Take me out to the Ball Game….

Take me out to the Ball Game….

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Wednesday’s blog. Ahhh, yes.
The day we speak from the heart 
and stop to regroup.
Getting back in my stride here, although jet-lag is very strange.
I chose to ignore the waves of nausea. 
Like everything else, this too shall pass.
The holiday was not only wonderful, it was a test.
Facebook and the Industry had been getting to me; 
way too much intrigue, bitching and negativity for this old chick.
And whilst it is easy to say “Let the haters hate,”
when you and your family are working yourselves into an early grave trying to get it right, then it’s not so easy to swallow that kind of anonymous keyboard nastiness and badgering,
and keep smiling. 
I wanted to completely switch off for 3 whole weeks,
actually be where I was. 
After all, what’s the point of spending all that money 
on the trip of a lifetime, 
if you are going to spend half the time on your I-pad,
with your head back in Britain?!
So I left my I-pad AND Macbook here,
and restricted myself to the little I-phone, 
which has a great camera, by the way. 
No temptation. No distraction.
And in the main, it worked. It blimming well worked!
That said, it was pretty easy to hand the blog over to somebody as competent as Paul, and leave the business with a team like ours!
Once I had locked Wurka and Holic in the garden shed, 
we were on our way!
The holiday – apart from being a blast and great fun – 
provided a quintessential exercise in Mindfulness.
A series of experiences, enjoyed one at a time, day after day.
Not logged, not written down, 
(although the photos are a perfect memory jogger of what we did, and where we were)
Most importantly, the head was free of all the daily clutter,
and I was so able to be exactly where I was.
Because I was present, I noticed things that I perhaps would have missed if my mind had been on business.
Do you get what I mean?
For example, I noticed everywhere we went
there were creative people, trying to make a living with their skills and their craft. Here’s a little lady who had a stall on Market Street in Downtown San Francisco, near the Ferry Terminal.
She was selling crocheted hats and scarves, which has got to be a challenge in the beating summer sunshine!

She was sitting behind her booth, working away…
and all I say was a kindred spirit.

My word! 
How many years did I spend in the sweltering California heat, trying to sell my stamps and rhyme charts!

Brother Steve….

Stamps were all boxed to protect from the sun,
late nights in San José…
From little acorns, eh…
Not changed much though, eh…
Anyway, I digress…
Back to the lady in Market Street.
It was the colours that drew me straight in.
I recognised them from the night before!
Let me explain.
You know I have a son, Mark. 
He lives in Oakland, works in San Francisco,
and is a basketball player. 
His favourite team has always been the Golden State Warriors,
ie the Oakland/San Francisco team.
Well, while we were in Monterey and San Fran, 
the NBA qualifiers were on, and we hooked up with Mark and his friends to watch a couple of the games. 
Warriors V Cleveland 
The atmosphere was electric, 
and the shouting and cheering in the sports bars was unbelievable!
Screens everywhere!
Blokes everywhere!
In fact, I must share this with you. 
I went to the loo during one of the breaks,
and for the first time ever, 
Hahahaha! I laughed my head off. 
“Welcome to our world!”, I hooted, as I sauntered past them 
into the ladies….
Thoroughly enjoyed the experience – especially when they won!!
But that’s why I stopped at the crochet stall!
I spotted the Warriors colours 
and wanted to treat Grace and Mark’s girlfriend Alex…
And at the end of the evening, 
the kids wanted to show us the Ball Park opposite the bar.
So we strolled over and walked around it in the warm evening.

 And the boys all sang Take me out to the Ball Game. 
And it was magical. Mark knew the words and belted it out.
I shall never forget it. 
So yes.
I bought some crocheted headbands in San Francisco,
1. to support the crafter, and 
2. to treat the girls.
But the point is 
More tomorrow…
lots of love,

125 thoughts on “Take me out to the Ball Game….

  1. What a wise move to take that nearly complete break – I did spot you commenting on Facebook a couple of times. It is good to get right away from the daily stress and be able to leave it all to others to deal with. I like to take myself off to somewhere with a lovely view and just absorb the atmosphere in peace and quiet. You notice so much more then, things that refresh the soul. I am hoping to head off to either Cornwall or the Scillies next year to do just that, not to rush around sightseeing but just to sit and watch the world. When things get stressful and Worka and Holick try for a prison break, take yourself to that beauty and peace you found and relax into it. Nine sleeps to go! Yippee. xxx Maggie

    1. Hi Maggie – you could see some of both. If you are making a choice, it has to be The Scillies – it is a truly magical place! The waves just lap onto the shore and the beaches on some of the small islands look more like somewhere in the Caribbean! We have only been once, but would love to go again. Gilly x

  2. I'm so glad you found some inner peace. Yes, there are a lot of vindictive people who will spread their venom because they are safe behind their anonymity, but I believe they are so sad because they can't feel any joy in this beautiful world and they are jealous of talented people, like yourself, who inspire love and admiration every day of their lives. You don't have to listen to the haters, just pity their empty lives and carry on. Listen to your family and your admirers and believe them when they say that you are truly exceptional. Helen x

  3. Wonderful blog post, so pleased you were able to switch off, I don't get all this nastiness, haven't got time for it quite frankly, each to their own I say xx

  4. There are some nasty people about and I'm sorry that anybody has to put up with them. Envy (and that's undoubtedly what it is) is such a pernicious thing.
    Great that you had a fab holiday, thanks for today's insights and don't let the b******s grind you down.
    Tonbridge Sue

  5. I was a bit worried when I saw that Wurka and Hollic had raised their ugly heads again, but my fears were allayed when you once again transported me off on your holiday. I'm glad you decided to literally 'leave it all behind' in order to enter true mindfulness whilst away. I remember you showing us your 'early days' photos when your blog first started. How far you've come, further than your wildest dreams, I expect. That lady selling crotchet hats was there so you could recognise her struggles and reflect on your own journey and hopefully put any negativity from others into perspective. Yes, you always want people to think well of you, but YOU CAN'T PLEASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME…and on balance I think that you please most of the people, most of the time. The two wonderful children that you have are the true reflection on the type of person that you really are. love and hugs Jeanette x

  6. Lovely reading Barb. Let us know when you find yourself people watching … Now then, you will have lots to write about and laugh about xxx Yvonne. Thanks so much for your email directing me to the particular groovy plate I couldn't find, very much appreciated xxx

  7. Taking a break like you did brings it home how stressful modern life can be and that social media has its uses but there are times when for our own wellbeing we need to leave it be for a while. The head bands are really cute and there are people running small businesses which may or may not lead to bigger and better things … in your case definitely better! Don't let small minded people get to you Barbara, it's they who have the problem, not you. x

  8. Hi Barbara, loved today's Mindfulness blog. I'm so happy that you managed to switch off completely, and live for the moment. Well done you. Now you've done it once, it will be easier to do again, and any time you need to. Lock the ipad and mac book in the shed along with wurka and hollick if you need to!!! You don't need to go on holiday to have bits of time out from it all. Unfortunately the bad stuff is bound to get to you, no matter how hard you try to not let it, as the relentlessness of it is bound to break through all your barriers at some point. But you've not let it win, you've taken control and had time out, and now you're back stronger, and ready to bat it all away again. I really don't get all these people who think it's ok to say what they like, and spread rumours etc. about people in the public eye, on such a public place as the internet. It's vile in my opinion. They're just cowards, hiding behind their online names/personas. Maybe we ought to pity them, if this is what they think being nice, or something good to do is eh! That belittles them enough to stop them breaking through the barriers.

    Yeah, I wish I could go back and experience again the few things I was allowed to in life knowing what I do now, as I was often guilty of not 'seeing' what was around me.

    I laughed at your toilet story. we've clearly all been frequenting the wrong places!!! Mind you I've got it not bad these days, when I'm allowed out that is. With needing to use a wheelchair I get to use the disabled toilets, which even at the Commonwealth Games, there wasn't a queue for! And so does my support as I can't be left alone while they go to the normal ones!!!

    Are you sure the nausea isn't related to that rather large piece of cheesecake you munched your way through!!!!

    Love Brenda xx
    p.s. I bet Dave had wished you'd chained wurka and hollick to your garden with the mower, trowel and secateurs!!!

    1. Hello Brenda you've done it again, put not words what we all think. Hope you've had a good day today, have you still got this lovely warm weather? Sending hugs for you and Daisy xxx

    2. Brenda. Forgot to say there are now a few cars on Iona, there seemed to be a taxi service to meet the ferry but still tractors chugging around. It's so beautiful and peaceful there. Xxx

    3. Hi Brenda – beautifully put! Also I would like to thank you for the advice that you gave to Sheila yesterday about making sure not to let the pain win! I have been guilty of that over the past few days – as now the bruises have come out I have been experiencing a lot of pain from the bones and was letting the pain control me. Not so today, I have taken control of the pain and had painkillers when needed and I have had a much better day, so thank you so much – love Gilly x

  9. What great post Barbara. It took me through a whole gamut of emotions. From anger (people treating you badly when you give so many people so much pleasure) to laughter (the toilets) then to having a huge lump in my throat, imagining your joy while listening to your lads singing. Your descriptions are so powerful it's like being there by your side. Thank you. I really can't wait to meet you at Leyburn. Love and Hugs xxx

  10. Hello all my lovely blog friends. I hope you've all had a good day. I will catch you all later. Love and Hugs to you all. xxx

    1. Hello Morag hope you've had a good day, weathers been lovely here again today but could do with a drop of rain for the garden, once I've caught up with the washing!! Xx

  11. I am so pleased you managed to switch off and were able to get off the world for a while, I am sure the effects of your time away will see you through a lot in the coming weeks and months, such lovely memories to look back on

  12. Hi Barb,
    I really enjoyed this post and, like Morag, went through a variety of emotions whilst reading it. I'm so glad that you took this time out from everything and just had " me" time / quality time. I'm sure it must have done you the world of good. It was great that you had time to spend with the whole family as I know that you miss Grace and Mark so much. Love and hugs Alison xx

    1. Hi to my lovely blog friends,
      Hope you all had a good day. Donna, hope Phoebe is continuing to make good progress. Sheila hope you've had a pain free day, Pam hope things are better for Dom – my thoughts and prayers are with you both. Well we've nearly got all of the bedding plants in! We would've managed if we hadn't decided to take out a massive heather, that had taken over the rockery! I kept well away as I'm convinced there's mice in there, although I think the stoat might have finished them off! We now have a massive addition to the flower bed, but rather than just plant it up, I've ordered some dwarf buddleia, to attract the bees and butterflies, which we'll keep in pots for this year until we've got the soil sorted out. Get my baskets tomorrow too so garden almost done. Poor Daves gone to bed as he's knackered! Anyway, love and hugs to all of you Alison xxx

    2. It's a good feeling once it's done isn't it. I've been potting up leek, kale and chard seedlings, a long job but not much to show for the work just now, though we will enjoy the produce later in the year. Hugs xx

    3. Hello Alison, you have been busy, I hope Dave is ok tomorrow. I've just been watching the stoat on Springwatch – I don't think a mouse would stand much chance!! I must get my plants ready for the weekend although the garden has become quite overgrown whilst we've been away so there's lots to do! Take care xxx

    4. Hi Alison – you and Dave have been busy, it will be well worth it, when the flowers bloom! Hope that Dave will have recovered by tomorrow, hugs Gilly xx

  13. Hi Barb
    Great pics, I totally get what you mean re Facebook I have come off it for the moment, when I go away my phone goes on airplane mode until I get home. The relevant people know how to contact me, it's lovely. Glad you enjoyed it, you certainly needed & deserved it, hugs Jennifer X X X

  14. I am so enjoying reading about your holiday. Today's blog is very thought provoking. We moved here 16 years ago and have a lovely view over the fields with the hills behind Middleham just visible in the distance from upstairs.
    Every day after getting uo I stop before going downstairs and have a quiet few minutes really looking out of the window and actually seeing all sorts of small things such as rain on a spider's web as well as the wider view.

    1. Hi Chris – your view sounds very beautiful! We also bought our cottage 16 years ago, and we have got distant sea glimpses from the bedrooms – I too look out each day to see what the sea looks like! Some days when it is very misty or foggy – it's not possible to see the sea, which is not so good – hugs Gilly xx

  15. What a wonderful blog. It brought me into your world. Sorry that I cannot be in at the moment, too many dreadful things have happened over the last week or so. I digress. Glad to have you back and Paul did a sterling job. He is certainly a credit to you.
    The blog this last two weeks has been my savior because of all the lovely people out there.
    Thank you to everyone of you.
    Tomorrow is another day
    Love Anne (Reading)

  16. i know exactly what you mean when you leave everything behind. i even change the sim card on my phone so people are unable to reach me. and last time i was away i managed to forget about work and so could enjoy the moment, hugs xx

  17. Lovely blog today, glad you switched off and enjoyed your holiday like the rest of us. You give us so much of your time you really deserved a break. Paul held the fort very well and I expect the rest of the team played their part as well. Always good to support the small business' it is the way many people got started. xx

  18. So glad you had a great holiday and good on you for switching off. Family is the most important thing in the world. Hubby and I have just started looking after our baby Grandaughter , Grace and to see her smile makes llife worth while x

  19. A wonderful insight into your holiday. Gorgeous headbands, so glad you really switched off Barbara you need to do that more often, even though we miss you. Wish you wouldn't let those ignorant hasslelers get to you. You're worth thousands of them. You are a true artist and a fabulous thoughtful and kind lady. That's what they can't get their head around. Please listen to us not their negativity. Must say I so enjoyed Paul's shows watched them last night, that was my mindfulness, helped me forget things for a while. The cards he made were beautiful as were all the ones made by the Design team. Afraid no change in Dom, he's still not responding. The next few days will be critical. So touched by all the thoughtful comments from you and your blog followers who are now my friends too, what would we do without this amazing blog. Love and hugs, Pam xxx

    1. Pam, you put that so well, glad that you watched and enjoyed Paul's shows – it must have been just the escape that you needed! Sorry to hear that there is no change in Dom – we are all still thinking of you both – love and hugs, Gilly xxx

  20. A thought provoking blog today. When we go abroad on holiday I give my mother in law a copy of our booking so she can contact us if need be and everyone else knows how to contact her. I do take my phone but switch it of and put it in the safe and check it every few days. When I'm on holiday there isn't much I need to know about at home that won't keep for a couple of weeks.

  21. Hi to all my lovely friends, thank you for all your thoughtfulness, your kind words have really touched and helped me a lot. God bless you all. No change in Dom. Next few days critical, can only pray. Hope your day has been good, hope you have managed to get an appointment Sheila and that your pain isn't so bad today. Donna hope you are ok and that Pheobe isn't in so much pain. You gardens sounds as though it's amazing Alison you've certainly both worked hard on it. Sorry not up to commenting individually but love you all, you know who you are. Love to all on here.xxx

  22. Glad you managed to really get away from everything. Its something you and Dave need to do more. We missed you but Paul held the fort. Loving the look into your time away. Xx

  23. Hi bloggy friends, Phoebe is more settled tonight still in pain but is moving a bit more. Keeps looking for reassurance so she is getting lots of cuddles. Xx

  24. We all need a real get away from it all from time to time, and it's wonderful to read today's blog and see what it has meant for you. Hope that holiday feeling stays with you for a week or two! x

  25. I was a bit worried when I saw W&H there! Glad they'd just been locked in the shed for their hols too. Great blog today, they are the same colours as our local football team. Sounds as if your holiday did the trick for you. Have spotted the news about your new team members today too – all positive xx

  26. Hi everyone, I've been for a drink with my old work colleagues today to celebrate one of their birthdays. It was lovely to sit in one of the town's pub's garden and catch up with them, although I heard two sad stories which makes you think yourself lucky for a while but knowing what they're going through too. We're off to the races at Newbury tomorrow with our friends and he has just been told he has a tumour on his liver, he has also been told he has chirossis (how do you spell that?!) of the liver too. He wont know for another week what treatment he's going to have but, in the meantime, we're going out to help take their minds off it (as if you can really) and win some pennies. It seems to be one lot of bad news after the other at the moment. That's how it goes I suppose. xx

    1. I hope you have some luck with the horses Jackie, I'm sure a few names will pop up and encourage you to put a pound on it. As you say, good to all go out and take your mind off things for a while xx

    2. Hi Jackie – enjoy the races! Actually, it will help your friends a lot, as it will take their minds off their troubles for a short time – living just in the present! I know that when we spend time with our close friends – it helps both Neill and I enormously and that together with their offers of practical help is wonderful! You also have a much greater idea of what they are going through, than most people do – hugs Gilly xx

  27. Only only took to FB recently after a bad experience in the States ten years ago and can't say I'm a great enthusiast. So much stuff I'm not interested in, I'm sure most of us are the same. Great to have you back and delighted your hols were enjoyed by all. ;~}

    1. Good evening to you, too, Sheila. I agree – there's enough grief in this world of ours without having to add to it through personal messages. I I hope you are feeling well enough to do a wee bit of crafting. X ;~}

  28. Glad you locked them to I shed before you left I am really pleased you went away a complete break was really worried about you and how low you was before going made my day when see you with your lovely Mark and Grace having fun the tree photo was just great you all looked so happy you need to give yourself regular breaks like this you company has just exploded this last year lovely to see from little acorns what can grow with really commitment and hard work you are a wonderful
    Amazing lady love hugs Joy And Katie she says yes that's right Barbara gray is The BEST XXX

  29. Hello Barbara
    What a great blog today, the hats are fabulous, no wonder they caught your eye and good for you supporting the small traders. Isn't it lovely to see Grace and Mark so happy and you happy for seeing them. I had to laugh at the loo with no queue, treasure that moment ( and remember it when you are at Ally Pally desperate and in a long queue!!) . I think you did the right thing switching off completely, it's done you the power of good. I don't do Facebook but know how hard it must be to see hurtful things being written when as you say you are doing the best that you can. Feel sorry for these people that have such sad lives they cannot see the good in art and creativity and come and chat to your lovely blog friends instead. Take care
    Love Diane xxx

    1. Hello all my lovely blog friends
      I hope everyone is ok. It's been another gorgeous day here, almost caught up with the washing and ironing, another day should do it!! Catching up with the gardening is the next task then I can finally sit and play with my groovie birthday presents. Sheila I hope you have managed to get an appointment today and the pain hasn't got you down too much. Sending hugs all round xxx

    2. Hi Diane I got an appointment it's in 4 weeks thank you for thinking of me hope you catch up with your jobs soon then you can groovi hugs xxx

    3. Hi Diane – yes it's been fabulous weather again today here too! I did a bit more washing today – hope that your gardening goes well, and that you enjoy your Groovi time! Hugs Gilly xx

  30. Evening Barbara so wonderful to read today's blog to feel your happiness and how much going away has given you seeing mark & grace and knowing they happy too you should do this each year .paul was a wonderful ambassador for clarity so helpful and thoughtful and clarity towers are amazing too xxx

    1. Evening dear family of blog friends thinking of you all sending lots of hugs to you all and hugs to all on the blog I've got my appointment sorted out see the consultant in 4 weeks and if I cannot get the steroid injection at my GP's the nurse should be able to do it at the hospital so fingers crossed I had a lot of pain this morning when I got up but it eased as the day went on which was good even mannaged to do some colouring xxxx
      I was in a lot of pain when I got up but it eased as the day went on

    2. Hi Sheila – I seem to have been following you around tonight! I am so pleased that you managed to get your appointment sorted out today! It's good that you managed to get the pain levels down as the day went on, and that you were able to do some colouring too! I read Brenda's advice to you last night, and I tried it out myself today and isn't she a very clever lady, I had a much less painful day too today. Sending you love and loving hugs, my special blog friend, Gilly xxx

    3. Hi Sheila
      Oh I am glad to hear you've got an appointment, hopefully you can get this pain sorted soon. Good for you managing a bit of colouring, it's still crafting. Sending hugs xxxx

  31. People write an awful lot of bullshit on Facebook and social media, especially when they are jealous of someone else's success! Try to treat them with the contempt they deserve. They're idiots! So glad you had a wonderful holiday.

  32. Hi Barbara – thank you for a wonderful blog today, just what we needed! It's so nice of you to share your holiday special moments with us all, you describe it so well, that we feel as though we are there with you! I too would like to say how pleased I am that you took the decision to leave Clarity behind and just concentrate on your time there and to just enjoy the moment! I for one was most concerned about how you were before you went away – nothing is worth that! It's even better that you were also able to spend some time with Mark and Grace too – that is such precious time! Paul was great looking after the blog – and no doubt Team Clarity were too! Hugs Gilly x

    1. Hi to all my lovely blog friends – I am later again this evening – I have had a good day, done a bit of washing and ironing, went out for a drive with Neill. Enjoyed the amazing weather again! This afternoon I had a lie down reading my book – until I fell asleep for a few hours! I also took some advice that Brenda put on last night about not letting pain control you – I followed it today and I took control of the pain, and had a much better day – so thanks again Brenda, you clever lady! Love and hugs, Gilly xxx

  33. Barbara , I understand because I just spent 10 days on holiday in Canada and never spent time on this crazy FB . It was great . No television ,no news , and my spirit was renewed .
    I can't imagine anyone bitching or complaining about you or the company . We are all just doing the best we can so they need to pull up their big girl pants and get a life . Just remember you are a marvelous fantastic spiritual being . Love and blessings , jan

  34. Hi Barbara sorry im a wee bit late but loved reading the blog tonight so happy you had that great escape and you enjoyed every minute hope you lost that shed key try to keep worka an holik locked away as long as you can.
    Go on plan the next trip life is to short believe me.
    love Dot xx

  35. Hello Barb, what a lovely blog post, and as people supported you, you supported someone else. Thanks for sharing this delightful insight into your life. Bx

  36. Yes folks it's true…Fantastic holiday, so many different experiences and not an iMac or PC in sight!
    I have to admit , I took an iPad just for a couple of pressing issues , but otherwise, we were able to
    'Be in the now' and that is where I like to be , I was listening to a Radio 4 prog yesterday about kids in Sweden being unable to deal with real life issues and the ups and downs of being adolescent ..It was pretty alarming really…simply because so many live in the 'Vitual World'… of Instagram , Facebook or similar .However I believe that this blog community is a healthy option..where we can combine creativity and caring…xx

    1. I don't do face book or Twitter or Instagram
      This blog is a wonderful place that we can come too each day for surport ideas crafting inspiration and friendship a big thank you Dave Barbara for helping create something special hugs & smiles xxx

  37. So glad you all had a brilliant holiday and were able to completely chill out. Good to see you back refreshed – oh and Paul did a marvellous job whilst you were away – as you knew he would. Hugs xx

  38. Hi Barbara & ladies, glad to hear you have had a wonderful holiday with family. As you can see all was well while you were away they did a brilliant job see no worries. I know it is very difficult when you are running a wonderful business like you have and hard to let go. Please do not try to worry about the one's that harp on about things, they are only sorry they did not think of the new things you have come up with. (Groovi ) brilliant the clarity brand is well words cannot say how good it all is. This blog is great so chin up and enjoy what you have worked hard for over the years we will be here because we know how goodo it is. Lot's of best wishes. Lynn x x ( by the way when is Christmas ) !!!!!!xx

  39. Hi Barbara

    I really can empathise with you regarding your comment of bitchiness etc…. jealousy is a killer and there's too much of that in this world

    WOW, such a handsome, hunky son your have there Ms Gray too!

    It's said everyone has a double, and I had to do a double take with the picture of your brother, Steve, on the stall because the blond lady, on the left, wearing a white top and looking down on to your goods looked like me!!! lol

    I have been to San Francisco but that was around 8-10 years ago lol

    So enjoyed the video, great seeing the men all dressed in their suit, tie and hat, that would have been my granddad one time

    I am so very pleased your batteries are recharged, try to forget the negativity and employ your energy in your fabulous work, you are one talented lady!

  40. It gladdens my heart that you have been able to completely switch off to work and the associated worries and issues. Since I finished working two years ago now I wonder how I ever managed to live with all the STUFF in my brain. A ToDo list that never got any shorter and weekends and evenings thinking about nothing but work. I sit in the garden now and I can have a completely blank mind at time and I just soak it all in. I know I am lucky and I count my blessings on this account every day. Just to sit with my doggy friends and watch the garden growing – blooming marvellous. We all need to be able to switch off at some point or that way madness lies!! I am so happy you spent quality time with family and friends and have a wealth of precious memories to share with us. Much love Jayne

  41. Fantastic! Loved the old record, took me back to the 78 records my Nan had. I used to play one in particular as a child…"My Ol' Man's a Dustman" – we lived in a huge Victorian house and I used to skip from the back door through the house to the front door to it! Fond memories came flooding back to me of my Nan, Mum & Dad and growing up there with my brother 🙂
    Take it easy now that you've had a rest, and don't get doing too much, too soon. Love Carole x

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