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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!




From my two little girls who went out trick or treating looking not very scary at all, Looby went as a princess, abigail also went as a princess! So I'm sharing Abigail, give you her very best halloween scary face, Looby, well just being Looby with a face full of sweety and one of my two pumpkins, this one is the happy one, the one on the other side of the path outside the door was the sad pumpkin!

It was of course a whole new adventure for Looby who hadn't been trick or treating before, she was so sweet and even though we only went to a couple of houses, all of whom we knew we had a lovely time!
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Monday, October 30, 2006

It's Autumn!




So I thought i would share some wonderous Autumnal photos which I took yesterday and this morning. Love this time of year for getting my camera out, love the colours and the leaves and the smells, i just wish that winter wasn't around the corner and that my SAD wasn't so bad, if it's bad now what is it going to be like in January?!
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Love this one...


Of Abigail, she was so grown up on holiday and an all round lovely little girl.
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Even when it's raining it's beautiful


I love this photograph of an avenue which is on the property of Cragievar Castle in the Grampians of Scotland, it was throwing it down with rain and the Castle was shut for winter but we walked around the estate in the rain and it was still beautiful and charming, if ia little soggy!
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Sunday Sharing!


Soi i'm going to do multiple posts today now that I've finished working. I thought I would share some fabbo holiday photos so here's the first a Fly Agaric toadtsool, perfect for those pixies and fairies to live under!

Spot hubby in the blurry whurry background
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It's Sunday, Here's Looby!

Due to the fact that I've been so very busy and my braincells have been finished off by spreadsheets, FTP servers and other fountains of fun, Looby gratefully provided this blog today so share with me another minute in the life of Looby!
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

It's not all play you know!



Yes every once in a while I do actually work, no one usually notices as i just go about my business doing little bits here and there but the last couple of days I've had a huge task on and it makes me realise what a flaky Cow I am, my mind wanders after around 20 minutes and after 40 even coffee won't help. I still have some stuff left to do but I know that I have to leave it for fear of turning myself into a pile of Jello. the thing is though when I get a job or a task from my lovely boss over at HappyScrapper, I feel an obligation to do my best and at the highest speed possible, if it weren't for my all over flakiness I would have been finished by now I'm sure!!

So no really long blog today but i will share a further Piccy or two from my hollies and I give you Looby ala Cowboy hat and the Forth Road Rail Bridge!



have a great weekend!
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Friday, October 27, 2006

I won, I won, I won



I'm not usually one to jump around exclaiming such frivolities but just for today i'll let you all in on my news as I totally forgot to mention it when I came back from Scotland. So here's the thing, a couple of months ago I got it into my crazy deluded head that I should enter the Scrapbook Magazines scrapbooker of the year competition, I did a couple of layouts towards the three needed but as some of you regular readers may remember I stressed myself out about it so much that in the end I decided not to bother and stop giving myself a hard time, I even stipped uplaoding for a while as I needed to scrap for myself and be happy with that. Anyway I had those pages just lying about unseen when I found out that there was a competition being run by Charmed Cards and Crafts, an internet retailer, the were looking for summer layouts and this one seemed to fit the brief to a tee so I emailed it off and thought no more about it, the closing date was the 25th of September so I assumed I hadn't won. Then shock of shocks, my friend emailed Jacqui as she knew I was staying and told her that I had won the competition and this morning my prize of £110 of scrapbooking products arrived on my doorstep. I can't tell you how delighted I am, it was like opening Christmas goodies! It's totally given me a boost and makes me realise that sometimes people do see the same things as me when they look at my pages.

So share with me the winning entry which was called Bathing Beauty and features Looby at a local water park in the summer!
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meet Tilly...

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Tilly is Jacquis 4 year old fluffy bundle of old english sheepdoggyness, she's the most scrumptuous bundle of loveliness you could ever hope to come accross. the only problem with Tilly is that her hair covers her eyes and apparently she can take you down from behind if she doesn't sniff you out in time!! She's such a lollop and of course Looby just adored her. Looby is a definite friend of the animals and is destined to be a vet or something similar, nothing brings more joy to looby than animals whether it be a doggy, a kitty or even a big cow, she's fearless and they make her giggle. I would like to state now though that the animals might not feel quite the same, it's no secret that our cats have now moved onto the top of the kitchen cupboards and for the most part they happily sit there watching knowing that they're safe from her grasp Mwahahahahaha!
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The wanderers return


We're back!!

What a time we've had, on the downside, Looby was sick, then Abigail was sick, then Jacquis DD was sick, then her youngest DS was sick, then Looby was sick again, Iain was sick on the way home and i had bronchitus, laringitus, sickness and lots of migraines all in 1 weekend. Now then you may be thinking this is not the best holiday but you would be wrong, I've never had so much fun or felt quite so relaxed. I just loved spending time with people, we don't get to do that you see as we have no local friends, so it was nice just to blether and blether and blether (thats chatter in non scottish lingo!!)

I have so many photos to share and not nearly enough blogger space to share them in, it wouldn't even let me upload 2 together tonight!

I reckon I can get a good 6 months worth of tales from this one short break, It's just been great to laugh and chat and laugh some more, i loved the crafty chatter and the general atmosphere of 2 happy families together.

The children were all well behaved, Jacquis children are totally fabulous, her hubby is lovely and Jacqui is just the best hostess and the most lovely of ladies you could ever hope to meet. Now then Tilly the dog had to be one of the highlights as she's so totally adorable.

Tilly will have to wait for her starring moment as blogger is absolutely refusing to let me upload more than 1 photo, so I'll leave you with that vision of autumnal splendour, the gardens of Crathes castle which was gifted to the Burnett family by Robert the Bruce along with a very nice antiquity called the Horn of Ley.

Back tommorrow with lots more piccies and tales of scottish splendour!
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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Soon...


We'll be off to enjoy the company of the lovely Jacqui and her gorgeous family. to say that i'm excited is an understatement! So who knows if I'll get a chance to blog again before Tuesday when I return. i'm taking my laptop so I can download all my photos at night as my memory cards only take about 500 photos altogether and I can use that in a day, also I have promised a wee photoshoot to her fabulous daughter so I figured I could get them all photoshopped and back onto a disk before I leave. I'm hoping to take some of her boys as well but boys being boys who knows if they're even going to let me.

The kids are beyond excitement as for them it's their first real holiday and even for Iain it's his first holiday in 3 years. I'm looking forward to the laughs and the company and I'm looking forward to long country walks and big scottish castles.

I may sneak on to the net come the evenings if Jacqui lets me borrow her wireless connection, so if there's no blogs, please don't desert and think that I've left you, I'll be back to regale you with stories and some scottish connections on Tuesday night or maybe wednesday morning depending on just how much those scottish people wear us out. We're stopping by Kirsteens in Fife on the way back and I just know she's going to send me over the edge, that little minx has a very silly side!!

The amazing part in all of this is though that without the internet I wouldn't even know these ladies, I've said it before and i'll say it again, the internet has changed my life and I don't care who knows it!

one final note, any blogging burgalars should note that i have nothing of any value in my house and anything worth anything is coming with me!! if you do decide to visit could you tidy round please as the place will be a mess!
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I don't very often bitch....

on my blog because basically i'm a happy cheery person and nothing bothers me, well nothing other than my Mother who cracks me up beyond belief.

In just this past week I have been instructed on how to behave in the company of respectable people, ironing tips, again because you wouldn't want to be wrinkled in the company of those higher up the social ladder and then tonight came the absolute precepice of her insults.

for anyone who doesn't know my mother thinks craft is silly, stupid and that people who buy cards put so much more thought into it than people who make them. She doesn't get scrapbooking, thinks it's a total waste of time and money and thinks that because my job is online that it doesn't really exist. So I'm n the phone to her tonight and she says......

"Do you know any scrapbookers who have just come back from the Dominican republic?"

I say "No mother there are actually some scrappers I don't actually know" (maybe she thinks there are only 5 of us in the country!!)

"Well" she says "Your brother met a lovely couple when he was out there getting married and you'll never guess what, she's a scrapbooker and she's going to scrap the wedding photos for them and put them in an album, won't that be lovely, i've told him I'll want to see it"

What? when I offered to do this I was told that it wouldn't be appreciated, aah so I think i get it now, it's not the scrapping they have the problem with it's jus regular old me, Oh well, nothing changes!!!


Onwards to my holidays!!
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The verdict1

Well after all the frenzied debate I think the general concensus of opinion on hubby was that his hair was good before and it's good afterwards, his head has now swelled to the size of a small eastern european country so thanks for that! I beleive he actually commented the he was quite exhausted by looking so good all the time, I tell you my hubby could quite possibly equal Narcissus on a good day! LOL

Actually the great thing about hubby is that for the most part he doesn't even see himself as attractive, isn't this always the way? The even more bizarre thing is that he thinks I'm some kind of super-model, you know when The evil queen puts a glass shard in Snow Whites dads eye so that he sees her as the most beautiful lady in the world, well i'm not saying thats what happened but there must have been some kind of accident along those lines! It's good though we all need a little self esteem boost from time to time!

Anyway enough of that, As some of you know we're off on our Holidays on Friday for a short break to Aberdeen to enjoy the splendid company of a great scrapping pal. I'm beyond excitement as are the children although ask them where they're going and Looby says grandmas, Iain says Jedburgh and Abigail thinks we're going to Aberdeen but that it's also going to be Christmas day!!

So i'm looking forward to the fresh air, the great food, the fun times but even more than that, i'm looking forward to climbing into the hot tub and my muscles relaxing for the first time in about 10 years, I fear I may never return!
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Spot the Difference, What do you think?



Hubby had his haircut today for the first time in ages so I'm asking can you spot the difference? Lol

Which one do you prefer? before or after? tell me in the comments box and I'll deliver the verdict to hubby! Me, what do i think? well i'm a bit biased, I kind of liked all that hair though!! I do think though he's looking younger in the after photo and he kind of looks exactly the way he did on the day i married him, nearly 7 years have passed since then and my granny still says we're the mushiest couple she knows. I guess I'm just lucky to have found not only my soul-mate and best friend but also someone who is easy on the eye too if you know what I mean!!
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Sunday, October 15, 2006

I've Been Busy




as you can see from all this stuff I seem to have created over the last couple of days! Firstly there's the other christmas cards for the challenge I set on the Craft Kingdom, then there's a Halloween goody bag with accompanying card for a swap and then there's the layout created with yesterdays star photograph of my gorgeous daughter! This is the second layout I have made with this months Happy Scrapper kit, all I had to add was the small sprinkling of Prima flowers!

Do you know I actually dream of cake, I was having this fantastic dream this morning about fruit pies to be exact when I hear F#@K, lovely Hubby had just awoken and realised that he'd overslept by an hour and was late for football, hopefully he got there on time, funny how much longer you get to sleep for though when there's no small children to come and get you up!
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bribery by lollipop!!



Argh to the children, today condition of me taking their photographs were that I was only allowed to take 10 photos and there had to be lollipops at the end of the session!

I think they had me over a barrel!

Still looking for the definitive one of the two sisters, this ons has had a soft focus action applied to disguise the fact that it's not the perfect photo! I do love the top one of Abigail though, I think she looks like she's staring into the future although most probably she was thinking about that lollipop!!
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Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th! Mwahahahahahaha


I'm totally sharing a photo at random this morning, I wasn't sure which it was going to be and I picked by the file name, the fact that it turned out to be this one was as much a surprise to me as it was to you! LOL

So my little blakc cats and pumpkins, it's Friday the 13th of October and the witching hour approaches. I've even given the Craft Forum I own a spooky makeover, I say I but in actually fact all I had to do was pick the skin and then our webhosts sorted it out for us, if you want to check it out, click the link and then go to skins and pick SG Pumpkin, very cute I thought, don't worry though straight after halloween we'll be getting festive and loading up the Christmas theme!! The forum has actually picked up at the moment and is once again a thriving little place to be. I think the cold weather has brought everyone inside to do a little crafting!!

Today I hope everyone has a good day, meets no dark fates and watches out for any random flying broomsticks!! If you get a chance why not pop over and see the Man in the photo and say a big Friday hello, he's changing footy teams again and you all know what that does to him!!
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jolly Holiday Research

Ooh I'm so excited, it's only 8 days till we go away for our first break in 3 whole years. I can't tell you how much having a break means to our family, we're definetly well overdue!

Anwyay we're going to Alford

Click on that link to be transported to a world of true beauty! you see Alford is near Aberdeen in the most beautiful and my personally favourite part of the world Scotland, maybe it's because my dad is scottish that I love it so much, I just know that whenever I go to scotland I never want to come home again!

So we're going to enjoy the hospitality of my great friend Jacqui, Jacqui is a lovely lady who loves crafty things as much as I do so there's bound to be no shortage of chatter. i can be a chatterbox anyway, I bet you didn't guess that!!
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's Looby live from the livingroom

Just a little something me and Looby put together this morning, I think she's destined to be on TV, what do you think?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ooh look new template

Yes indeed, my hubby suggested that it was time to change my template and so here it is!

Thing is there are loads of scrummy templates out there but my personality doesn't fit with most of them, you see the thing is that i'm quite a serious person although a little strange and querky, my hubby would call it kookie!

I'm quite liking this one for the time being as I've kept with the whole photographic theme, whilst I'm not a photoblog I do tend to share a lot of photographs!
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Santa Claus is coming....




Yes I know he's not quite on his way yet but I detest having 300 Christmas cards to make in December (ok so maybe only 30 ish, I'm not that popular!!) so I'm getting myself a head start at the moment, These little beauties I made at the weekend and I have another 5 to make this weekend to fit in with the make 10 cards in 10 days challenge at my forum the wonderfully cool Craft Kingdom, there's a prize on offer at the end of the 10 days so why not give it a go, come and join in the fun!
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It's Monday, So Much to do


My hubby challenged me to come up with a layout using 5 photos, thats 4 more than my usual layouts so I came up with this!

The journalling reads "Looby Mondays are your busiest days, it's like you're catching up after a weekend and breathing a sigh of relief as your brother and sister are back at school"
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Monday, October 09, 2006

Hmmmmm Cheeky


I wasn't sure quite what to blog about today as it's really been one of those days where nothing much has happened. So anyway I thought I might share this lovely cheeky photo of Looby who has been doing her level best to drive both me and hubby crazy this evening. I don't know whats going on with her at the moment but i suspect that she's just being 3 and being really really good at it! I even had words with her tonight and after having to go up and down the stairs to her bedroom for the millionth time to tell her to settle down quietly. So I stood there and said "You do know it's mummys night off" (I was scrapping, (I'll share tommorrow), paul gets to go footy like 50 times a week so I fugure I'm entitled to scrapping time) to which the malevolent little pixie replies "No it's not your night off it's daddys night off" Hmmmmm, I'll have to think about that one. I'm pretty sure i need to go out once a week or something to get my me time, I'm wondering if I went and scrapped in the dark in the garden would count!!

So to all those parents who have reached the point of exhaspiration at bedtime with little ones tonight, you have my deepest sympathies!
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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ooh lovely sculpture!



Yes it was family sculpture today in saltwell park, the 21st year beleive it or not, now then the thing si we couldn't join in and make our own sculpture due to two little poppets who would have ended up nailed to trees being given hammers and nails but we did have a quite fantastic day looking at all the other clever families sculptures that they had made and also the new art installations in the part one fo which seen here is called the language stone, quite fabulous I thought, I think it says I love you or I adore you, effective though! we also met Pauls relative today, we call her Auntie Tanya and she's the most normal and lovely member of his family, maybe because she's the only one I actually get along with and because she loved spending the day with us and the girls!

Took lots of photos but not many turned out well today, thing is though i wasn't actually trying today, i was just capturing the day as it happened, I do quite like the one of Abigail seen here, that one is sure to go in my portfolio, you should see it at A4 size!

So a nice relaxing day spent re-connecting and just basically being and that for me is what Sundays should be all about!
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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Little Miss Grouchy


OMG, I woke up grouchy today, I didn't sleep well last night and I have to say it's been affecting my mood today, I made a few Christmas cards and then i scrapped but it was a straight to scapbook production, not bad enough for the bin but not good enough to share, then I was trying to take some photos but it's too dark indoors without a flash and you know I hate flash, I did get one kind of salvagable one of my hubby who I must stress still had his trews on, the girls of course are at grandmas so I couldn't even get them this afternoon and theres no point trying to get iain as he'll only get upset if i pounce with my camera without warning!

I really hope I sleep better this evening as I just hate grouchy days!
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Serendipity


Sometimes you don;t even get to change the settings on your camera, sometimes you just have to grab it and appreciate the fact that it's rare that they'll sit together like this and I must add they were sitting so their brother could take a photograph not me, I grabbed this one before they noticed I was standing with my camera as well and disintegrated into their usual camera avoidance!
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Friday, October 06, 2006

I've got flowers!



I'm feeling lucky right now, i can tell you, who wouldn't having just received these gorgeous flowers from an utterly gorgeous husband, i'm also brimming with pride at the moment as he went for an interveiw today and we think he got the job, this is such an achievement for a man who a couple of years ago thought that people were geniuinely out to kill him. You can't understand what it's like to have to go through something like that unless you have been there yourself. When you take into account that i was also very much in a bi-polar dip at the time then you might have some understanding of what life was like.

So a couple of years later, or around 4 to be exact we're moving onwards and upwards, he's going to be a postman, I'm starting my own photography business and we couldn't be happier to be still together after 7 years of marraige, thats the thing though we've always known that we were soulmates and that our love was kind of forever. I appreciate that every day, i never take it for granted and I still always try hard! you should have seen him in business wear earlier, I swear if I had ovaries they would have been summersaulting and there was something definetly hormonal going on!!

Today I celebrate life, I celebrate love and I celebrate flowers!
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Heavy With Conkers.


I'm feeling autumnal today, i've just asked y UKS friends to tell me their favourite things about this special season and whether their feelings towards autumn have changed since they began scarpbooking.

I thought I would start by sharing this layout which was totally created with the new monthly kit from Happy Scrapper

So here's my five favourite things about Autumn :-

1. Conker hunts, you can't beat finding free treasure and popping open those shells which have fallen to the ground.

2. Leaf Kicking, how fab is leaf kicking on a sunny autumnal morning?

3. I love the reds and oranges of the season, my favourite colours forming a huge autumnal blanket.

4. Those crisp autumnal mornings followed by warm hazy sunny afternoons as the seasons battle to change.

6. The cooler nights sat by my large window with a mug of something warm, cuddling my hubby.

So here's the thing, the season I used to dislike most of all was autumn, it always seemed damp and dreary to me, everything was dying and the days were shortening. Then I discovered scrapbooking and it photography and it all changed, I love the colours and the smells of an Autumn walk and I love that in their last breaths all the plants and trees put on one more magnificent show.

Autumn for me now is truly a magical colourful season.
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

5 Things I'm happy about, right now!


Phew what a day it's been, I started the blog prompt off on UKScrappers and then I rushed off to a course which was cancelled and ended up going to buy a 2 seater couch for the room formerly known as the dining room!!

So my prompt was to name 5 things which make you happy right now so here they are in no particular order :-

1. I've totally beaten agoraphobia and I'm loving life right now.
2. we're turning the diningroom part of the kitchen into a snug/den it's going to be so cool!
3. We're putting more of my A4 prints on the walls downstairs, I'm so happy to be surrounded by my beautiful family and hopefully anyone seeing them will go weak at the knees and get me some business! LOL
4. I'm so happy that I'm starting my own business even though the road is very long and arduos! it's better to try and fail than not to try at all!
5. I'm so happy that Looby went to the creche in Ikea today for the first time and she loved every minute, she was only in for around 45 minutes but she got a lot out of it, I love that my kids are all go getters and totally independant!

The photo is another from our shoot last week, Abigail and Iain being themselves as per usual!!
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Bunny


I didn't get around to sharing this yesterday, I scarpped it on Saturday night whilst watching afterlife, finally got around to using the Cactus pink papers I had been hoarding!!
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Monday beckons...



and for some of us that means back to work for another week, well it does if you're Looby anyway, as you can see from this photographic evidence, Looby and her trusty laptop look safe to conquer the world at any given moment, there was a brief moment where she stopped working but that was only to hide from my camera. It would seem that this little girl doesn't even sneak out for coffee breaks or visits to the stationary cupboard, no this little girl is set to become the CEO at Dora.Inc, any time now I would suspect, or just as soon as she's finished her quick break to jumpup and down on the squeaky mat! Oh to be three!!
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Sunday, October 01, 2006

We're going on a conker hunt, we're not scared!




You know sometimes when the sun just shines no matter what the weather is really doing, well thats what life feels like for me today! Today I took the girls to the park and on a conker hunt, nothing special you might think, well when you take into account that it's the park which i was attacked in which lead me to be agoraphobic you might think a little differently. Just lately i have been going out on my own rather a lot and feeling great about it, I really appreciate every moment as I know just waht i have been through to get here and now this, well I'm a little overwhelmed, I'm really proud of me right now!! We had the most awesome time, we walked miles and as you can see from Abigails backpack we came home heavy with conkers. I've never been on a conker hunt with my girls before and we just had the best time. Iain is off with Paul at footy and I know now who'll have had the biggest adventure and the best day today!!
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