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The unconscionable cost of housing has brought me an unexpected joy. My baby grandson has moved in | Family

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I can hear him now, chatting away to his mum in between fits of shrieking giggles. I love this sound, just as I love the look of permanent surprise he has whenever he sees me. In my room, in the living room, in the kitchen, in the garden. His expression always seems to say: “WHAT are you doing in my house?”

For my house is now his house. I had not planned to be living with a baby at this stage of my life, but then I had not planned for a pandemic.

The economic consequences of Covid do not need to be explained to me, nor the cost of housing. As a result of all this, and having not seen them at all during the first months of lockdown, my middle daughter, her partner and their baby moved in with me. My teenage daughter also came back from her travels.

Suddenly, my house has filled up not just with people, but with gear. Baby gear. When they moved in, I went to the coast for a week to give them space – but there is no space big enough for the amount of stuff a modern baby needs. It baffles me. When I had my kids, my aim was always to travel light, with the minimum of kit. In truth, this meant training them to sleep in fold-up buggies so I could stay at the pub or the party.

I am staggered, too, by the amount of washing. Who knows how long my knackered old machine will cope? So far, me and the washing machine are still functioning. But I am worried about the spin cycle.

Little by little, I am getting to know the baby. I did not really know my youngest grandchild before: thanks to the lockdown, I had not seen him for months; none of us knew that we would be apart for so long. This story is the story of so many families. But he is a joyous little being. He claps when I enter the room and he loves the cat. What’s not to like? I know that if he cries, it is not me that has to go to him because his parents are here, so I can sleep through it.

Covid tore us apart and then threw us together again. Life is change, after all, and it goes on, whatever happens. A baby reminds you of that more than anything.

After the quiet of lockdown, a buzz has returned to my house in the form of this little being who delights, as infants do, in being wherever he is. My home is his home. The pandemic forced this move on to all of us, but now it feels not just the right thing to do, but the right way to be living.

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Water: Brides-To-be pay attention! Here is how you can glow like a goddess on your D-day

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As the lockdown took place, everything went for a toss. Suddenly, everything came to a standstill. Just like every other activity, wedding too, got affected. All the to-be brides who had plans of making their D-day the most memorable one, went down the drain. But slowly and steadily things are getting back to normal. Though it is still mandatory to maintain precautions, but things are getting better. Due to the lockdown most weddings are pushed to next year, though this delay can bum you out a little, but guess what, this gives you more time to indulge in pre-bridal skin care routine. Dr. Simal Soin, AAYNA Clinic, has some basic pre-bridal beauty which will help you getting the beautiful bridal glow during your wedding.

According to Simal, deep cleaning your sin at least once a week is important. This will keep acne and all sorts of skin issues away. “Make sure to deep clean with a hydrating and gentle face wash. Apart from that, once a week, you can indulge in the masks or scrubs according to your skin types,” says Simal.

Apart from using beauty products, sleeping for 8 hours will also help you enhancing your face. “Clock 8-10 hours of sound sleep every night to leave your skin looking fresh. Good sleep helps in stabilising your nervous system and reduce stress,” says Simal

Another important ingredient that Simal highly recommend is water. Water keeps your system clean and toxin-free. “Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids like watermelon juice and coconut water to your diet for flawless skin. Herbal teas are great ways to reduce anxiety and makes you feel relaxed,” says Simal

Eating right is particularly important too. What you consume in your day to day life reflects on your face, so a good diet is mandatory. “A balanced, nutritious diet devoid of junk food can go a long way in giving you glowing skin,” says Simal.

She also suggests brides-to-be, to get a hydra-facial done before the D-day. “In less than 40 minutes, the active serums used in this unisex treatment cleanses and removes dead skin, unclogs pores, extracts hidden impurities and hydrates at the deepest level to reveal the healthiest layer of your skin. Sign up for youthful and wedding-ready skin in a jiffy with this treatment,” shares Simal.


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Signs your relationship can turn violent because of a toxic partner

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Toxic partners in a relationship can emotionally and physically destroy you. Often they are mentally unstable and extremely toxic. Their basic instincts are to dominate and manipulate their partner so that only they can keep them forever.

Don’t fear yet so much. Not every lover ends up into a violent partner. But, you need to know that how much ever they may not go to such an extent, they won’t hesitate to physically hurt you if you defy them. Toxic partners can be really bad for you. Toxicity in a relationship is dangerous. Even if you love the person so very dearly, it’s not your place to stay with someone who turns love into a wildfire game. Obsession, insanity, jealousy are all such emotions that creep up the brain in an immensely negative way. The result? Your flame just doesn’t want to let you go.

“No matter how much you hurt me and I hurt you, I’ll never let you go.”


That’s a toxic lover. It’s very important to understand the difference between a sane and insane person. So, imagine this: your relationship is a happy one but midway you both realise that it won’t work out between you two. No matter how much you love each other, circumstances are not the same. The best possible decision here is to let go of each other. That’s sane. But, in the same situation, if your partner disagrees to let you go and starts obsessing over you like no other – that’s highly insane.

Hence, it’s important to realise if your relationship is taking a violent turn. Not all relationships start as abusive and violent but slowly pick up their pace. Toxic partners slowly turn violent because of the onset of negative and oppressive feelings.

So, start noticing the signs that can prove to be dangerous for you, later on.

Identify the red flags


It’s honestly hard to identify such people. Toxicity in a relationship as a whole or in a person can have alarming consequences. Sometimes, it may have glaring effects while at other times, it can destroy you slowly. Several marital experts have concluded that warning signs get pretty noticeable in very early stages of an ‘about-to-be violent relationship.’ Here are some of the signs:

1. Jealousy: If your partner easily gets jealous and makes a big issue of every time someone of the opposite sex talks to you. Jealousy and malice can ruin a relationship at any point in time. Toxic partners get obsessive and jealous a bit more than the healthy dose of jealousy everyone loves.

2. Controlling behaviour: Your partner may be good at controlling or manipulating you to do things according to his taste. They can trick you into taking care of them or doing things their way by emotionally distracting you with themselves and maybe, your previous happy memories. The human heart reacts to happy memories and thus, manipulating gets only easier.

3. Disrespect: If your partner blatantly disrespects and speaks to you in an unpleasant tone, then steer clear of them. Loud tones of voice or speaking while shouting can be quite frustrating as well. Verbally abusing is also a huge sign that your partner is very toxic.

4. Resentment: Unknowingly, your partner may harbour feelings of resentment towards you for variable reasons and lash it out on you later. Maybe an earlier incident left an impression of them, and thus those feelings may arise in a later argument or fight. The phrase ‘let the past be passed’ doesn’t really apply to them.

5. Dishonesty: Lies hurt the most, and if your supposedly significant other always lies through his teeth, then it’s time to rethink your decision. They may lie knowingly or unknowingly but it’s still a lie. Their everlasting habit of lying doesn’t really go away.

6. Lack of care: self-care is as important as taking care of your needs too. If your partner repeatedly fails to do that, then it’s a no-no. It’s alright to be depressed or get anxiety, but what’s not okay is to ignore all steps of recovery. They may avoid any feelings of self-care.

7. Alcohol: Excessive violent drinking habits can be a glaring sign that your relationship can turn violent sometime in the future. Even if drinking is considered to be an escape from worldly blues and grief, it can also have negative effects on the person. They can start to physically and emotionally abuse their partners.

8. Conflicts in the beginning: The first year of a relationship can determine a lot about the people as a couple. If both of them have constant fights and conflicts since the beginning, it’s more likely that it will grow to be even more violent later down the line. Domestic abuse can also take a turn.

These signs slowly seep through and can be clearly noticeable. It can turn deadly and you need to understand that you have to save yourself from such behaviour and thus, get out of the relationship in time. You may even end up crying forever in your life.

Find a way through the darkness.

If you feel that there’s still a way to go through the relationship, start by gently talking about your toxic partner. You may have tried it before, but still, try to calmly talk to them and make them remember good memories. These serve as a primitive instinct for long-lost happy feelings. You can also take the help of their loved ones to accompany you in making your partner understand. Otherwise, a therapist is also a great option because they are professionally trained to treat people emotionally and make them mentally stable, only through communication and good beliefs.

However, if all doesn’t work, you know what is to be done.


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Quiz: what’s your true cycling personality?

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Are you a cleat-wearing fanatic or a Lycra-averse civilian? Is cycling more about mindfulness, fitness or getting from A to B? Take our quiz to discover what your relationship with your bike says about you …

To find your flat-less tyre, visit schwalbe.com

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