly yesterday morning when the picture was taken.

     Marc Clarey has a B in PE, a C in Design and a C/C in Double Science, as well as an NVQ Level Three scaffolding (equal to two A-levels)
    Marc Clarey has a B in PE, a C in Design and a C/C in Double Science, as well as an NVQ Level Three scaffolding (equal to two A-levels)
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    Keeping Kribs: The Culture Of Pelvicachromis Cichlids (FULL)

    If you’re seeking a small fish that can add action and a rainbow of sparkling colors to your freshwater aquarium, the kribensis cichlid (Pelvicachromis pulcher) is definitely worth considering. This species is a great choice for the novice keeper and can even be recommended to experienced aquarists.
    Affectionately referred to simply as “krib” within the hobby, this West African cichlid is called kribensis because it was once known as P. kribensis. The modern accepted scientific name is P. pulcher, which roughly translated means “beautiful belly fish.” In Latin, pelvica is the plural of pelvis, chromis refers to a fish (possibly a perch), and pulcher means beautiful. That is certainly a fitting description for a species in which the belly of the female takes on a vibrant, cherry red flush throughout the breeding period. Since an established krib couple spawns regularly, you can expect to see a lot of this coloration in your tank.

    Photographer: Aquariumphoto.dk
    P. pulcher is quite resilient to disease, and provided with the right care it can live up to five years. As an additional bonus, kribs readily breed without any special coaxing. They also engage in highly entertaining fry-rearing behavior, wherein they herd their offspring around the tank for several weeks.
    The male can reach a length of 4 inches (10 cm), while the female usually stays around 3 inches (8 cm). Both sexes have a dark longitudinal stripe running from the mouth to the caudal fin, with yellow and black striping by the face. There is a lot of orange-red, yellow, and sometimes blue, coloration along the dorsal and caudal fins. In some specimens, the dorsal and caudal fins sport gold-ringed ocelli (eyespots). Their pectoral and anal fins are bluish to purple, and you can sometimes notice a green sheen on the gill plate. The abdomen is a reddish pink, a color that intensifies during the breeding period, especially in the female.

    GEOGRAPHY AND HABITAT

    P. pulcher inhabits the drainage area of the Ethiope River in the Niger Delta in West Africa. One of the reasons why it is so sturdy and easy to care for in captivity may be due to the fact that within its natural range, it may encounter several different water conditions. A species forced to handle different environments and arbitrary alterations (brought on by varying water flow from streams) must be able to cope with diverse habitats.
    Close to the sea, the Niger Delta’s water is hard, alkaline, and slightly brackish. On the other hand, the streams that feed the delta are much less hard and alkaline, and they do not get any saltwater. The lowest-lying streams are actually soft and acidic blackwater habitats.
    P. pulcher inhabits both slow- and fast-moving waters but is only present where it can find dense underwater vegetation. The water in its natural environment usually stays around 75° to 79°F (24° to 26°C), and most localities have soft water and a pH value of 5.6 to 6.9. Tank-raised specimens are normally more tolerant to alkaline conditions (in some instances, up to a pH of 8.5!) than wild-caught ones.

    KRIBENSIS CARE

    Kribensis cichlids are hardy and do not grow very large, two factors that make them possible to keep, even in small aquariums. A 10-gallon (38-liter) aquarium is large enough for a single pair, but if you wish to combine them with other fish, you’ll need more space. Despite being fairly peaceful creatures, both sexes will grow territorial and aggressive while protecting their spawn. Therefore, it is important that the aquarium includes natural borders and at least one cave to provide hiding spots for other fish.
    In the wild, kribs are only found in environments containing patches of dense underwater vegetation, and will appreciate having plants in the tank. Kribs normally don’t eat them, so you can use live flora to decorate the tank if you wish. However, it’s a good idea to protect the plant base with heavy stones, or choose species that tolerate being uprooted since they sometimes dig. Due to this digging habit, sand or fine gravel without any sharp edges is recommended as bottom substrate in order to prevent injury.
    Kribs are often kept in community aquariums with other fairly passive fish, such as other dwarf cichlids, tetras, and small barbs. They should not be housed with slow-moving species with long and flowing fins because they can turn into fin nippers in such company.
    It is never a good idea to house these fish in an aquarium without a cave. They love hiding spots, and providing at least one will make them much happier, while also decreasing the risk that they’ll become overly aggressive during the breeding period. By cleverly using numerous caves and natural borders, it is even possible to house several couples in the same tank. Flowerpots, coconut shells, or PVC pipes will be just as appreciated—but make sure there is an opening just large enough for the fish to use as their entrance.
    Use plants, rocks, and other decorations to make it possible for the couple to claim a small territory around their cave. Otherwise, they may end up trying to defend the entire tank from perceived “intruders.” If they still act violently toward other fish outside of their territory, the aquarium may be too densely stocked. Bottom and cave dwellers are especially shunned because they will compete for space.
    Kribs are omnivores and therefore very easy to feed. They will readily accept most types of food. Keeping them on a varied diet will boost their immune system and provide a more comfortable life for them in captivity.

    BREEDING

    Sexing P. pulcher is not hard because adult females display brighter belly colors than the males. During breeding periods, a female’s belly develops the characteristic cherry red coloration. She is also smaller than the male, but at first glance can appear to be the larger of the two. This is because she is much more plump than the male. Measured from head to tail, the male is longer, but his body is more streamlined. Another way of sexing them is to look at the dorsal fin: if it ends in a point, you are looking at a male.
    It is common for kribs to start courting within a week of being introduced to the tank, and any coaxing from the aquarist is usually superfluous. If your couple seems reluctant to breed, increase the water temperature to 80°F (27°C) and provide several suitable caves for them to explore. Feeding them plenty of live, meaty food can also induce spawning behavior. Despite being tolerant of a wide range of water parameters, they are more inclined to spawn in soft and acidic water.
    Kribensis cichlids are devoted parents that form monogamous pairs and raise their offspring together. During spawning, the female deposits 50 to 300 eggs, usually in the roof of a cave. The male fertilizes them and both parents guard the eggs, taking shifts to allow each other to feed. The male also spends a lot of his time guarding the surrounding area from intruders.
    When the eggs hatch after roughly three days, the tiny offspring will be moved to a pit or some other safe spot deemed suitable by the adults. At this stage, they are small enough to be moved inside their parents’ mouths. Their first food is usually tiny organic matter, but they are soon large enough to eat powdered flakes and newly hatched brine shrimp.
    After five to ten days, the fry are usually large enough to be brought out of the cave to attend feeding excursions. However, they will still spend each night inside the cave where they were born, or any other cave deemed safe enough.
    The female also starts taking the offspring out on small trips around the tank, hastily scurrying them back into their hiding spot as soon as she perceives any possible danger in the environment. Before letting the fry out, the female always scouts the territory to make sure it’s safe.
    Raising P. pulcher fry is usually not a problem because the parents do most of the work. As the fry grow larger, simply serve them ground flakes and larger and larger brine shrimp until they eat the same food as the adults. Ideally, the fry should stay with their parents until they are at least ½-inch (1.5-cm) long. Removing them too soon can make the male harass the female to death, as he’ll want to spawn again and she won’t be physically ready at this point.
    If the parents eat their own offspring or fail to protect them from predators, don’t give up. They will soon spawn again, and most couples get the hang of it after a few trial runs. An established couple can be expected to spawn over and over again as long as both individuals are healthy.
    Because they are dedicated parents, kribs become aggressive while protecting their young. This aggression is usually not a problem if the aquarium is large enough, but they will protect egg and fry—violently, if necessary. Giving a couple their own breeding aquarium is therefore the best solution in some situations.

    OTHER PELVICACHROMIS SPECIES

    The genus Pelvicachromis contains a number of other species in addition to the famous P. pulcher. Sometimes you will find them under their correct names in fish stores and on price lists, but encountering them under erroneous labels is (unfortunately) also quite possible. Some sellers will just label them as “wild kribs” or make up a name for them based on appearance. With a little research and armed with some useful information, you will be able to spot—and care for—some of the most commonly occurring species and variants. However, if you don’t know which species or variant you have, soft, acidic water and a temperature in the 75° to 79°F (24° to 26°C) range is usually the safest bet.
    P. RUBROLABIATUS
    Described in 2004, P. rubrolabiatus is a fairly new addition to the genus Pelvicachromis. The name is derived from the Latin words rubrum (red) and labia (lip), and alludes to the red lips sported by male members of this species. It has been available for many years under the label P. sp. “Bandi II.”
    This species will grow bigger than other members of its genus and will display seven dark vertical bars on the body. Male P. rubrolabiatus also distinguish themselves from males of other species in the same genus by not having any coloration or patterning on the fins.
    P. rubrolabiatus is native to the Kolenté River basin in Guinea, where it inhabits soft, acidic waterways that flow through forested areas. Keep the water soft and the pH value below 6.0 in the aquarium. Being an omnivore, it needs both green and meaty foods in its diet to stay happy and healthy in captivity. Be forewarned that this is a fairly hostile species.
    P. SUBOCELLATUS
    The yellow-cheeked kribensis (P. subocellatus) was described in 1872. There have been a lot of mix-ups and mislabeled fish in the aquarium trade, so older accounts regarding this species are not always reliable. The specific name subocellatus is derived from two Latin words: sub, which signifies “under,” and ocellatus, which means “spot.”
    Compared to most other members of its genus, P. subocellatus has a very high body. The female is more colorful than the male and is adorned with the yellow cheeks from which this species’ common name derives. She also sports a striking, reflective white pattern on her dorsal fins, and the color of her belly intensifies to pinkish red, bordered by two broad stripes of blackberry blue during the spawning period. The yellow coloration is also found on the end of her tail and on the upper half of the caudal fin, along with numerous black spots. These spots are also present on the back half of the dorsal fin.
    The male also has some yellow on his cheeks, but the shade is more pastel than bright. The unpaired fins are also a bit yellow, but without any spotting. His dorsal fin sports a lavender band just below the red edge. During breeding periods, his belly will turn pinkish red, and the same can happen when he gets territorial.
    P. subocellatus is hardier and less aggressive than the common krib and will grow to roughly the same size. It is actually quite strange that P. pulcher is so much more widespread in the hobby than this charming little fellow. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the fry of this species can be a bit tricky to keep alive.
    The range of P. subocellatus spans from Gabon to Congo in Western Africa, where it can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including brackish water. The northernmost part of its range borders that of P. taeniatus, while its other geographical limit is the mouth of the Congo River. In captivity, it can be housed in both soft and hard water, and will tolerate a pH value from 6.0 to 8.0. This doesn’t mean that you should allow the parameters to swing back and forth; always give your fish a chance to unhurriedly grow accustomed to new conditions through slow, gradual changes. The recommended water temperature for this species is 72° to 79°F (22° to 26°C).
    Due to its comparatively calm temperament, P. subocellatus is kept in both community and species tanks. A densely planted aquarium with plenty of caves and other hiding spots is recommended. This species is not fond of sharp light, so use floating plants to keep its home shaded. If your fish remain shy despite this, try adding some dither fish to the setup.
    P. TAENIATUS
    An active and beautiful species, P. taeniatus is comparatively easy to keep and breed. It is peaceful enough to introduce into a community aquarium with other nonviolent species, as long as the tank is properly decorated with caves, hiding spots, and natural territorial borders.
    P. taeniatus is one of the most colorful members of its genus and has the smallest adult male size. The body is slim, and the males actually rival females in terms of color. This species comes in a vast array of different color morphs, and we will hopefully have an even broader spectrum to choose from in the future, as its native West African home is thoroughly researched by scientists and fish exporters.
    This species is found in coastal Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, where it inhabits still and slow-moving streams and rivers that run through forested regions. Soft and acidic water is recommended. Keep the water temperature in the 72° to 79°F (22° to 26°C) range with a pH of 6.0.
    Vigorous water movement and harsh aquarium lighting are not appreciated by these fish. Include floating plants in the setup to dim the light, which will make them feel safer. As with all kribs, caves are virtually mandatory if you want them to stay happy and healthy. P. taeniatus fares best on a varied omnivore diet, with plenty of veggies and occasional servings of live or frozen meaty foods.
    P. SACRIMONTIS
    The taxonomic status of the rainbow krib (P. sacrimontis) is currently under debate. It was first described in 1977, but this description lacked a type specimen. Some authorities recognize it as a separate species, while others instead classify it as P. pulcher. It lives just east of the Niger River delta in Nigeria.
    A juvenile rainbow krib is virtually indistinguishable from a juvenile P. pulcher, but it will eventually develop one of its first distinctive features: a shimmering turquoise blue patch on the cheeks and gill covers. Rainbow kribs maintain this color even when stressed, something to keep in mind when trying to recognize them in the fish store.
    An adult female has uniformly dark dorsal fins without the golden border seen in P. pulcher females. During breeding periods her belly is scarlet red. While in spawning condition, two fairly dark longitudinal bands will run along her sides. These bands begin to fade as she starts caring for her offspring.
    The male is just as ostentatious as the female, with one color morph showing a yellow belly and the other variant showing a red one. In the red-bellied color morph, the red proceeds from the belly to the lower half of the face.

    KRIB NOTES

    Most aquarists are familiar with the common krib, partly because it’s so easy to breed in captivity, which makes it possible for pet shops to keep the price down. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, there is a long list of other interesting species in the genus Pelvicachromis to choose from, all more or less similar to P. pulcher but with their own distinct appearance, temperament, and habits. They are sometimes imported under their true names and sometimes mistakenly shipped together with wild-caught P. pulcher. For the aquarist who knows what to look for, it is quite frequently possible to find hidden treasures in display tanks labeled Pelvicachromis pulcher, or simply “wild krib.”
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    11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pigs

    A new study reveals pigs have complex personalities and are similar to dogs and chimpanzees in more ways than one.

    Many of us already knew that pigs have a high IQ, but a new study published in the International Journal of Comparative Psychologysuggests they have more in common with companion animals than previously known. Based on recent findings, we now know that pigs are able to fetch objects, understand human direction, and recognize their friends. But here are eight more things we bet you didn’t know about these adorable oinksters.

    1. A Sixth Sense
    Pigs understand when a positive or negative event is about to occur, which increases their heart rates.

    2. Recognition of Friends
    The same way dogs can recognize other dogs from their barks, pigs identify other pigs through their odor. Sows can also distinguish the squeals of their own piglets.

    3. Sensitive Snouts
    Pig snouts contain the highest amount of tactile receptors. This means that not only do they use their snouts to forage for food, but also in social settings to sniff out identities, sexual and emotional states of others, and navigate aggressive encounters.

    4. Robust Memory
    If a pig is shown an object for two days, he or she will remember that object for five days. For important items such as food, pigs will use all of their senses to remember its location, color, smell, and size.

    5. Unique Personalities
    Pigs possess individual differences and preferences that are consistent over time. These one-of-a-kind personality traits include levels of aggression, sociability, and curiosity.

    6. Play Fetch
    Pigs not only understand commands such as “sit” and “jump,” they also comprehend the concept of playing fetch, and can perform the actions associated with objects such as running after and retrieving balls.

    7. Ultra-Hearing
    Pigs’ hearing range spans 42–40,500 Hz, which classifies them as “sensitive” in the ultrasound range—a frequency that is greater than the upper limit in humans’ range.

    8. Human Understanding
    Pigs understand the emotions attached to a person’s head position, and how these positions relate to attention. They can also understand the meaning behind a finger point.

    9. Have Fun
    The desire to play is connected with creativity, which helps shape their foundations for social and object-based abilities. Pigs play in a similar way to dogs and other mammals by engaging in both object play (such as pushing balls and carrying sticks) and social play (like chasing other pigs).

    10. Self-Awareness
    Pigs watch themselves in the mirror and recognize a sense of self, both mentally and physically. One mirror self-recognition test found seven out of eight pigs were able to find hidden food through spatial localization while the eighth went behind the mirror.

    11. Play Video Games
    … well, not quite. But a 1999 study found that pigs have enough self-awareness to recognize the connection between their use of a modified joystick and on-screen movements.