Tag Archives: children

You treat this place like a hotel!


No. Wait. Ok, it IS a hotel but you don’t need to treat it like one.

So what am I wittering on about today?

Munki. That’s what.

She’s got into the habit of strolling into the kitchen during breakfast service and ordering as a guest would.

For those of you who don’t know, Munki is our eight year old granddaughter who lives with us here at the Boofuls Towers B & B lodging emporium.

Yesterday she wandering in, looked around disdainfully, walked out again and into the guest dining room. Two minutes later she returned with a giant bowlful of the fruit salad, having taken all the strawberries and blueberries out of it and left the bits she didn’t like for the actual paying guests. Once she’d finished that – and I’d finished refreshing the fruit salad, she returned to the kitchen, “Can I just have two slices of bacon today please?” If I’m not too busy I’ll generally make it for her and yesterday she was lucky.

This morning we only had two guests in for breakfast and only one of them wanting a cooked breakfast. Service was over in about three minutes, long enough to produce two poached eggs on toast.

Munki strolled into the kitchen at her usual time. Her face fell. “What? Have I missed breakfast? I’m not late!”

I explained to her that breakfast was over and suggested she make herself some toast since she isn’t actually a paying guest. Her little face lit up and off she went.

The only trouble with Munki having toast is that she absolutely slathers it in my home made lemon curd. I can’t keep up with her demand for it. Only last week I made a fresh batch and it’s almost gone already. I may have to start rationing it. It wouldn’t be too bad if only I could stop her putting the knife into the jar after it’s been used for butter. Ugh. I can’t serve that to guests now. If I’ve told her once not to do that I’ve told her a thousand times, No exaggeration!

I think it’s a ploy she uses she she can have it all.

Anyway, still on the subject of Munki:

Her mum, Lashes has been picking up her old hobby of doing magic tricks.

She got really quite good at it at one point but then as so often happens at that age she lost interest and moved on to other things, boys, mostly.

Now she has started doing magic again. Please note that I was very careful not to say she was doing tricks. I said that last week to someone and then stood there mystified as they doubled up with laughter. I’m so innocent sometimes it’s ridiculous. I had no idea what I’d just said.

Anyway, I digress.

Lashes had just learned the old ‘coin in a bottle trick.’ She did it using a plastic bottle and we were all mighty impressed when this coin magically appeared inside it. She showed the same trick to MUnki who was astounded, begging her mum to do the trick again and pleading with her to show her how it was done.

Lashes, in the manner of all good magicians didn’t do the trick again but handed the bottle to Munki, “See if you can work it out.”

Lashes walked off smirking as Munki shook, rattled, peered into and generally gave the bottle a good inspection.

Five minutes later she came into see me. “Nanny, can I borrow some scissors, please?” Without giving giving a thought I handed over a pair of scissors and Munki disappeared into her bedroom.

Five minutes later again I heard a shout, “Why would you do that? Why? You’ve completely destroyed it.” Munki had only taken a pair of scissors to the plastic bottle to see the mechanics of the trick. Lashes was LIVID.

Well, you did tell her to see if she could work it out. You didn’t say she couldn’t destroy it to find the answer.

She’ll go far, that kid!

What’s a coopid?


Munki: What does a coopid mean?

Lashes: You’re saying it wrong.

Munki: No I’m not.

Lashes: Yes, it’s a cupid. A little angel that fires arrows and makes people fall in love.

Munki: No. Not that. A coopid. It says it on that door.
Lashes: Oh! Occupied.

Me: Rolling round the floor laughing for the second time yesterday.
The first time was sitting outside our new favourite eat and drinkerie. Munki and I were at the table playing at being Barbie and Rainbow Horse and speaking in ridiculous American accents. I was Rainbow horse.

Munki: Can I ride you?
Me: You sure can.
Munki: Oh great. If you ride you you won’t flip me off will you?

Me: Laughed till I cried and couldn’t even tell her why. Other diners looked at me like I’d gone slightly potty.

They things they come out with


Did you know that Munki started school last month?

Started school? It’s only two minutes since Lashes was sitting in a birthing pool and I was cutting Munki’s umblical cord – one of the proudest moments of my life I might add, helping to bring my youngest granddaughter into the world. *wipes away tear*  Anyway, before I get all maudlin.

Munki has started school, she looks so grown up in her black and grey uniform with the cartoon school  motif  that Lashes hates so much on her jumper.

Monday afternoon is my day to pick her up. My, that takes me back. It’s a few years since I stood on a school playground with all the mums. In my day we used to chat to each other. Now they all have their head down and are engrossed in their mobile phones. How times change.

Yesterday, as Munki and I walked from the school gates down to the car  we were having a conversation about things she wanted.

“….and I want a horse, Nanny.”

“Oh yes? That would be nice wouldn’t it?”

“Do you know what kind of horse, Nanny?”

At this point I was feeling impressed that she knew there were different types of horses and was expecting her to say Shetland pony or something.  Little did I know what was coming………

“I really want  a unicorn, Nanny.”

I stopped dead in the street and laughed out loud, drawing a few funny looks from a couple of mums.  Munki, looked at me seriously.

“Really, Nanny. I really want a unicorn.”

“Oh. Well, um, then I suppose you’d better see your Mum about that.”  was my cop out answer. I wasn’t going to be the one to destroy her dreams.
While I’ve been attending HTM classes with Douggie the Doggie I’ve been watching the odd Youtube clip and reading blogs on how the experts do it tom inspire and motivate me.  To save me searching every time I decided to save one blog it to my bookmarks bar at the top of my screen. The only trouble is that it’s shortened the title and at first glance it always looks like: Che… amazing munching dog. Hehee I don’t need to teach Douggie how to munch, he’s already an expert at that.

 

I have loads to tell you. Too much, actually, I can’t find time to write it all down Just to give you a brief catch up, here are a few photos of places we’ve been and things we’ve been doing. You’ll work it out.

 

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You could have told me


Boofuls had occasion to go to A & E after managing to drop a huge piece of metal on his foot last Monday.

Of course, being a man he spent a few hours being brave and saying he didn’t need to go but eventually, and without any prompting from anyone so it must have been damn painful, off he popped to the hospital for the long wait.

He sent me a message to say he’d gone as I was out dog training  at the time.  Thinking that he might end up with his foot in plaster and not be able to drive himself home I dropped the dog off with The Rev and made my way up to the hospital as well – just in time to see Boofuls being discharged with nothing more serious than severe bruising.

We arrived home at roughly the same time. Boofuls walked straight over to me and in a stern voice said, “You could have told me.”

“Told you what? I didn’t know it was only bruised, better to get it checked out.”

“Not that.  I’ve been examined by a nurse, two different doctors and been for an x-ray with a f*cking great Peppa Pig sticker on my shirt!”

Indeed he had, a nice sparkly metallic one that Munki had made him wear earlier in the day. Being Monday, and my day with her, she’d been at work for a while and kindly gave everyone a sticker to wear, which we’d all promptly forgotten we were wearing. Boofuls had is in a prominent position on his shirt so everyone could see it in it’s full technicolour sparkly glory.

HAAHAAAAAA!!!!  Oh, Boofuls.

Monday’s have been renamed ‘sprog and dog day’ since I spend the whole of Monday afternoon sharing my time between them both as they both jealously vie for my attention.  Munki has decided that she needs to give the dog orders every three seconds at full volume, orders which he steadfastly ignores, and he has decided to be under my feet constantly so as to prevent Munki getting to me.  Occasionally they team up to cause some mischief together. My usual solution is to take them both for a walk in the woods so they can play in the stream and burn off some energy but yesterday it was a bit too cold and windy. Add to that the start of a migraine and a few wayward hormones and it makes for a loooooooong afternoon. I was actually looking forward to the long, silent drive to training last night.

Believe it or not, Munki actually starts school in September. How the hell did she get to school age without me noticing? Once she’s at school I won’t have my Monday afternoons with her any more. Barring afternoons like yesterday, which was  more of an endurance test, we normally have a lovely time together. I’m going to miss her. Mondays just won’t be the same without Munki at foghorn volume.

Oh well. That’s enough chit chat for today, I’d better get moving and get today started. It’s ‘other’ Tuesday today and we have a dance lesson every other Tuesday so –  today’s the day! Paso doble, here we come!

I hope you have a nice day whatever you’re doing.

Baa Baa Black sheep


Minding our own business and driving down a road we don’t drive down very often, through the country side towards Bigtown.

Suddenly, Boofuls and I spotted a trio of young boys chasing a few sheep up the road. “Aye aye” we thought, “What’s going on here then?’ But working on the basis that the boys didn’t have any look of anticipation on their faces and weren’t wearing wellies we decided it was probably innocent.

Innocent it might have been but it sure didn’t look like fun. The older boy was red fadedly, arm wavingly and desperately trying to get these sheep to go in a direction in which they most definitely didn’t want to go. The two younger boys just ran around and shouted a lot, making matters far worse but they were trying their best to help and that’s what counts, I suppose.

As it’s quite a busy and winding road I could see huge and looming potential for disaster in the situation so I thought we’d better stop and help. Boofuls pulled over and I jumped out of the car.

“What’s going on, lads?” I said with my most authoritative voice.  I soooo should have been in the police.

“These sheep have escaped from the top field and we’re trying to get them back but they keep running away.”

It turned out that these poor lads had been trying to get these sheep back in their field for about 20 minutes but in actual fact had inadvertently driven them down the hill and onto the road. By this time both the boys and the sheep were in a state of sheer terror.

Sigh. Nothing else for it then, let’s get my sheep herder’s head on and start herding. Did you know that sheep are incredibly stupid?

Arms outstretched, I walked towards then while the elder of the boys did the same from a different direction to try and herd them towards the gate. ‘Piece of cake, this’, I thought. How wrong could I be?

One of the sheep made a bolt for the road and of course the others followed. How I wished for a sheepdog at that very moment – and to my surprise I kind of got one. Boofuls swung the car across the road to block their path and sent them all scurrying back towards us. Well done, Shep, er, I mean, Boofuls.

After a few minutes of herding and cooing, we managed to get them off the road and down a farm track. “Open the gate! Open the gate!” I was shouting to the two younger boys who just stood there looking at me like I was speaking martian. I think they were traumatised. “OPEN THAT GATE!!!!” I bellowed at them and finally they responded and the sheep all ran through it right on cue. It was just like ‘One Man and His Dog’ as the gate was swung shut behind them and we all cheered.

I have no idea who’s land we put them on. I could just imagine the home owner’s face when they saw a small flock of sheep they don’t own grazing away on their land.  That, however was not my problem nor that of the boys who’s public spirited actions and determination to get those sheep to a safe place is to be much admired. The oldest boy was almost on his knees, partly out of breathlessness but mostly out of gratitude. He must have thanked me two dozen times for my help.

Our country of the future needs more kids like these. Whoever their parents are,  particularly the older boy, they’re  an absolute credit to them.

Well done lads!

As for me and Boofuls, we carried on with our journey and I spent the rest of the day talking like a farmer. Ooohaaaaarrr.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings


A couple of times over the last few days I’ve been reduced to tears of laughter by comments that have come out of the mouths of small children.

The first one was on Saturday during a portrait shoot. There was nanny, Mum, Aunty and the little girl. What a character she was. Two years old and character in spades. Totally unaware she was being amusing, she absolutely charmed me and Boofuls.  I could hardly bear to let her go home. As small kids often do, she wanted to check out the facilities. Often. She must have gone to the loo about ten times.

At one point she approached Boofuls and asked him. “Will you take me for a poo?” Awkward. Poor bloke.

“No, darling, you need to go and ask your Mum”, he replied. The little girl walked over to her Mum and asked her loudly;

“Mummy. Can he take me for a poo?”

Oh how my sides ached, I could hardly breathe for laughing.

 

I got in trouble from Munki today for singing the wrong words to a song from one of her favourite programmes.

Apparently the correct lyrics are; Roll your sleeves up, give your hands a wash with slippy slippy soap, splish splash splosh.

My version was; Roll your sleeves up, give your hands a wash, we’re going to get ready to make some nosh.

“NO! NANNY! NO! THAT’S NOT RIGHT!!” She was disgusted at the corruption of her favourite song. She was so disgusted she gave her banana to the dog in a hissy fit.

On the way home  in the car she was telling me that she doesn’t like dinosaurs. I agreed that dinosaurs might be a bit scary. I was a bit surprised when she informed me with great solemnity that dinosaurs are the same thing as vampires. Now that’d be really scary. I tried my best not to laugh out loud but there was a lot of coughing and spluttering going on. It’s hard to drive with tears streaming down your face.

These kids will be the death of me.

 

 

Little Secrets


“Let’s go for a coffee.”  Lashes suggested the other day. It took me about a nanosecond to think about it before picking up my bag and heading off to meet her and Munki.

Hhmm. Where to go?  Not enough time to go into Bigtown, not enough money to go to the posh coffee shops since the economy drive is still in top gear. “I know” Lashes said, “let’s go in the market.”

Our little town doesn’t have a lot to boast about but it does have spectacular scenery and it also has a lovely little market, one which I’m ashamed to say I don’t frequent nearly as much as I should as the supermarket is more convenient and cheaper.

“Does it even have a cafe?” I asked bemused. Lashes looked at me with a little smile on her face, “Follow me, it’s like a little secret, this place.”

And so it was. She led me through to the annexe, where I’d never even set foot before, and through a door that gave no clues at all as to what lay behind it.

Behind the door lay the tiniest cafe you’ve ever seen. There were no leather settees, huge pictures of coffee beans, menus offering coffees with fancy names, sandwiches with a  choice of six different kinds of bread and no business men and women on their smartphones with their laptops open in front of them.

Instead was half a dozen formica topped tables with fake flowers in chipped vases. The walls were painted a cheery yellow and the  menu, a laminated piece of paper,offered straightforward tea from a Tetley teabag or coffee, instant, from a jar. There were a couple of pensioners who obviously spend a lot of time there, and a warm welcome.  We ordered our food and drinks and while we waited we chatted with the ladies on the other tables. The food, which arrived in due course, came with a smile and a little chat with Munki. The serviettes, if you felt the need to dab at your mouth after every mouthful of food, came in the form of kitchen roll which you helped yourself to from the shelf on the back wall, along with the cutlery in a tray that reminded me of my school days.It felt like we were sat in a friends kitchen – and just as comfortable.

Music played quietly in the background, songs from the 50’s and 60’s, songs that don’t challenge the emotions, tax the brain or jangle the nerves. At one point a couple of the customers joined in with a song, singing, “Love Letters in the Sand.’ to no one in particular. Did anyone bat an eyelid? Did they heck. It was all just part of the atmosphere. if anyone tried that in Starbucks, they’d be forcibly ejected from the premises.

An elderly chap came in, looked around at all the tables and then went and spoke to everyone in turn, leaving them with a sweetie as he moved on. The sweetie in question was another memory from childhood, Werthers originals. Delicious. He had an extra special chat with Munki, obviously enjoying her company, mind you, she was being extra cute.

We spent a lovely half hour chatting with total strangers who were obviously curious about us as we stood out like a sore thumb,  and enjoying good, plain and wholesome food at prices reminiscent of twenty years ago.

I think that little secret places like this are at the very heart of a community and help to keep it all together, a place of stability when the world  is going mad. I don’t reckon this place has changed in fifty years and I hope it never does. Every town needs it’s little secrets.

Munki came to my house for her regular Monday afternoon play date. She’s been a bit nervy around the dog so we’ve had to take it slowly. The poor dog can’t understand why Munki keeps screaming when all he wants to do is play. As the weather was nice I decided to let them have a play outside in the filed. Munki decided that she’d train the dog how to run through the weaves by pretending to be a dog herself, woofing as she ran.  “You do it like this. Nanny, why won’t he do it? I’ll show him again.”  It kept her, the dog and especially me, entertained for a good hour.

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I was watching the Cruft’s world championship agility trial last night. I’m not sure me and Mrs Woofy are quite as slick as this yet. This is last years winner.

I’d better start polishing


Occasionally, I pick up my business phone just to check that it’s still working. I sit next to it for hours and hours which turn into days and days when it doesn’t ring. Well, not till I leave the room to go for a pee …. ahem, I mean until I find myself indisposed, then the bugger’ll ring alright.

One such occasion was yesterday. I quickly ran back downstairs to attempt to catch the caller  and avoid committing that heinous business crime of  letting the phone ring  more than three times before answering it or  the answering machine kicking in.

It infuriates me when I’ve dashed downstairs, leapt off the last three steps while holding onto the bannister,  thus gaining  momentum  enabling me to swing round the corner and land on the ground running, skidded across the tiles in the dining room, jumped over the cat who stands there not knowing which way to run and thinking he’s just about to die as I career towards him at a rate of knots, tripped over the office chair which is invariably in the way and  made a lunge for the phone to  get  there just as the machine answers and the caller  hangs up, leaving me to hastily and breathlessly dial 1471 to get a ‘the caller withheld their number’ message. Gaaaahhhhh!!

Who needs to go to a gym when you can have exercise as good as that at home?

Still, at least this particular caller left a message. It was only the a local business organisation wanting me to do a talk at the International Women’s  Day event in March!

Oh my Gawd!

How many years since I last did any public speaking?  At least eight. In those days I was talking about personal presentation skills, stuff I had been very well trained in –  and I knew my subject inside out. Easy peasy.

This time they want me to do an inspirational talk for the business women of tomorrow. Crap!

Oh well, I’ve got a month to make something up do my research and put together a well informed, interesting and entertaining speech. I’d better set to polishing up my public speaking skills. I’ll start now with some of the elocution and enunciation exercises  my Mum used to drum into us when we were kids.

Ready?

How now brown cow.  Unfortunately, with a strong Lancashire accent it sounds more like;  Ti reet y ‘ewd  cew?

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,  or more coloquially:   T’ rain i’ t’ Spain falls mainly o’ t’ plain (don’t forget to flatten all the A’s until they’re pancake shaped ).

Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran. or:  Rahnd  yon rugged rocks t’ scruffy bastid  legged it.

Don’t forget to practice regularly!

Can you hear that slight whirring noise? That’s my Mum spinning in her grave faster than a large hadron collider.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch,  it’s been an interesting weekend for the clingons.

All three of them did their dance exams yesterday. Munki was the youngest one ever to do an exam at the ripe old age of three years and two months. Aaaw, she did the birdie dance and by all accounts did a pretty good job of it as well. We’d all been thinking that she’d refuse to perform or just walk off the dance floor when she’d had enough or have a tantrum. The potential for disaster was enormous but on the day she pulled it out of the hat and performed beautifully. Batty and Dangerous went along in the afternoon to dance with her after having done their exams in the morning.

Everyone was feeling pretty pleased with themselves so I’m looking forward to seeing high marks and good feedback. As for Boofuls and me, having completely lost our enthusiasm for dancing when our teacher became ill, we have finally booked a lesson with his co teacher because  not dancing was just leaving too big a hole in my life and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Dance teacher himself has made an amazing recovery and is now regaining his health and his strength at a rate far faster than anyone would ever have believed possible.  Welcome back to the land of the living, Teach.

Leave it airt!


You may not know this but my Boofuls is a southerner, or as northern folks say, ‘poncey southerner’.  He hasn’t lived in the south for many years though and has largely lost his southern accent. The odd ‘northernism’started to creep in a long time ago, although he’d never admit it, Many’s the time I’ve caught him saying  things like: “I’m going for a bath.”  at which point I gleefully reply ” Bath”? Did you say just say bath?”

“No. No. I said barth.” he  always replies in his best received pronunciation. I half expect him to say ‘Ding Dong’ at the end of a sentence and give me a saucy wink while he twirls his handlebar moustache, he sounds so much like Terry Thomas. Thankfully he doesn’t look like him though.

Source: Internet
Source: Internet

Southern accents, to a born and bred northerner, are generally to be treated with suspicion, in fact anyone with a southern accent is considered to be one of four  things in the north:

1. Poncey

2. Posh

3. Cockney or if male, ‘a cockney bastard’

4. A villain or royalty, there are no levels in between

Boofuls isn’t any of those things, in fact he doesn’t even come from London never mind from within hearing distance of  Bow Bells.

Of  course for most folk ‘oop narth’ anywhere south of Birmingham is considered to be London and anyone from London is cockney.

Of course, Boofuls, as we’ve established doesn’t come from London at all, he comes from Buckinghamshire originally – which admittedly is a bit posh.

The only time Boofuls really slips back into his Buckinghamshire accent is when he’s actually in Buckingham or on the phone, which just makes Lashes and me laugh hysterically when he’s spouting such gems as, “Leave it airt.”  (Yes, well posh, that I can hear you saying). It’s a totally meaningless but overused phrase but I suppose no worse than the local teenagers’ favourite words which are ‘innit’ and ‘like’ both of which are used  be used in totally inappropriate contexts which would have had my old English teacher, Mr Hook, spinning like a top in his grave. I’m not sure I would even have dared to say ‘innit’ in his presence.  Come to think of it, I didn’t really ever dare say anything in his presence. I can only imagine his reaction if he’s heard the following  exchange between two young girls in a shop recently.

“I is totally pissed off  wiv me mum and dad, innit, like”

To be honest I wasn’t sure if I should have put a question mark at the end of that sentence because when I heard it there was an upward inflection at the end that implied she was asking a question. Poor confused girl.

My curiosity as to what her mum and dad had done to piss her  off so monumentally that she felt the need to broadcast it at full volume  to her friend in a town centre store rather took second place to my curiosity about how a young girl girl born and raised in Lancashire managed to pick up a New York gangsta rap accent. Innit.

But anyway, back to the plot:

Munki has realised that Grandad, or Gangand, as she likes to call him, doesn’t sound like the rest of us. It turns out that Munki is turning into quite the mimic. She’s got her mockney accept off to a tee. Here’s her impersonation of Boofuls.

Don’t worry, I’m well aware that other peoples’ kids aren’t the least bit interesting so it’s only eight seconds long.

Just in case you need a translation it’s “leave it airt, leave it airt. Come and ride the hel’er skel’er.”

Living in the back of beyond


So the perfect weather continues in the back of beyond.

I keep running out every five minutes to see if the potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes and peas that I planted last week have sprouted yet. Bitterly disappointed when there’s still nothing to see I still have to go out a little while later for another look.

Passing thieves, murderers and muggers aren’t something we worry about too much up here. Well, not the human kind, anyway. The animals are a different matter; thieving, murdering sods, they are.

The front door was left open the other day, it would have been sinful to keep it closed on such a glorious day. We went about our business and the sun shone. It was only as we got back in the house towards evening that we realised  – we’d been mugged.

A cat had sneaked into  the house and sprayed in the hallway. The smell left us reeling. It was like a cosh round the head.  Not only that but we realised we’d been robbed as well. A whole dish of cat food had gone missing!

The assailant was nowhere to be seen but I have narrowed the suspects down to two. Our fluffy cat’s old adversary, Fang, a  bruiser of a cat with a bad attitude or the deceptively sweet looking ginger tom who beats our cats up on a regular basis. The word on the fields is that it was most likely Fang, breaking and entering is more his style than violence.

Round at the back of the barn we have masonry bees. How do we know they re masonry bees? Easy.

They fly out of the little hole in the wall wearing their little aprons and white gloves muttering unintelligible words under their breath and shaking hands in a strange fashion whilst giving each other knowing looks. It’s dead easy to spot a masonry bee when you know how.

My God, those little buggers move fast. I set up the camera and a tripod at the entrance to their hive to try and photograph them as they flew off. They waddle out to the entrance and then by the time I’ve registered that they’re ready to fly off – they’ve gone. Quick as a flash.  Mind you, I’ll probably never make a nature photographer, after three goes if I haven’t got ‘the shot’ I’m bored with it.

The clingons wanted a picnic and a game of croquet on the ‘lawn’ this afternoon.

I’m not totally sure the girls have got the hang of the game yet. As much as I told them it was a game of finesse and skill they still wacked the ball with the mallet as hard as possible, I’m sure they were confusing it with golf. At one point Batty wacked the ball with the mallet and somehow managed to fire it off at an angle of 90 degrees, straight into my thumb, damn near breaking it!

There was a small group of walkers about half a mile away and they could clearly see there was something going on so they walked up to our far fence, obviously thinking they’d come for a looky. I could see they were looking for a way in but it was all to no avail, we are pretty well ring fenced in and outsiders just can’t come wandering by willy nilly (Chews on grass while hollering ‘git yer ass off a ma land!’  Mmm, I think I suit these dungarees) .

Here are a few photos from today’s perfect afternoon:

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