Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, July 31, 2006

My daughter...

She's totally fabulous really even though she can whinge for England, I can't claim to have taken this I'm afraid, this one is all down to Dad, I did the photoshop bit after though with a lovely nifty action!!

Anyway the girlies had a super time at Grandmas and we went out for the day today which ended up being slightly more eventful than I had hoped due to the heaviest rain for what seems like an Eon.

So we're stuck in this Maize Maze, it's 3 miles long and takes around 2 hours to do, this is not good when stormforce rains begin. I'm running in my flipflops like the veloceraptor, my hubby calls me Velocemammy!! Looby is screaming as she has done the entire maze because she doesn't quite get it and now whats more is she doesn't get it and it's wet!! SO we're breaking through the corn at this point, sod the actual paths, we want to be out and back in the car in double quick time. I'm thinking that when I finally emerged I must have looked like I was in some kind of Sci-fi action movie and maybe a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure. After this we brought new brollies for the girls, this of course wasn't to stop them from being soaked as they really couldn't get any wetter by this point but buying the brollies was in fact a sign that when they look back they'll think oh yes we must have had a good day, little do they remember what it was really like! Mwahahahahaha Posted by Picasa
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Sunday, July 30, 2006

The afternoon of the morning after the night before.....

http://www.hforhealth.com/images/020905/43386_400.jpgOh My word do I feel a little rough today, Paul and I celebrated his upcoming birthday last night on account on account of the fact that there were no children at Chez Charlton.  Now I'm no drinker, this is probably my second session of the year, the last being around my birthday in February!  I can tell you we had a "lorra lorra fun" to use the words of Cilla Black but oh dear now look at that photo then make it 3 kazillion times worse and you'll have some idea of how I feel right now!!  We were naughty parents! LOL


A happy thing occured though, quite unexpectedly the girls rang from grandmas and asked if they could stay for one more sleep so they're not due back till tommorrow morning!  Iain is off out playing again and i'm well, I'm just getting through till bedtime!!

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

They've Gone!!

Yes off to mums they went this morning to stay for the night, their holidays, they're going out today and tommorrow and of course sleeping at grandmas for the first time ever. They were so excited and I have to tell you that I was too.

My house is currently totally silent apart from my tap tappity tapping on the keyboard. Iain is out at a friends and sleeping over tonight and Paul is out playing football, he should be home around 6.30pm and then we get a night to ourselves, wowza are we going to have some fun!! Mwahahahahaha!! Posted by Picasa
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Jump for Joy, it's Friday!!!!

Had to share these, look at those mid air shots!!
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Lifes a Beach...

Or it's full of sand which sticks to everything, you decide which one applies!!

This pretty much sums up our day, a day spent at Seaburn in Sunderland, a day of hot sunshine, big sand-castles and a few high jinx along the way. the children made friends with othe children and spent most of the afternoon playing together which was nice and I got to read some of the new Scrapping book Elsie Flannigans 52 scrapbooking challenges, I have wanted this since it was announced that it was coming out and I went to the scrapbook shop to find that all the magazines I wanted were sold out so I bought the book instead. I can't tell you how much I deserve this book, I am living with a bear with more than a sore head at the moment, this bear has breaks and fractures and is probably in traction right now, yes Mr 30 minute meandering is a total and utter groucho at the moment due to giving up smoking and yes I know it will start to pass, probably around another week and a half (they say the first 3 weeks are the worst) but he managed to have the biggest tantrum and reduced me to tears this morning and why you may want to know, well basically his football kit bag smells like a dead decaying animal, Poppy cat thinks it smells of male cat and so pee-eed in it ruining the shorts he wanted to wear today, he kicked off big style and I rushed to the supermarket and ended up buying him a pair of linen trousers and a sleeveless shirt (early birthday pressie for himself), he did begrudgingly apologise but grrr I tell you this man needs to learn to say sorry!! Posted by Picasa
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

My husbands back....

Rarely sees the light of day and no one ever gets to see the fabulous tattoo work he has on it (click for a bigger image). Finally today he took his shirt off for the entire afternoon, mind you he didn't have an awful lot of choice seeing as it's been constantly wall to wall sunshine for the last month. Every day we're seeing temperatures in the high 20's (70's in F) and there's no sign of this sunny weather ending! I took this at Ridley park in northumberland, they have a water play park with lots of fabbo fountains and the kids loved being free to run around and get soaking wet, it's not like us brits to be wearing swimming costumes more than coats you know so for now I'm enjoying it!!

Happy Heatwave everyone!! Posted by Picasa
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I just wrecked

2 layouts in a row, the first one got gold paint splattered all over the photograph a couple of days ago and had to be binned as it was unrescueable, then tonight my trusty souffle pens gave up on me and I decided to use a gold pen which just looked a mess and wrecked the blinkin thing.


I think I know the reason, I have been so focussed on scrapping for the darned TSBM scrapbooker of the year competition that I have completed a bunch of second rate layouts because I was trying to hard, I put too much pressure on myself and I stopped scrapping for myself, my art is a whole lot better when it's just for me!!

I have until the end of September to come up with 3 layouts and 1 is already in the bag so all I have to hope is that I come up with 1 amazing piece per month for the next two months, there's got to be something in there as I usually do around 20 a month!!

I'm really trying to be bright and shiny and happy but at the moment the gods are working against me.

Pauls trip to the job centre was quite successful and he has an appointment to see a specialist broker next wednesday who wil work with him to get him a job which works alongside his illness and someone to call if it all gets too much.  Working when you have psychotic anxiety is not easy but I know he'll triumph because thats the kind of guy he is and thats why I love him and no I don't begrudge the fact that he cheated on Battle of The Blogs earlier and beat me, don't tell him I know though!!


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Wednesday brings....

Not very much in the way of excitement so I thought I would share a few favourites of mine at this very moment in time and so we have.


Thats in no particular order Ewan Mcgregor and David Tennant, everyone needs eye candy to make them feel better, then Wicked the Musical, my most favourite of all musicals, I'm kind of devastated that in our current financial climate I'm not going to get to go and see it when it opens with Idina Menzel in it but hey ho 1 day, then Ice-cream because it's so darned hot at the moment and without it I would be melting myself!!

I'm sure scrapbooking should have been in there as well but I didn't want blogger to throw a total fit at the number of photos I was trying to fit in! LOL



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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I thought I had better...

blog today, I haven't yet and to be honest there's not much to tell, I try to keep this blog as positive as I can but today there are things going on which are not so positive and to be honest I really don't want to remember them in the future when I look back at these pages so I'll just say that sometimes in life you really feel that God is actually officially having a laugh!!


Paul is going to the job centre tommorrow for an interveiw about getting some work, he's been looking after me for several years now and there were times I was so ill I couldn't manage but now I'm as well as well can be considering I have agoraphobia, I'm working on that one too though, the agoraphobia that is!!

I think our lives are due for a change and although it will be tough on Paul considering he suffers from psychotic anxiety or paranoia with psychosis (depending on whether you speak to a therapist or psychiatrist) he's doing it for us though as we really can't go on sinking, I'm not on the titanic, I'm on the Good ship Charlton. Of course you may be sitting there wondering why it's not me who's out there looking but I have my job with Happy Scrapper which I love more than life, I'm a design team manager and I also help out looking for new and wonderous products and I'm now in charge of their online gallery, I'm very good at multi-tasking.

Also I have migraines mostly every day due to the above condition and it's muich easier for me to take time out if I'm at home, I could do loads of online jobs though so if anyone is looking and wants to offer a passionate crafter an online job or atleast one that fits in with motherhood and aneurysms then let me know!! Any magazine editors looking in should know that I would truly like the chance to write articles and generally spread the passion, I've also taught classes in scrapping/crafting so anyone looking in who wants a teacher, I am available to travel the country far and wide, ignore the agoraphobia I'm totally working on that one and I reckon in a few months no one will ever know that it existed!!

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Rejects!!


I'm planning to enter "The Scrapbook Magazine" Scrapbooker of the year and so far I'm not doing so well, I have one in the drawer which is a definite maybe and these two which are rejects, not that I don't like them and to be honest it was Paul who said they were definite no's but after looking at them I can see why!!

So I have till 30th of September to come up with 2 more totally sensational layouts!!

I'm not even hoping to win though I just want to give it a go although I wouldn't say no to the prize of £1500 of free stash!! Posted by Picasa
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Reaching Out

I just received the most heart-breaking of comments to one of my previous posts, it was the post I made about finding friendship on the internet.  The anonymous poster felt that he/she had no friends at all, i feel I know this person from somewhere but can't put my finger on it, perhaps it's you, perhaps you're reading this.  It really affected me as it was obviously from someone who is feeling exceptionally low right now.  I of course have been there and fully know what it's like it that dark abyss we call depression.


I really need to rach out to that person and give them a large cyber hug and tell them things will get better.

Life moves so fast and for those of us who are challenged by depression you can feel almost slowed down to a complete halt.

If you are sitting looking at your screen today feeling in dispair or depressed take heart in the fact that you never quite know what is around the corner.  I remember a time when I never could have envisaged that I would achieve the things I know I have achieved today.  Sometimes in the depths of depression even when you achieve great things you don't see it.

To my anonymous poster all I can say is that I hope things get better and if you need a cyber friend then I'm here ready and waiting to try and shine a small light to get you out of that abyss, hoepfully without bumping your head too much!


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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Scorchio!!!!!

Yes I know it's a photograph of very much nothing except for sunshine and blue skies, oh and a little ocean but really thats what it's been like in the north of England for the entire summer, the driest, hottest summer for 100 years, I may have mentioned that already. Thats the point though, I'm a brit and we brit are fascinated by the weather, we love nothing more than to moan about our dire british summers and what happens when its a scorcher, yes we all moan about it being too blinkin hot! it is a bit on the hot side though and it's now been confirmed, there are pensioners walking around without thermal vests, waiscoast and in some cases we've even seen old ladies without cardigans!!

So it will be another day poolside for us today and by poolside I mean Early Learning Centre £5 paddling poolside!! Ah well who needs a big pool and luxury sun-liners (actually I won't be refusing if anyone is offering)!! Posted by Picasa
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Finding Friendship!

A few years ago when my agoraphobia was at it's very demonic worst I remember sitting in my house all alone and thinking that this was it, I didn't know anyone and no one knew me, I really thought that I would never have another friend (other than Paul) Then circumstance brought me a computer, the internet and from that day my life changed beyond belief, finally I could speak to people in the outside world without panic.


The internet in all it's glory lead me to discover card-making, scrapbooking and then forums and really that was the beginning of my life as it is now.  I have met some wonderful people and just today 2 of my  online friends spent an actual afternoon at my house enjoying lots of cake and even more laughter.

I'm so thankful for the internet and even with all the bad stuff which exists on the WWW I'm truly thankful for it, it's changed every facet of my life, I have great friends, I have a wonderous online job, who knew that you could even have a job where you don't have to leave the house!!

I've had such a great afternoon with my friends and I know that I'll never ever be in the position again that I was a few years ago.

Today think about the reasons you love your online life so much and be thankful for all that is WWW!


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Friday, July 21, 2006

Impending doom Cometh....

In about half an hour actually!


Paul has just driven off to go and pick Abigail and Iain up from school and thats it, end of term, no more school for 6 whole weeks.  When they go back Abigail will be in reception class and sporting her first ever school uniform and Iain will be in year 5/6, only a year away from leaving for High School and I might add that on the 6th of September he'll be 10 years old.  OMG am I really so old, I can't actually beleive that he can be 10 already!

Kids really do grow up quicker than you can imagine and whilst I slightly dread the thought of them all here on top of each other for the next 6 weeks, I know that it will soon be over and also that there will be lots and lots of fun and adventures to be had.

Paul is doing really well on the quest of no smoking although he has been spikier than the proverbial hedgehog today, we do just keep telling him that he's doing really well and we all gave him a clap and three hip hip hoorays. 

I'm hoping that if we keep firing loads of PMA at him we'll get through it without a divorce!!

Giving up smoking is hard but dying young and leaving children without parents would be harder!


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Thursday, July 20, 2006

The man himself

Yes he of the giving up smoking and taking up footie again!

Fabulous isn't he?!!!! Posted by Picasa
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Ah, thats so refreshing!

Blimey it's been hotter this week than I can ever remember, apparently the hottest summer in 100 years over here!

Look at the look of sheer refreshment on Loobys face!!

Anyway that totally wasn't the point of this post as the refreshing news of the day is that my hubby has followed my lead and given up smoking, I quit nearly 3 months ago and he gave up 3 days ago! yay for him I say, it was always going to be harder as he's smoked for 15+ years but we're all behind him as a family and all the kids have been warned that daddy might be a little spikey for a couple of weeks.

I'm so proud of you for doing this Paul and I want you to know how much I love you, todays blog is dedicated to you! Posted by Picasa
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sometimes in life...

There really isn't a lot to say, I have stuff going on right now but I really don't want to get in to it, it's not fair on you my dear reader to have your ears deafened and your hearts saddened.  All I will say is that Boy do I wish my therapist was on her holidays at the moment!  Thankfully we have a session next week, I'm thinking that she may well have another week off by the time I'm finished.


Just to keep my spirits up, lets today all be thankful for the five following things :-

My wonderful children who keep my spirits up no matter what is going on in my life.

The sunshine, without it I would be just another sufferer of SAD and I'm not sure that the world could handle that at the moment.

My lack of Hormones, Ah thank goodness for hysterectomies, I would be the biggest bitch in the world right now if I hadn't of had that.

My Craft, without that I would be in despair, my life has changed so much since I became a crafter.

My dreadful sense of humour, I'm thankful that even in the darkest hours I can usually find something small to laugh about!

If you are feeling down today try making a list of five things to be thankful for in your life and I guarantee when you have got to number five you'll be feeling a whole lot better.


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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Photographer in the making

Here's Looby with my old camera, you know one of the funny ones that used to take films in the olden days!

I think she looks quite the keen photographer!! Posted by Picasa
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You may have noticed....

That I'm blogging late today, I've usually made atleast 3 blogs today already!  Sorry about that but to be honest it's just too hot to think!


We brits just aren't used to all this sustained heat and sunshine and I suspect some internal circuitry has now melted and we'll all just be big piles of gloop by the weekend.

We brits can cope with a little sun but not this much, I mean a hankie on your head is hardly going to protect you in this kind of weather and it's been so sunny for so long that even the whitest nobbliest of knees are turning brown now whether voluntarily or not.  Why I think I even saw an old person without a coat today!

We went off to the coast again for an hour today and whilst smearing myself and my child in SPF 10,005 I wondered if this was the hottest summer ever or if usually we just let the children get burned to charcoal!

You see this year there seems to be panic about the sun, at nursery today I thought it would be a great idea if I sent Abigail in a little sleeveless dress, it would be getting hot after all, but Ah no british sensibility must have kicked in and she came home wearing a t-shirt underneath the dress.  The teacher said it would be better if she did, Why I ask did she think she might catch a chill, it's been 25c for atleast the last month!

Apparently the largest part of skin damage due to the sun happens when we're children so I would have though smearing myself in SPF 15 at the age of 32 probably won't make a great deal of difference!

Atleast I am safe in the knowledge that I am being a responsible parent sending my children to school in SPF 50 (yes I kid you not!!) sunhats, T-shirts oh and maybe scarves and gloves after all we wouldn't want their necks to remain uncovered would we?


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Monday, July 17, 2006

He may not...

Be the fastest runner in the school and you know he came last in his race today and I shouted and cheered him all the way and I cheered really loudly when he made it accross the line, I'm guessing with dyspraxia to overcome he's never going to be the next 100m gold winner but I'm so proud of him, he said he ran the race for the family and that just makes me so happy. Posted by Picasa
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Old Template

Ok so I haven't found another blog-template that i actually like, i'm thinking it's going to be a toughie as i'm really looking for something fantastic and I just can't find it, if anyone comes accross any fantastic ones, can they let me know!!

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Summer means

1. Days spent in the garden

2. More Sun cream than ever before

3. Salads followed by fruit salads

4. Ice cream filling up the freezer

5. Wet towels and puddles on the kitchen floor

6. My hubby in shorts (yum yum)

7. Spending loads of time at the beach

8. Cutting down on our TV veiwing by atleast 70%

9. More time spent being a family

10. Hot flushes by the dozen

Summer this year really has been summer, yesterday we spent the entire day in our teeny back garden, the girls were in the paddling pool and we all had a fabulous time! It's the end of term on Friday and I'm hoping we'll be spending lots more days like this, luckily you don't need money to have fun, just as well really as my Child support for Iain has been put on hold unexpectedly, not good for us at all but I suppose there's no point in being bitter though i am angry. I'll not go on about it here though, thats for the CSA and I'm going to be their new best friends and call them every day until this situation is resolved. Posted by Picasa
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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Oh Bee sensitive I'm having a bad hair day


Ever had one of those days when your hair is just ruined by all the sun and humidity?!

Hilarious photo I thought!!
As for the Bee, another one being hounded by me the bee Paperazzi today, this one has been desaturated, leaving only the bright colours in the centre of the photo, quite cool, or you would say that if you saw how cheap my camera was! LOL

Click on them for a bigger veiw Posted by Picasa
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It's Sunday Beeeeee Quiet

LOL, ok, actually I know it's not the best close-up shot of a bee ever but to be honest it's the first one I have taken, ever! I really need to get a stronger macro lens, I have seen a set on Ebay which let you get super-d-duper close so I'm thinking I may get those, they're only cheap and won't last forever but so is my camera, even with the current financial climate it will be replaced by Christmas.

If you want a better veiw you can click to make it bigger BTW! So that was the bee in my back garden having a lovely time collecting pollen from the lavender, OOh Lavender honey, how scrumptuous!!

What will today bring, well I can't be sure but I suspect it may be a trip to a park with a water-play area as it's going to be another scorcher, we brits just aren't used to this kind of summer, it's totally sun-tastic!! Posted by Picasa
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Saturday, July 15, 2006

New template

Yes I have changed it again, courtesy of Ms Zoot I have a new template, now I don't know how long I'll have this one for because I'm just not sure it's me but I needed a change from the black!


Anyway I think it's quite summery and fresh and I like the definition around the photoboxes!



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Time for Iain Mcbean


We had a whole day today with just me, paul and Iain Mcbean so I bribed him to let me take some photos of him and I would let him call his friends, he's nearly 10 so this of course worked!!

I call him Iain Mcbean because he is tall and skinny like a bean pole, I often worry about him being so thin but he eats like a horse!

Iain has excelled at school this year inspite of the dyspraxia and dyslexia and aspergers and I'm totally proud of him!

Oh and the lighthouse, well thats Souter Lighthouse at Whitburn.

I can't remember a summer of such fabulous sunshine and brilliant colours!

I'm loving it!!
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Anenomes and Pauls great footballing challenge!!


Whilst spending a hour at the beach with our daughter yesterday I spotted these anenomes quite happy sitting in shallow waters so my trusty camera thought it might get a photo of them, I suppose these will either bore you silly or you'll think they're fascinating, sorry if it's the former! LOL Thing is though I live in the north of England, it's not like we have coral reefs and tropical fish, this is about as exciting as it gets!

In Other news, my hubby has taken the decision to go and play football for Chester-le-street football club, they play in the Northern League, my hubby has a great footballing history, his uncle was the great Tommy Baldwin and Paul trained to play for Crystal Palace when he was younger before an injury ended his dreams of playing premier league football (although it was first division in those days) anyway it's a long story but last year Paul was playing sunday football and although he has problems with psychotic anxiety he managed to get through the season and his team won the league cup. So this year I really want him to exercise his full potential and am supporting him 110% to go and play Saturday football once more, I know he has the potential to be fantastic and although he's terrified because of the paranoia and making 3 million excuses already I am sure that he's going to do this and do it with passion, I really love my hubby! His first training session is at 7pm on Monday night, so send him all a little positive energy to get through it because I'm guessing that the first time is going to be the worst. I guess he's a great example of feeling the fear and facing it anyway!

Now then if some scrapbooking magazine editor is out there reading can you give me a job please, I think I would make a great feature writer and I have passion by the bagful, I really need someone out there to spot my potential as I have so much to offer and inspite of my own challenges I am determined to get there!! Posted by Picasa
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Friday, July 14, 2006

Action Girl

Ok, so I did this last night and I'm pretty sure that I've now got to the point in my scrapping where it really is freestyle and more art than photo-album type thing, I think people will either love this or hate this and it will be interesting to see if anyone comments when I upload it to UKScrappers, it's totally different to anything which is around at the moment but I'm telling you, we can't all be the same and I'm quite happy with this one, it's totally me and it's totally Abigail too! Posted by Picasa
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Yesterday...


These are another couple of piccies from yesterday, I love this carved woo sculpture, it's at the local pets corner and I have no idea what it's called but it just screams calmness and serenity to me.

Then we have the bunny, I tell you there were Loooooooooads of bunnies in the Bunny pen, it's obviously that time of year, there were so many they were all piled up on top of one another, I quite liked this little inquisitive one though!

Off to watch Iain play the piano this morning, he's playing a piece called "War Drums" LOL so thats aht we pay £40 a term for! Obviously no one has informed them that I'm a pacifist!

It's hottyaroo again this morning so I'll probably hot foot it from the assembly to the park or beach whichever is nearest and takes least petrol as we have literally no money at the moment, CSA is still unresolved and I'm feeling very fobbed off and bitter at the moment, I have another phone call to make to them this afternoon, I'll let you know if anything extraordinary should occur.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Still gorgeous

Even though I want to kill him atleast 10 times a day and he probably wants to kill me atleast double that amount!! Posted by Picasa
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