Category Archives: 2011

Friday Fun

nb. This post is called Friday Fun because I started to write it on Friday but somehow it got to Sunday before I’ve got round to finishing it. 

It’s been a good day today. Lashes, me and Munki went off to the big town garden centre to ooh and aah at their spectacular Christmas displays and have a bit of brunch. Window shopping and food, always a good start t the day.

One of the displays was of huge glassy polar bears – at £1500 each you wouldn’t buy too many for your garden but they looked stunning.

Munki walked up to Mummy bear and said, “Are you cold, polar bear? Of course you are – you’re in the Arctic.”  Hahaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

From a kid that’s just turned four I thought that was quite good.

Christmas elves
Christmas elves


On the way home we were treated to an eclectic mix of bonfire night and Christmas songs, sometimes changing mid song,  courtesy of Munki who was still in the throes of the sugar rush she obtained from a candy cane.

A walk in the woods with Velcrodog, Gembolina and Mrs Woofy was just the job to recharge my Munki drained batteries before setting off to do the weekly shop.


Just to complete my good mood – it snowed!! Yaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!!! Velcrodog was a it confused by it all:

Dog playing in snow


Back home, a trawl round my favourite websites, as is my wont and I came across these gems. Enjoy.

The Grim Reaper came for me last night, and I beat him off with a vacuum cleaner. Talk about Dyson with death.I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed 4 grave diggers walking about with a coffin , 3 hours later and they’re still walking about with it. I thought to myself, they’ve lost the plot!!My daughter asked me for a pet spider for her birthday , so I went to our local pet shop and they were £70!!! Blow this, I thought, I can get one cheaper off the web.

I was at an ATM yesterday when a little old lady asked if I could check her balance, so I pushed her over.

I start a new job in Seoul next week. I thought it was a good Korea move.

I was driving this morning when I saw an AA van parked up. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable. I thought to myself that guy’s heading for a breakdown.

Statistically , 6 out of 7 dwarves are not Happy.

My neighbour knocked on my door at 2:30am this morning, can you believe that, 2:30am?! Luckily for him I was still up playing my Bagpipes.

Paddy says “Mick, I’m thinking of buying a Labrador .”Not that” says Mick “have you seen how many of their owners go blind?”

My girlfriend thinks that I’m a stalker. Well, she’s not exactly my girlfriend yet.

A wife says to her husband you’re always pushing me around and talking behind my back. He says what do you expect? You’re in a wheelchair.

The wife has been missing a week now. Police said to prepare for the worst. So I have been to the charity shop to get all her clothes back.

When I was in the pub I heard a couple of plonkers saying that they wouldn’t feel safe on an aircraft if they knew the pilot was a woman. What a pair of sexists. I mean, it’s not as if she’d have to reverse the bloody thing!

Local Police hunting the ‘knitting needle nutter’ , who has stabbed six people in the arse in the last 48 hours, believe the attacker could be following some kind of pattern.

Bought some ‘rocket salad’ yesterday but it went off before I could eat it!

A teddy bear is working on a building site. He goes for a tea break and when he returns he notices his pick has been stolen. The bear is angry and reports the theft to the foreman. The foreman grins at the bear and says “Oh, I forgot to tell you, today’s the day the teddy bears have their pick nicked.”

Murphy says to Paddy “What ya talkin to an envelope for?” “I’m sending a voicemail ya thick sod!”

Just got back from my mate’s funeral. He died after being hit on the head with a tennis ball. It was a lovely service.

19 paddies go to the cinema , the ticket lady asks “Why so many of you?” Mick replies, “The film said 18 or over.”

An Asian fellow has moved in next door. He has travelled the world, swum with sharks, wrestled bears and climbed the highest mountain. It came as no surprise to learn his name was Bindair Dundat.


I’m awake.

Whaaaa….?  Watimeizzit?

Half past four? In the morning? Jeez, I never knew there was such a time, I always thought it was a myth.

I’ll roll over and go back to sleep.

It sounded like a plan. Sleep, however,  had other ideas;

O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?

And so I lay in my bed counting sheep ad infinitum while knowing full well that slumber had got a better offer and left me to my own devices. After half an hour or so the best plan seemed to be to get up and start work. So I did.

I worked like a woman possessed, a maniac, a whirling dervish on a mission. My God, I’m even up to date with this years accounts. I wouldn’t normally start them till next august!

So where did this energy come from?

Well, the answer to that comes earlier, the previous day, in fact.

We attended, as we do so many times a year, a wedding fayre. Nothing new there,  except that it was the last of this season and the last ever –  for us.

That might seem like business suicide as 90% of the business comes from wedding fayres but I’ve had a niggle for some time that it’s time to explore other avenues.  I was sad to say goodbye to the other exhibitors who have become friends over the years and at the same time worried and scared about what the future is going to bring but  sometimes you have to let something go in order to pick something else up.

My gut feeling tells me it’s the right decision. I’m not sure Boofuls agrees with me but as normal he is supporting me completely.

So when I woke up in the early hours I felt released, energised, excited, scared and full of ideas for our future – and you know what. I think it’s looking rosy!


Those magnificent men in their flying machines

You may or may not know this, but many years ago Boofuls and myself used to be microlight aircraft pilots.

For me it was a case of, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,’ but I took to it like a duck to water and just like every other person who does it and likes it – I was hooked. Lashes was only a few months old at the time so I’d give her a quick breast feed and then leave her with Boofuls while I’d go off on my lesson with the late, great Tony Wells who came to be known as Uncle Dumper because Boofuls and me used to dump the kids with him while we went flying for an hour or so.

Eventually the time came for me to fly solo. My little plane was a solo striker like this one:



This isn’t my plane, mine was prettier than this with a gorgeous rainbow coloured wing.

But, you know what? That’s worth a whole post to itself. I’ll save that one.

Every free weekend for about ten years saw us loading the car up with the kids, food and  warm clothes to go and spend all day at the airfield waiting for the wind to drop and make the weather flyable. As we waited we’d watch hardier souls than us fly in and out of the field,  pursing our lips and taking a sharp intake of breath as we watched and passed judgement on the standard of landings and take offs. It was easy to judge if it was a good landing or not. If you walked  away without either yourself or your aircraft being damaged it was a good landing.

There was of course the commentary that went with it: “Oh, there’s one coming in. Oh look at him he’s all over the place. OH!!! HE’S GONNA LOSE IT! OOF! He’s done it!. WELL DONE LAD!!”  It was usually a big hairy arsed bloke. We female microlighters were a bit thin on the ground. Where we used to fly there were only three females, which made us a bit of a novelty. We were collectively known as ‘fanny squadron’ in our highly politically incorrect club. Being heavily outnumbered by the blokes we had to put up with  much banter about us not knowing one end of a spark plug from another, fuel/oil ratios and our inability to single handedly lift a wing and  rig an aircraft, which,  most unlike me,  I had to take gracefully as I did once manage to put the wing on my plane backwards. Dammit. I got ribbed about that for years!

Eventually, the novelty of standing on a cold airfield all day waiting for maybe ten minutes of flying at the end of the day when the wind dropped sufficiently, wore off. I think it must be a woman thing, I just kept thinking of all the things I could be doing instead of just standing around all day. All the men were quite happy to stand around all day just enjoying the atmosphere and the camaraderie. As exhilarating and breathtakingly beautiful as it was  flying over Morecambe Bay for a few minutes just as the sun was starting to set, or circuit bashing on the beach on a clear day,  the pain  to pleasure ratio was all wrong.

Eventually I  decided to hang up my flying suit and go to university to get eddycated instead. If I had spare time I used it to study, flying …it flew out the window. And that, as they say, was te end of that.

This week on television was a programme about  the Round Britain Rally, a microlight race which, as the name implies, involves flying round the whole of Blighty in three days. It’s a rough, tough, gung-ho, Boy’s Own comic, gruelling endurance test of an event for those who fancy themselves as a bit of an Indiana Jones type.

 You can watch it here – but only for a couple of weeks, I think..  Boofuls took part in it once with Uncle Dumper and had to be unceremoniously rescued by me and Tony’s wife from a field in Tewkesbury after an engine failure brought  their adventure to an  ignominious and early end. The programme features some good friends of ours, a few acquaintances, a few people we don’t know and just a couple of people we wish we didn’t know but most importantly it gives a brilliant insight to the sport of microlighting.

There is some fantastic aerial photography and it truly captures the pioneering spirit of microlighting  –  and also some of the angst that the pilots go through but, hey! Don’t take my word for it – go and see for yourself!



Bid me discourse and I will enchant thine ear

A small amount of kudos to you if you know where the words in the title come from before you read this post. If you don’t, the story kind of gives it away so no kudos at all in that case.

Grim, ‘orrible, windy and cold  weather greeted us again yesterday morning. It’s getting on my nerves now. I want snow or sunshine or fog, anything in fact but this sodding awful wet and windy greyness.

Boofuls, sensing my mood, suggested that we have a ride out to Blackpool and spend a few hours in the tower ballroom. We haven’t danced at all since our teacher was taken ill, it just doesn’t seem right somehow but I’m certain that he’d want us to dance. After all, he built his whole life around it.

So wearing a peculiar assortment of clothing, we set off to Blackpool. Warm coat,boots, thick cardigan against the cold of the journey, light cardigan in case it was a bit cool in the ballroom and a light, floaty dress to dance in as well as the obligatory sparkly jewellery.

We arrived at the ballroom and picked our spot. A table right on the edge of the dance floor near the mighty wurtlizer. As normal there was a good array of people. Daytrippers dancing in trainers and jeans, good amateurs, professionals practising, you can always spot them even before they start to dance, they always wear black and the men always have a waistcoat on. Yesterday there was a young couple who were amazing to watch, they’ll be going far, I think. There was a  little, elderly man dancing on his own, hopping and jumping round the floor to a quickstep with his invisible partner. And there was us.

That’s what I like about Blackpool Tower ballroom, anyone of any age and ability can take to the floor and no one bats an eyelid.

Having bagged our spot we started to strip off the boots, coats, scarves, cardigans and other outdoor paraphernalia and got the dance shoes on. Within two minutes we were quickly putting the cardigans and scarves back on as it was absolutely perishing. I think the boiler must have gone or it was a ploy on the part of the management to keep people buying hot drinks. People were dancing in fleeces!  If they didn’t actually dance in their fleeces and scarves they put them back on as soon as they sat down and then hugged their hot drinks to try and keep warm.

We spent a lovely three hours in there, waltzing, tangoing, chachachaing, jiving and rumbaing our way through the afternoon. The only dance we didn’t get to do was the foxtrot. We waited and waited for a foxtrot but eventually decided that we had to leave or risk a parking fine. As miuch as I love a foxtrot, I don’t love it fifty quids worth. As soon as we were all togged up for outside again on went a foxtrot. Dagnabbit!

Of course, being in Blackpool we had to go to Harry Ramsden’s for his famous fish, chips and mushy peas – and it didn’t disappoint. All I can say about that is: nomnomnomnomnom.

Well done, Boofuls. Boredom strop successfully averted, we had a lovely day out. Shame about the cold.

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This is my 1000th post apparently. In honour of the occasion  and to start the new year I will be posting my very first post  as post 1001 tomorrow. Ooh, bet you can’t wait for that.

Happy Birthday Pebbles

Happy birthday Pebbles!

Our little black cat, Pebbles, the very Pebbles who inspired the name of this blog after I once again tripped over her  in the middle of the night, has reached the grand old age of twenty. We don’t know her exact birthday but we believe it to be somewhere around new year.

I remember the day we got her, and the reason why. Let’s take a walk down memory lane together, dear reader and I’ll share my story with you.

Lashes, little more than a curly haired and hazel eyed toddler suddenly and out of the blue  developed a profound fear of cats.  Hardly able to walk down the street without screeching like a banshee every time she saw one, we decided action was needed.

” We’ll get a little, cute kitten, everyone likes little, cute kittens, don’t they?”

“What? To scare her with  every time she misbehaves?”

“No, love. To help her over her fear of cats.”

So started weeks of trying to find a cat. The RSPCA had none, neither did the Cats’ Protection League. After a long trip out to a cat sanctuary, they told us they’d heard of a place near where we lived that had cats they wanted rid of.

We drove all the way back to visit the people with the spare cats.

It transpired that they already had dogs but had taken in a cat out of the goodness of their hearts. This cat promptly had kittens, and before they’d got rid of them all, one of the kittens had had kittens. These people were all catted out. If they never saw another cat again it would have been too soon. Their lives had been a mess of yowling, barking, fighting, pooing smelly animals ever since they’d done their good deed.

In we walked, “We’d like it to be a boy.”

“This is a boy.” they said as they thrust a bundle of black fur at us. To be honest if we’d have said me wanted a martian they’d have told us it was one.

For about a nanosecond, this little, black ball of fluff sat trembling in the palm of my hands. “We’ll take it.” I said, assessing the sadness of it’s situation rather than it’s suitability as a pet for our darling daughter.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth this harmless little kitten turned into a whirling dervish of the grandest magnitude.  It launched itself from my hands onto the sofa, bounced of the sofa and ran round the walls at lightning speed like Evel Kneivel riding the  wall of death. Off  the wall it finally came, by taking a flying leap halfway across the room onto  the curtains which it used as a springboard before  finally coming  to rest – hanging off the tv. It only came to rest there because it got a claw stuck and couldn’t move.   I think that the poor thing had had to fight to not end up as a dog snack from the moment it was born and had learned how to make a quick getaway. Certainly it’s survival skills had been honed to perfection and it was definitely nippy on it’s feet.

I walked over and plucked her ( Yes, her. Not him as requested) from where she was dangling helplessly in front of the television screen.

By now the owner had given up trying to tell me what a lovely wee thing it was and just looked at me wordlessly, imploring me with her eyes to take it away but obviously thinking we wouldn’t after it’s display of ‘cute kittenness.’

Of course we did take her, although we spent the whole drive home wondering what the hell we’d just done.

So that was the inauspicious way Pebbles came to be part of our lives. I’d love to tell you that she was the perfect pet, loving, friendly and relaxed but it would be a lie. I do think she appreciated us for giving her a peaceful and dog free home but   she has never got over her nerves and she continues to be  neurotic, anti social and aloof  but we love her.

Happy birthday, Pebbles.

Back to normal?

It’s pretty much all over now so it’s time to get myself back on the weightwatchers no points soup and fresh fruit for the foreseeable future. Ah well it was nice while it lasted.

Of course all the countdown to New Year programmes have started I’ve never been the biggest fan of New Year, too many grim childhood memories to make it an enjoyable occasion – but we won’t dwell on that. Christmas has always been the biggest thing for me and I’ve mananged to pass that down onto my family as well.

Talking of family, we all got together for Christmas pie the other night. All the left over turkey as well as a gammon joint and sausages went into a huge pie with a rich bechamel sauce and covered with lovely buttery, shorter than short pastry all made by my own fair hand. I was quite proud of it even if I do say so myself.

Pastry is a funny thing, isn’t it. I find people can either make it well – or they can’t. My Mum made fantastic cakes and was a brilliant coook but turning out a good pastry always eluded her. I can make decent pastry but cakes? Nah.  Usually heavy and flat. I’d rather make a pie any day.

Which are you best at, cake or pastry?

I took a few photos of the table before people arrived:

And after they left:


This next one was me after the clean up operation:

It was a brilliant night but I was exhausted after it.


The prize for the person with the funniest decorations this year goes to Bezzy Mate:



What is it with men and boxes?

And men say women are unfathomable? Even after twenty six years of marriage I still can’t understand my husband’s total inability to throw away packaging.

One of his gifts from Father Christmas this year was a lovely sonic toothbrush to keep his recently whitened pearly whites bright enough to use as a torch on a dark night. I could see that he was completely underwhelmed by Santa’s generosity and the box has laid, unopened on the dressing table since the big day. Obviously he has no idea how much Santa forked out for this bit of electronic wizardry, over £100 it was and that was half price.

Fook! It’s only a toothbrush!!!

As he sauntered into the bedroom this morning prior to starting his morning ablutions ( Hubby, not Santa), I enquired scathingly as to whether the aforementioned toothbrush was going to sit on my dressing table unopened for the next two years before I finally give it away to a charity shop. “No, no, I’m going to use it right now,” he said as he scooped it up quickly and made a show of opening it.

After a brief discussion about the merits, or not, of  copious amounts of unnecessary packaging and ‘perceived value’, he popped the empty box into his wardrobe.

What? Memories of clearing out the hay loft in the stable  a couple of years ago swam into my hand. Boofuls had saved all manner of boxes. Boxes from just about anything we’d ever bought were up there. There were boxes inside boxes, big boxes, small boxes, boxes with padding, boxes with polystyrene inserts, boxes of all shapes and sizes all just waiting for that magical day. The ‘you never know when we’ll need one of those’ day.

“Did you just put that empty box in the wardrobe? Why, Boofuls, why would you do that?”

“It’s got the instructions in it.”

“It’s a toothbrush, Boofuls, How hard can it be?”

The box was duly removed from the wardrobe to be swiftly collapsed and shoved into the recycling bin by me and Boofuls  went to try out his new toothbrush.

Five minutes later he was back. “Look at this!!!”,  he cried excitedly as he flashed his pearly gnashers at me, “It’s amazing! I can’t believe what a diffentence it’s made!”

I felt a huge smile spread over my face, not a present fail after all then.

The Feast of Stephen

Firstly: Apologies for the terrible spacing. I think WordPress may have partaken in a bit too much of the Christmas spirit, nothing is staying where I put it.


So, we visited, drank, ate, opened presents, laughed, hugged, kissed and played family games through Christmas Day. What a fantastic day is what. By 10pm I was absolutely exhausted and slumped on the settee watching Strictly Come Dancing as my eyelids drooped and sleep called.

In honour of the perfect day we had yesterday, and to nod in the direction of The Feast of Stephen today, I thought we’d gather round and sing a few carols. Ready?

Let’s start with that old favourite, ‘We Three Kings’

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are,

One in a taxi, one in a car,

One on a scooter, blowing his hooter,

Wearing his girlfriends bra.

While Shepherds Watched Watched Their Flocks

While shepherds washed their socks by night

all watching ITV

the angel of the Lord came down

and switched to BBC.

And now that Christmas Day is over, let’s celebrate The Feast of Stephen by singing together my  personal favourite:

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out

Of his bedroom winder.

Silly bugger he fell out

On a red hot cinder.

Brightly shone his bum that night,

Though the pain was cru-el.

Then a doctor came in sight,

Sitting on a muuu-uuu-el

Aaaah, there’s nothing like a good old singalong to brighten the sprits and get the day off to a good start.

Yesterday was lovely.
As normal, we arrived at bezzie mates good and early. Her son and partner were there with their baby, Lashes and Len were there as well with Munki who was amazed that father Christmas had obviously got all his houses mixed up as he’d left presents absolutely everywhere for her!
The Rev and Gembolina were next on the visiting list. My two glasses of champers at bezzie mates were followed with a very nice glass of sherry. I always feel a bit like a vicar’s wife when I drink sherry and can’t resist saying , “More tea, Vicar?”  as I hold out my glass for a refill. The clingons were excited and lively as they unwrapped their presents. Mrs Woofy was outside in the garden and watching through the patio window, obviously wanting to join in with the excitement and she’d occasionally run round in circles, jump about and then come for another look through the window. Munki was once again amazed that there were yet more presents for her to open.
After a flying visit there we popped round to Len’s Mum and Dad’s. As usual their hospitality was generous. “Have a glass of Buck’s Fizz.” “Umm, ok then.”   Now, all I would say about drinking early in the morning is this: If you don’t normally drink at ten in the morning then the day you need to cook an enormous meal and entertain people all day probably isn’t the best day to start. By this time my eyes were looking at each other and I was well and truly feeling the christmas spirit! We certainly were all merry and bright, as the carol goes.
I soon got over the urge to find a quiet corner to sleep in when we got home and it was time to open our gifts to each other. Father Christmas has been extremely generous this year, sending me a book  by Dawn French and Miranda Hart’s biography as well as others that I can’t wait to get started on –  and lots of other goodies. Munki’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw yet more presents. Isn’t three just the perfect age to accept all the magic of Christmas without question?  She was delightful to watch.
Then it was into the kitchen. The cook fest of the previous day had certainly paid off. Getting the dinner out on the table was a doddle.  It always seems like a good idea having an umpteen course meal till you actually start eating it. We took a break between courses to watch the Inbetweeners film. More suited to the mentality of an eighteen year old boy than a fifty one year old woman it had me alternating between cringing and guffawing. Sophisticated it is not.
A few games of fiddlesticks, bingo and funny faces ( yes, we know it’s a kid’s game but it made us laugh) finished the day off nicely.
I know Christmas can be a time of tension in lots of families when they are thrown together and have to pretend to get on.
We had the best day yesterday I have to say that I feel truly blessed to have the family and friends I’ve got.
Did I mention that I love Christmas?

Between the lines

Funny isn’t it?

It’s the stuff you can’t or don’t say in a blog that matters the most.

All the stuff that is breaks our hearts, upsets us and stresses us to the point of not being able to string a coherent sentence together is hidden behind a funny anecdote or a moan about the weather – and even that’s going on the ‘too hard to do’ pile lately.

Well, today I’ve decided enough is enough and this stress is better out than in. Not that I’m going to be divulging the secrets of others – oh no, if you tell me a secret it’ll go to the grave with me, nor will I be ranting about how unjust life is or how inconsiderate and selfish people can be or sharing my deepest darkest but ever present fears with you. But what I will do is acknowledge that life if getting pretty trucking ficky at the moment and I’m not sure I’m handling it all that well.

It’s at times like these I remember the words of a psychologist I once knew who told me that “If you think you aren’t coping then really you are. It’s the people who don’t know they aren’t coping who end up in the funny farm.”  It’s a small comfort but one I hold on to.

I reached my stress  tolerance limit at some point in the early hours of this morning when I got up for a nocturnal bathroom visit.

Swinging my legs out of bed I suddenly felt like I was on a roller coaster, and that was only the beginning. Stumbling my way to the bathroom I held tightly  on to the door frame as I fought back waves of nausea. ‘Oh bloody hell, not this again!’ crossed my mind as I lurched across the bathroom and sat swaying on the toilet seat, holding onto the wall like a drunk after a hard night on the bevy.

Bodies handle stress in all kinds of ways, I know some people who break out with eczema, others who rant and rave ( I do that as well) but my body’s chosen method of telling me it’s time to calm down a bit is to give me some nice vertigo type symptoms which make me virtually unable to function in any useful manner.  The doctor tells me it’s because my body has got so used to releasing adrenalin that it does it even when it doesn’t need to. Of course when I’m not fighting or fleeing it doesn’t get used up so it sits in my body making me very dizzy and nauseous.

Have you ever tried to dance a waltz or a paso doble when you’re as dizzy as a cuckoo? Let me tell you, it aint fun. Our teacher chose this very morning to make us practice a few nice spins and spirals. Probably not our best dance lesson ever if I’m honest. I danced most of it with my eyes shut and  stopping to clamp my hand over my mouth in case I vommed all over our teacher. He wasn’t having the best day himself having sustained a few bruised ribs in a car crash a few days ago that he was lucky to have survived. To have vommed on him would have just added insult to injury.

So there we are. I’ve admitted it.

I’ve dropped my balls, my plates have crashed to the ground and my Wonder woman costume has got egg on it.

I’ll end this with some more words of wisdom from the same psychologist.

“You bloody women think you can do everything. Well you can’t. Stop trying.”



Hugs from Amma

I saw this  on the news this morning about a woman from India who has made it her life’s work to hug people.  A few years ago a group of friends and me were talking about going to London for a hg from Amma. I wish we’d done it.

There’s just not enough hugging going on in the world.

I could do with a hug right now.  Virtual hugs, please.

We had no Thursday dance lesson today because our teacher is on the other side of the world teaching and examining at the moment.  Old habits die hard though and I was still out of bed and racing round the house like a nutcase getting showered and dressed for an early start after which I was  left twiddling my thumbs and feeling a bit lost. What to do now?

It was a lovely foggy morning so I grabbed Mrs Woofy I set  out for a walk  up on the moors. We were up there  before  9.o’clock.  What a lovely way to start the day.  Not as good as starting the day with a paso doble, obviously but a very close second.  Of course my trusty phone was with me to take a  few photos.

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