Thursday, 30 June 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (30th June 2010)

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

I started blogging in January 2010 so in some ways I am a beginner but when I think that I have been posting for a year and half it oddly feels much longer. Life: A Memoir of Existence began as a way for me to waffle my heart out in a therapeutic fashion, I don't even think that at first I wanted people to read it.

But then I started to enjoy myself. I read the blogs of others and found some exceptional people who keep me entertained every time they post. I began to post more than just my whimsical heartbroken ramblings...

Which is about the time that I began to get frustrated with myself and my blog.

So here is what I find most challenging about blogging, not necessarily one thing but a bunch that add up to the fact that I want to be read and more than anything enjoyed.

Finding Time - While I am on maternity leave I do have a certain amount of spare time between the kid and the housework but I find that I can often get so caught up in blogging world that several hours pass before I even look up from the laptop. Once I am back at work I fear that the blog will suffer. How do I manage to keep it going?

Content - I love the pictures and musings that I post but do others? Am I wasting my time detailing the adventures and diaries of little old me? I read other people and wonder what lives they must be living to have so much to tell.

Design - I am constantly toying with the idea of changing the design of my blog. I worry it is too dark, especially when I look at the bright and enticing sites of others. I do however have the fear that once I start meddling a) I wouldn't be able to stop and b) I would mess it up completely. I would love some advice on the look of Life: A Memoir of Existence.

Traffic - I often get disheartened when I go weeks without anyone commenting or visiting my blog. In part I don't think that I have set everything up correctly to enable as many visitors as possible to find me and read me. It's a challenge to figure out what I need to do and while I want to get going, like with the design, I fear that I am going to do something drastic. Am I giving potential readers what they want?

So as you can see the thing I most find challenging about blogging is blogging. A cop out I know but at the end of the day I am stubborn enough to love a challenge.

And stubborn enough to keep going despite the fact that people might see my badly designed blog covering nothing useful in particular and just move on by. Sigh.

I guess now I have a daughter I can FORCE her to read it. :) Once she can read that is and of course already made her way through her Mr Men collection.

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Photo - Strike a pose...

I asked her to sit and, bless her, she struck a pose.
:) xx

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Musings - We are addicted me thinks...

Me and (now) the husband are big film fans. We love all genres and a wide variety of actors and can honestly say that it is the experience of watching a film rather than the film itself that we often look forward to. Our DVD collection hints widely that we are addicted...

Across the top of the TV there are approximately 70 DVDs
and over 100 down the right hand side.

We have two crates holding approximately 300 DVDs in each.

These are our TV box sets ranging from Angel and Buffy to The shield.

But you might be thinking that everyone can have a collection but do you actually watch the films?

Well... this week alone we have watched:
- Fair game
- No Strings Attached
- I am Number 4
- True Grit
- Paul
- Tangled
- Saving Private Ryan
- Gnomeo and Juliet
- X Men: First Class (Cinema)
- The Day The Earth Stood Still
- A Cinderella Story
- Shooter
- How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
- Finding Forrester
- Labyrinth

And I have still had time to indulge my love of E4, raise my daughter, be a house wife and read two and a half books. Impressed? Ha ha. :) xx

Monday, 27 June 2011

Photo - Can't laugh and eat at the same time...

How am I supposed to get her to suck on her bottle when all the little trouble maker wants to do is laught at me? Tut! :) xx

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Musings - The art at the top...

It occurred to me, when I was previewing yesterday's post, that I have never explained the picture logo that sits at the top of my blog. It is actually a painting that I did in my teenage years which I have texturised using my ever favourite paint shop.

I loved to paint when I was younger. In fact I think I just loved creating, be that photographs, painting and of course writing. Here is a photograph of the original painting.

I liked Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' and this was my Yorkshire version with dry stone wall, heather and a Shepherd's delight sunset. What you can't tell from the photo is that I used an old piece of board which I texturised using a build up of string and kitchen towel. The paints are oils and acrylics as well as oil pastels.

So what do you think? Could I have been an artistic contender? :) xx

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Snippet - Help me out here...

Can you read this sign?
I'm serious, can you read it?
If you can read it, do you know what it is asking?

Because NO one who enters our garden can!

Why is it that Royal Mail can employ post persons who can read the addresses quite easily on the envelopes that they are posting but draw a blank at these four little words?

Or are they just ignorant pure and simple?!
It is even a polite sign... it says please... tut!

Oooooh I haven't had a rant in ages, I enjoyed that.

But still... FOOLS!
 :) xx 

Friday, 24 June 2011

Musings - The Unit...

You will probably agree that it is often hard to get the entire family unit on to one photograph. A vital member is always behind the camera and if you do try and do the self portrait at arms length kind someone is always missing a head. It is therefore left to special occasions to provide the opportunity for a grinning group picture.

But again there can be issues.

At Christmas everyone is bloated from ridiculous amounts of food, birthdays have too many tantrums and weddings always have a drunken relative lurking in the background. Ooh the wonders of digital cameras and imaging software.

Despite all odds, my ability to smile like a manic criminal being one of them, my Father was able to take this photograph at my Brother's recent wedding.

Me, the Mr and the Little Miss all dressed up in our finery. It is such a lovely picture that I can't wait to have a large copy in a frame in the living room.

The only thing missing was Rohan but the day would have been a WHOLE lot different with a terrible terrier on the loose ha ha, the random children were bad enough. :)

You know, I might even make it my desktop background.

For the record I didn't have to do any improvements via photo shop, we all looked this good first try. .. admittedly the woman to my left dramatically pitching herself in to the bushes is on the metaphorical cutting room floor. :) xx

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (23rd June 2010)

Create a bucket list of 50 things you want to do this summer (with or without the kids!)

When I looked at the writing prompts for this week I was like, whoop whoop (Clueless style, if I was a ditzy blonde American rather than... well... just a ditzy blonde). I could choose to write about parenting, which I love, take a photograph, which I love and write a poem, dead easy.
But I joined Mama Kat's Writing Workshop to try and challenge myself and sitting cross legged on the bean bag of my comfort zone isn't going to achieve that. So I chose to write the list of things to do because even though I love lists I always run out of ideas before I reached the number targeted.
So here goes... stand by... 50 things I want to do this summer (in no particular order):
  1. Take Rohan to the beach,
  2. Try (and no doubt fail) at my first foray into fake tan,
  3. Loose half a stone (baby steps...),
  4. Sort out my hard drive,
  5. Up root the garden and reslab it,
  6. Alphabetise my book room... I am starting to duplicate,
  7. Finish Katharine's name sign,
  8. Book to see a band in November,
  9. Buy my friend a fantastic 30th birthday present,
  10. Get the husband to read a book,
  11. Watch Ugly Betty from start to finish,
  12. Dare to wheel the pram AND the pooch the mile to my mother's,
  13. Decorate the master bedroom,
  14. Drag out the oven and clean behind it,
  15. Scrub myself drama queen style after being behind the oven,
  16. Find a route to the White Rose Centre that doesn't involve the motorway,
  17. Read 'I am Number 4',
  18. Find the perfect homemade soup recipe,
  19. Take the old jigsaws to the charity shop,
  20. Enrol Katharine at the library,
  21. Make my own Sushi,
  22. Make the photo book for Katharine,
  23. Teach Rohan not to bark when I turn the car engine off,
  24. Visit Haworth for 1960s weekend,
  25. Go to a Bradford theatre,
  26. Write some more of my budding novel 'Bright Side',
  27. Cook a Sunday roast,
  28. Get a french manicure,
  29. Make a list of our DVDs (all the hundreds of them),
  30. Work out how much we are spending on nappies and milk,
  31. Read 'The Scarlet Pimpernel',
  32. Find a course that I want to study in September,
  33. Find out when the local Infant schools are having open days,
  34. Meet my work colleagues for lunch,
  35. Find some alphabet flash cards,
  36. Get the car's indicator fixed,
  37. Try on my wedding dress and see if it still fits,
  38. Take more photographs using the camera instead of the iPhone,
  39. Sort out my wardrobe and get rid of anything I haven't worn in a year,
  40. Stalk Toby Stephens (I wish),
  41. Wax the leather sofa,
  42. Re-home the random tree that has started growing in our garden,
  43. Try 5 new foods that I have never eaten before,
  44. Go a month without ordering a Chinese takeaway,
  45. Figure out why Kris can't choose between Matt or Junior? (Wildfire),
  46. Dance in the rain,
  47. Book a trip away to avoid above mentioned rain,
  48. Write, write, write and blog, blog, blog,
  49. Make myself a list of things to do this summer (oh yeah just done that!),
  50. Enjoy every minute of Katharine as she is growing up so fast.
Wow, I actually made it to 50!!!!!!!!!!
So what would be your list???

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Photo - Please...

This is just another example of what a star our little Rohan is.

This is her saying please. :)

She can also:
- Say hello (paw)
- Dance
- Lay down
- Roll over
- Sit
- Wait
- Take a bow
- Catch
- Come to the whistle
- Run to the window if you ask her who is coming.

I am slowly getting all these on video. :) xx

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Photo - Chillin'...

Rohan chillin' in the garden. Moving between the patches of sun and shade.
:) xx

Monday, 20 June 2011

Book Challenge: Book 7 of 30 - Book That I Can Quote / Recite...

Book 7: Book That I Can Quote / Recite.

I am going to cheat slightly and choose a play. Actually, when I first came across it was in book form so it is only a half cheat. I love Shakespeare. His tragedies, comedies, sonnets, the lot. The language fascinates me and it even did back when I was fourteen and first heard Sonnet 29. The play that is my favourite has elements of supernatural, intrigue, comedy, murder, romance and a little bit of craziness. I can quote so many different scenes and lines that I just had to choose it for my book 7 there is nothing else i know quite so off by heart..

Let me have it, please? :)

'Hamlet' By William Shakespeare

Description (courtesy of Amazon):
A young prince meets with his father's ghost, who alleges that his own brother, now married to his widow, murdered him. The prince devises a scheme to test the truth of the ghost's accusation, feigning wild madness while plotting a brutal revenge. But his apparent insanity soon begins to wreak havoc on innocent and guilty alike.

And my favourite quote is not the 'To be or not...' but this...

'The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream...'

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Burped - Father's Day treat...

For Father's Day I took Kieran to see X Men... Without the kids. Ha ha

Blogging without my sofa - using BlogPress from my iPhone.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Photo - We will have to take her again...

I forget how much Rohan loved the beach until I look back at the photographs.

We will definitely have to take her again when the season ends. :) xx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Photo - Is it Katharine or Zeddy...

Wearing her Zeddy & Parsnip outfit to match her little bedroom.
:) xx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (16th June 2010)

Barefoot and hormonal…describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh.

When I was pregnant I was never particularly hormonal. I never ranted or raved or found myself in fits of anger / tears / craziness. In some ways it was a bit of a disappointment but on the whole it was whoo hoo with relief.

But there was one incident, back when I first found out that I was pregnant... I sort of freaked out. Let me set the scene...

I had spent 42 months failing to get pregnant. I had been through tablets, laparoscopy, injections, the indignity of 'THAT' internal scan chair, egg retrieval, insemination, that awful week of waiting, failing to be pregnant, having my heart broken.

So the month after that, when I started to feel pregnant, I didnt belive it. There were so many signs but when you have been waiting 42 months you don't take them serious.

Then when my period was five weeks late I took a test.

Cue freak out!

What if this was just the artifical hormones talking?
What if I am pregnant and things are now growing in the wrong place?
What if something is wrong because I so recently had treatment?
What if I have to wait until the 12 week scan to answer my questions?
What if due to the hormones I have ten of them growing in there?


Cue hysterical and overly dramatic sobbing.

Luckily Assisted Conception whipped me in for a six week scan and I got to see my baby, the size of a grain of rice, growing nicely (on her own and in the right place). Phew.

Looking back, now I get to the point of this post, I realise that the crying and the frantic questioning was most likely due to the influx of baby hormones coupled with not being prepared to be pregnant. Ridiculous, I know, I had nearly four years to get used to the idea. Daft blonde!

Which is what makes me laugh, I had spent all that time trying to distance myself and be as shoulder shrugging as possible and the second reality hit I went nuts.

Worth it though. Plus its another story to tell the kid...  Even if she is likely to pull the attached expressions at me. :)

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Musings - Knot tying...

On Saturday 11th of June my big brother got married.

I am nine years younger and beat him to the alter by five but I think that Kat (new Mrs) is well worth the wait. That is her in the beautiful Cherise dress and by process of elimination that is the Bro on the left.

The weather was fantastic; which was a good thing, as due to some form of event the streets of Northampton were closed meaning that we had to walk from a random car park to the registry office. It also meant that any photographs taken looked bright and happy and a good start to a new phase in their relationship.

The bridesmaids, three of them, wore varying shades of pink to compliment the bride's gown and coordinate with the cravats and details of the gentlemen's outfits. I wore my lovely ugly dress of varying colours, which I will be showing photos of soon. Isn't it always the case that the one taking the photos never actually ends up on any of them, ha ha, so I am going to have to raid my father's memory card.

Katharine wore a lilac polka dot ensemble topped with a bemused expression. She was an absolute star the whole weekend. :) No tantrums, slept through the service and even managed to catch some more zzzzzs during the disco.

If she could speak she would wish her Uncle Tim and new Auntie Kat lots of love and happiness but in the mean time I will have to do it instead.

So here it is.. big love, big hugs, big happiness... :) xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Book Challenge: Book 6 of 30 - My Favourite Young Adult Book...

Book 6: My Favourite Young Adult Book.

Of late I have been reading quite a lot of young adult fiction, the quality that is being published is amazing. Authors I have sampled include Fitzpatrick, Flinn, Kate, Meyer, Noel, Oliver, Rowling, Sniegoski and Stiefvater. The book that is my current favourite is that because of its strong female lead, excellent continuity, interesting story lines and ability to make the pages read like a movie.

'City of Ashes' By Cassandra Clare

Description (courtesy of
This is the second book in the bestselling urban fantasy trilogy, "The Mortal Instruments".With her mother in a coma and her father hell-bent on destroying the world, Clary is dragged deeper into New York's terrifying underworld of werewolves, demons and the mysterious Shadowhunters. Discovering the truth about her past was only the beginning, now Clary must save the world from her own father - the rogue Shadowhunter Valentine. With two of the Mortal Instruments at his command, Valentine is assembling an army of demons to wage war on the council of Shadowhunters and destroy them once and for all. As the battle begins, Clary must face her darkest fears - and come to terms with her feelings for a boy she wishes wasn't her brother.

Check out the series, City of Bones being book one.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Musings (and photo) - Wowser...

So I have been sorting out some photographs so that I can start an album for Katharine. I love digital cameras and all but we never end up printing of the photos, they just live on the hard drive. I decided that Katharine would have an album of all her pictures (there are soooooooo many already), that way we can show her how she came in to the world and, hmm, the silly outfits we put her in before she could tell us no.

Anyway, I found this one!

It was taken on the 3rd of April, the day before I was induced and the few days before Katharine arrived on the 6th.

I was huge!!!!!!!

I don't think I was able to fully appreciate the size of that bump until I was able to look back and reflect.

Like now, as I type and look at it, I can not believe that my body was able to stretch like that. In fact to build a human being at all.

But mostly I look at it and think...

How the heck did I not topple over?!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Photo - Odd, odd, odd...

I like to pride myself on being able to take a decent photo. This week I found myself trapped on the sofa beneath the kid and the kanine. So I decided to pick up my iPhone and take a snap. It was difficult, I was sat in an odd position and found it hard to handle and shoot everything at the same time. I ended up with this...

It appears no one has a head and what the hell is going on with my hand?
At least it is in focus, though I don't really think I can claim the credit for that.
:) xx

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Observation - On the road...

It's a glorious day for a White wedding. And fancy that, my big brother is tying the knot today. :) xx

Blogging without my sofa - using BlogPress from my iPhone.

Location:M1 Junction 15

Friday, 10 June 2011

Photo - Something tasty for my tea...

The most delicious Olive bread I have ever tasted. x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (9th June 2010)

Last week you chose a 6 word memoir to share…this week elaborate. Tell us the story or thought process behind the sentence you wrote.

Pour me a pint, good man!

I had so many six word memoirs for last weeks writing prompt that in the end rather than chose one I picked a different prompt altogether. This week I am resurrecting my favourite six word memoir:

Pour me a pint, good man!

I wrote this sentence at the time for many reasons:

1. I am currently a lady of leisure, sort of, while I am on Maternity leave so could indulge in an afternoon pint, sort of, if I didn't have the offspring to supervise.
2. It was a beautiful summer day which instantly inspires the taste buds to crave a cool larger. 
3. Having been recently pregnant I haven't had an alcoholic drink in soooooooo long.
4. I was watching a film set in the 1940s where everyone it seems had a 'good man'.
5. The rest of my sentences seemed either too heartfelt, whimsical or just plain old predictable.
6. There was a bottle of Stella, from Christmas, lurking in the fridge which I spotted when grabbing some cheese.
7. By the time I had done all that thinking...

I needed one!

Still haven't had one though, darn it.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Photo - Progress on library number two...

Katharinne Lorelai, at almost eight weeks old,
is well on her way to having her own library.

One day it might look like mine. :) xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Musings - Holding out for a hero...

When I was fifteen I caught my first glance of Mr Darcy, Colin Firth style, and fell in love with costume drama heroes. I don't know if it is the outfits, the pompousness or the (usually) healthy bank balance but there is just something about a brooding gentleman unbuttoning his collar that makes me... entertained.

So after some thought I decided to share my favourites...

Captain Frederick Wentworth
(Ciaran Hinds / Rupert Penry Jones)
Pro: He will love you across distance and time, swoon.
Con: Being a sailor he will always be working away, darn it.

Mr Edward Rochester
(Toby Stephens / Michael Fassbender)
Pro: Dark, brooding and very intense.
Con: Well... there is the problem of his mad wife in the attic.

Mr John Thornton
(Richard Armitage)
Pro: Northern bit of rough with his own business.
Con: His Mother is bit of an interfering old crone.

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy
(Colin Firth / Matthew Macfadyen)
Pro: Erm... he's rich?
Con: Does "not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before"... so a bit dull really.

After much consideration I have decided that Mr Rochester is my favourite for his intense demeanor and desperate need he has for the woman he loves. :)

That attic door is locked, right?

Monday, 6 June 2011

Photo - Communication...

Now that my little girl has become attached to her big girl cot it seems that our relationship will be developed through this delightful object. I must admit though it's lovely to hear her chortle through it.
:) xx

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Photo - Oh no, a UFC fan...

A budding telly addict...

And addicted to the tattooed, bloodied men of the UFC. Tut. xx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Musings - And the award goes to... me?

When I came to do some writing and photo work for my blog today I came across a comment from Lindy Legends saying to pop by her blog.

Which I did!

And found that she had, being the complete star she is, honoured me with an award:

Lindy Legends is a self confessed writing addict with a blog that is always witty and entertaining, check her out.

Now there is a process to follow, here is what happens...

1. Thank the person who gave you the award by linking back to them in your post.
2. Tell us 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news!

So, 7 things about myself, hmm...

1. I am a new Mum:
After nearly 4 years of trying to conceive, a failed IVF treatment and much heartache, I finally fell pregnant naturally in the summer of 2010. My beautiful, and I'm not biased she is a looker, daughter was born in April making our family unit complete. I never expected to be a natural Mother but each day I think of something new that I want to teach her or she inspires me to do better with a simple smile.

2. Book Addiction:
I have a book addiction. I don't necessarily want to read them but I must have full collections of my favourite authors. I must, I must, I must. I love how books look in my library (spare bedroom), how they smell, the sound of a turning page, but most of all how with very little effort I can disappear into another's created world.

3. Tattoo:
A couple of years ago I got annoyed, disheartened, plain old fed up with the lack of action and direction in my life. I felt stale and stagnant and all the things that I wanted in my head and heart felt so far out of my reach. Then one day I look myself to task, told myself I was pathetic and that I needed to be a little less Hamlet and a little more Henry V. I told myself that I needed to take from the inside and dream on the out. And so that I couldn't back out... I got it tattooed across my shoulder blades.  :)

4. Supernatural and the like:
I am a huge fan of all things other worldly. Werewolves, vampires, witches, Angels, magical powers, faeries, the lot of them I find absolutely fascinating. Books, plays, TV shows, movies, paintings, jewellery, ornaments, whatever I can get my eyes and hands on  I love. From old lore to modern adaptations I think the genre has such an appeal for everyone.

5. Yorkshire Lass:
I was born , raised and returned to my home town of Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK. I love Yorkshire. I live minutes away from some of the most beautiful walks, 12 miles from where the Bronte's grew up and due to local filming I often see regular soap opera cast members in my local supermarket. I have an interesting accent (like Sean Bean), my ancestors had wars with another coloured rose and obviously the best thing about being from this region is our famous Yorkshire Pudding. :)

6. Photographs:
I love to take photographs. I am not picky either, I will snap at anything. I have an amazing camera which pretty much does everything for me but now I have my iPhone I tend to be capturing away with that. My favourite things tend to be my daughter, my dog and my daily comings and goings. As I was recently pregnant I wasn't able to go on the long walks with husband and pooch so I haven't had the opportunity for landscapes but watch this space as I am going to post past collections and dig out my walking boots for new.

7. Writer's Block:
I don't know if you can tell from the babble of 1-6 but as soon as I am asked to talk about myself my mind goes blank. There is so much I could tell you, I have had 30 years after all to make myself me, but the blank page entitled 'Who are you?' scares the words and wit right out of me. I have often been tempted to get a note book in which I right down any ideas that come to mind with a little witty anecdote for each. But then that note book will start with a blank page...   

And so... drum roll please...

Here are 15 bloggers (random order) I would like to give the Versatile Blogger Award to, chosen because I have been entertained by each and every one:
Gleaning Grace
Mommy's Nest
Rubber Chicken Madness
Right Where We Belong
My Over Stuffed Book Shelf
Thoughtful Pop
The Gypsy Mama
Happy Snappy
Brain's Flight
Come Dine With Rach
Mama Kat's Losin It
Fresh Eyes On London
Beat Of My Drum
Indy Nikon Gal

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (2nd June 2010)

Comfort food at it’s finest. Share a family favorite recipe you loved as a child.

As a child I was an extremely fussy eater. I drove my Mother crazy. I refused to eat anything resembling a vegetable, I would only ever eat cheese sandwiches for lunch and nothing on my plate could be touching; I would even demand that my spaghetti be separate from my bolognese. I would mess with my food to such an extent that she found it impossible to watch me eat. I am better now, with older age, I even eat Goat's cheese for Peter's sake, but I can imagine I was horrid at the time.

Then one day while making a stew my Mother paused half way through her recipe, deciding to give something new a try, and from hence forth my favourite meal as a child was born. It was named...

Mince and Tatties (pronounced Tay-tees)

And pretty much was mince, potatoes and gravy. But I loved it. It comforted and it tasted amazing. So this is the recipe I am going to share. Hang on to your hats, there are five ingredients, it's going to test you. :)


250g minced beef
5 medium sized potatoes
A pinch of salt
1 OXO (beef stock cube)


1. Peel and chop the potatoes into bite sized pieces.
2. Brown the mince in a large stock pan until cooked.
3. Add the potatoes, salt, OXO cube and enough water to cover the contents of the pan.
4. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
5. Serve in a large bowl with crusty bread.

Extremely basic but then my Mother was fighting to the death with an angsty seven year old. 

Enjoy. :)

Mama’s Losin’ It
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