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Elsa Peters
January 11, 2021, 5:49pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 11th January

Horrible night last night, rain was lashing and I sat up playing stupid games until four this morning and eventually got off to sleep and woke up at half eight.  And it was still raining, down to three degrees outside but as you know, damp and cold I'm not a fan off.  I made a cheese and ham omelette for breakfast, threw the bones from last nights supper over the wall with some old cheese and the black cat was waiting so at least it got something to eat today.  I soon came in, as well as the driving rain it was a raw cold wind and even though I'd not lit the fire, the house was still much warmer.  I washed up and tidied away, looked at the clementine, oranges and lemons and looked away again....I needed another recipe, the last one is quick but I'm not sure I liked the taste but with only two pots and an hour's labour, it will not be a great loss but I certainly don't want more.  I went up to the computer on the landing and read through one or two recipes but nothing grabbed me so I'll be back to my original but no today.

I filled up the log basket with the clean stuff and the log carrier with more of the really old logs and at two I gave in to temptation and lit the fire.  I settled down on the sofa and started watching a new series and gave up at the end of the first episode and turned it off.  For some reason today I've felt unsettled and went back to Sudoku...it's a sense of achievement when they come out.  The fire went well and the house atmosphere changed, it's amazing what a difference a fire makes.  On my way upstairs I noticed that the lemon plants were looking a little dry to watered all the house plants and the hyacinth has come in to encourage it to put up a higher spike....pretty colour though.  So back to the computer and settled in again with ancestry and managed to put a surname to one of the wives that had bothered me yesterday.  I turned on to the snooker and watched the end of a match and then went down to encourage the fire to keep up its good work.

Not wanting any supper tonight, the omelette is still sitting heavy and it will do me good to go without.  I've got a bag of roasted peanuts still the shells so that could be a 'snack' to later on.  It's still throwing it down and checking on the predicted weather, looks like more of the same for tomorrow and again we will have lot temperatures.  LN....Where's that plans for the ark....LN




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Elsa Peters
January 12, 2021, 5:15pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 12th January

Much better night last night.  I ended up watching something on the TV and I can't remember what now but straight to bed at twelve and straight through until eight thirty again.  I think it must have something to do with the tablets I'm taking....the chores have gone into repetitious actions and I feel much calmer.  It's a good feeling...not being able to go out and about and the weather not helping as it's still raining and has done all day...you really need something to take the edge off it.  I watch a Ted talk today on how the new brain cells are still produced in the hypothalamus even in old age and how to promote activity....so I need a treadmill and a glass of wine to ensure I'm doing my bit.

Washed, dressed and it was ten before I started cooking my boiled eggs for breakfast, tidied around, made my way to the bedroom and stripped the quilt cover and bottom sheet.  Not a good day for doing it with the rain still pouring down so I lit the fire and the washing went over the stair well and it was dry and ready to go back on for this evening.  I normally run the quick programme on the machine but instead went for the eco-wash and was amazed that it took about one and a half hours to complete whereas the quick wash takes around thirty minutes.  Next move was to the freezer and out came a chicken let for supper, I thawed it out, browned it in the frying pan with an onion and into the slow cooker with it with a packet of carbonara sauce mix.  It looks and smells OK so I shall have it with pasta and time soon.

The clementine are still waiting as are the oranges and tomorrow I'm going to make a concerted effort to get them processed and into jars.  No photos today, rain is rain is rain and puddles are puddles.  Nothing on the agenda for tomorrow....I should go and make an another appointment at the dentist to have this tooth out, it's getting looser and hurting when I use that side of the mouth to eat and so....use the other side I hear you say.  LN....Time to move downstairs and sort out supper....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 13, 2021, 6:29pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 13th January

So I woke up to a much better morning and at around eight thirty the free central heating appeared over the mountains.  The terraces were drying up and steam was coming off the insulation on the outside of the house wall and it looked like it might be a good day.  I made baked beans and bacon on toast for breakfast, retaining half of the beans to add to bolognaise sauce that I'd already taken out of the freezer and there was pasta left over from last night.....it would just need putting together.  I used my new three stepped ladder to change the top light bulb in my bedroom, it had popped yesterday so needed replacing.  The oranges came into view but with the weather about to change I needed to get the Beast sorted so put the battery on charge, the last time I'd tried it it was a dead a the proverbial dodo.  

I had a bonfire to get rid of the rubbish, it was such a good day but walking down to the bottom of the garden, everything was squelching under my feet.  We've had such a lot of rain and Bulgaria has had several landslides with people losing their homes and this year, no snow which melts more slowly that the speed that it has come down for the last week or so.  I set the fire and emptied the ash bucket on to the garden, filled up the log basket from the little house and made my way to the wood store to get the old logs that I store outside.  As I walked into the store I noticed that the floor was wet, the drainage pipe in the neighbour's garden on the other side of my wall obviously hadn't coped with the deluge.  I filled the log carrier and took it back to the conservatory, went back and collected the battery charger and connected it to the Beast battery and with fingers crossed left it to do its stuff.

I sat out in the sun for a while and then went in and found David Attenborough's legacy to the nation on Netflix and watched it and then moved on to the start of another recommended series and it was at this point that my eyelids closed and I woke up around two thirty.  The Beast was released from the charger and I turned it over and it started so I drove it down to the yard and left it going while I cleared the leaves that had found their way beneath it and pushed them near the front wall and I went back in the house to grab my bag, phones and purse to head into Djebel.  I set off and tried going through the forest I tried to clean the windscreen and the wipers were struggling and I noticed that the speedo wasn't working but it was do or die so I crossed my fingers for the second time and made my way to the garage.  They checked it out and both batteries were knacked and the son was sent to Kardjali to get the right ones for the Beast and I got a lift to the shop where I waited for the outcome.  The phone call came and I was about to set off to walk to the garage when another call was received to say that the batteries weren't charging so they were having to look into it so I opted for a taxi to take me home but suddenly remembered that my house keys were with the car keys so waited for the garage to close and when I looked there were not taxis so the son drove me home.

Fire lit, Nipper moved into the garage, bolognaise, beans and pasta assembled and put into the slow cooker while I got on with other things.  Tomorrow I will get a phone call to see how the day will pan out.  If it's the alternator then we might have to source one but at least the Beast is in the 'hospital' awaiting the diagnosis.
LN.....The oranges are still waiting......LN
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Elsa Peters
January 14, 2021, 5:12pm Report to Moderator

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Thursday 14th January

Seven thirty start and there hadn't been snow overnight so they'd been lying to me again...so much for accurate weather forecasts.  A little bit of a cloudy start but the clouds eventually all burnt off an it's been a beautiful day until around four when they came back again.  The sky looks full of snow and the temperature had gone down to minus one but again as I used to say to Princess, it might be too cold for snow.  I threw some bread out for whoever wanted it, made a bacon sandwich and sat in the stairwell at the table watching the garden and the bread.  I happened to look towards the little house and spotted this beauty on the roof, grabbed the camera and managed to take one before it shot off in the opposite direction and I thought I'd lost it but saw it on the wild plum and managed to get a few good ones.  Such proud arrogant looking birds.  A little while later the jay was at the bread, the camera ran out of battery and by the time I'd grabbed the other one, it had gone and the ginger cat had taken up residence claiming the rest of the crust.

I went on to the usual tasks and set the fire for the evening and at eleven I decided that I would go for a long leisurely bath and wash my hair.  I took the telephone up with me, I was expecting a phone call from the garage about the Beast and didn't want to miss it in case decisions had to be made quickly.  I took the Kindle up with me too and played a few games of Soda Crush and Sudoku and as expected, the phone went and it was to tell me that there wasn't a problem with the Beast.  When he tested the batteries in the dark he thought that they weren't receiving charge but when he read the book the batteries only accept twelve volts and so everything in the garden was lovely.  She said that her husband had used the car that morning to test it out and everything was working normally so I've decided to go to Djebel on the bus on Friday to get the Beast back home.  I went back to my soak and topped up the water with hot from the tank, stayed there for a little longer and eventually dried off and gave myself a pedicure.  I took off what remained of the old nail varnish, cut my nails and repainted them with some sparkly purple, it's not that anyone else is going to see them but it made me feel better.

I'd dropped the towel from my hair into the bath when I answered the phone so I searched round and found a load of washing, I put it on the clothes airer and for the rest of the afternoon have done very little.  There's been a lot of helicopter activity about today but I didn't manage to get any good shots of them.  I thought they were military but  
remembered that there are a lot of new electricity pylons going up so obliviously involved in that.  I've not managed to do anything for supper so far so have to put my thinking cap on and go and be constructive in the kitchen and it could well be egg and chips.  LN.....Lovely relaxing day, more of the same please tomorrow....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 15, 2021, 6:21pm Report to Moderator

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Friday 15th January

I've just realised that I've gone to pot on days this week...yesterday I thought it was Wednesday and I was really surprised when my Kindle showed me Friday the 15th....and then I had to get a wiggle on.  I had to catch the bus this morning to get to Djebel to pick up the Beast and get the batteries guarantees authenticated.  It was a really cold start so I layered up like a cabbage and put my sheepskin coat on.  The bus is normally very crowded so I anticipated it and caught it on the upstroke to the far village and we picked up the rest on the way down.  We dropped off in the centre and I walked down to the garage and it was only when I was setting off that I went to my purse to find that it wasn't in my bag.  Panic set in, I was thinking or all the things that had to be replaced if I'd lost it so I drove slowly back to the town, I went to the bus station and checked the bus that was still standing there and went back into the garage shop to see if I'd left it in there when I had five minutes with the owner and hadn't.  Before melt down I drove home....and there it was on the table...I'd taken a five leva note out of it and put it in my glove to pay for my bus fare and had obviously not put it back...breath again.

So into Kardjali to get the guarantees sorted and the man commented that the batteries were not holding the correct charge and suggested that I get the alternator checked out.  I carried on to Kaufland and bought a few things including a ultra-sound cleaning machine that was on offer and computer paper.  The Beast started OK so I thought I was out of the woods, went to the leva shop and picked up gas lighters, I seem to be in the habit of breaking them when I take them down the garden and again it started OK and finished off in Lidl and thought nothing of it.  Driving home I had the feeling that I should really check it out so went to the garage that the guarantee man had recommended.  The man put his machine on it and noticed that it was low and when I came to start it, nothing was happening.....he commented that it was probably the alternator, got me going again and fortunately my MOT man was close by and took me down to his brother who had a unit that repaired alternators.  He looked at it. confirmed that there was a problem, told me to come back in a couple of hours and it would be fixed but since I had nowhere to go I sat out in the sun but the man suggested I sat in the Beast to save getting cold.  Two hours later it was fixed and when I went to paid the bill I knew I only had half of the money and told the owner that I would have to go down to the cash point to get the rest but that I would need the Beast to get there.  I saw panic in his eyes but carried on regardless and told him I would be at the most fifteen minutes.  I was back in ten, told him to give me forty back and I would give him what he required and I did.  I told him that there was no way I would have done a runner, I'd lived here for ten years and had used his brother's garage for my MOT's from the beginning of my time in Bulgaria.  He gave a relieved smile and off I went and it drives much differently.  It must have been failing for a while.

Back home, shopping unpacked, fire lit, chicken and jackets in the oven, kettle on and I sat down with a coffee at six fifteen.  Chicken supper at seven fifteen and there's a baked apple that I will be having when the chicken has moved down a little.  It's been a full on day so tomorrow I'm going to do....nothing except the normal jobs.  LN....All's well that ends well.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 16, 2021, 4:41pm Report to Moderator

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Saturday 16th January

Six thirty start this morning and boy was it a cold one.  Minus four outside and only seventeen in so I made a coffee and took it back to bed ever hopeful that the sun would come out soon.  As it was...it didn't.  It cheered up briefly but was never full out and at ten I decided to get the fire going and it's been chugging along all day.  I only had toast for breakfast with my apricot jam and fed the bones and skin of last night's chicken to anything that wanted it over the wall but it wasn't a day for lingering out there to see who benefited.

I filled up the log carriers and noticed that the floor has already started to dry up in the wood store which is a good sign.  I lifted the rest of the logs from the last line and put them on top of the others to dry out...they stand more chance there than on the floor.  I boned out the half chicken that I hadn't cooked last night, browned it in the pan with onions and that went into the slow cooker with a packed of chicken something which has supposedly got minestrone in it but it was so small that I couldn't make it out.  It might show up more now it's padded out with water but probably won't notice it, I cooked pasta separately and put that in the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and it should be ready anytime soon.

So this afternoon I snuggled up on the sofa and there was a tap on the window and it was Haciber back from Turkey.  She'd brought me round a present, coffee a hand towel and a very pretty dish and I asked her to wait while I found out her Christmas goody bag that was in the lounge.  She wouldn't come in, wanted to get back home and I bet her house is freezing, she's been in Turkey for three weeks or so.  Off she went so I bedded down again and put on Netflix and carried on watching my murder, ballet saga that unfortunately is dragging out a bit...I want a conclusion now but it's slow in coming.  Half past six here and I've just drawn the curtain between the lounge and the stairwell to retain the heat from the wood burner.  The radiators can take care of the rest of the house but when you stop moving about....it needs to be warm.

Fully rested today as I said I would be.....nothing to do outside. far too cold for that and too cold to be walking around the shops, I have everything I need here.  LN.....Supper, the Voice and bed.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 17, 2021, 6:48pm Report to Moderator

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Sunday 17th January

So I fell asleep on the sofa last night but managed to wake up for the Voice but my Fitbit gave me a sleep score of eleven hours last night.  Not sure where it got the rest from but I suppose lying flat out on the sofa and not moving in their eyes or sensors counts as sleep.  Woke at seven this morning, it was still dark out but there was a glimmer of sun light breaking over the mountains and it turned out to be a good day.  Minus six on my inside outside thermometer, the time was all to cock, I'd played around with it yesterday trying to reset it and had given up in disgust...at my performance.  I went back to the beginning, removed the batteries and started from scratch and the only thing on the display is that the day is showing DI for demanche....and I refuse to try to reset it to English from the French.  Too much like hard work.  

The fire was still going so I gave it the kiss of life and it took the inside temperature up from fourteen on the other side of the curtain in the stairwell to seventeen once I'd opened up the estate.  Once the sun came out it was another matter.....only managed minus one outside but twenty four in...free central heating so I let the fire go out.  Bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast for me and for the birds, the remains of my leftovers from supper and a few old slices of ham that I'd forgotten about.  Over the wall it went and I didn't stop to look what had the lion's share.

I settled on the sofa after finishing the tidy up in the kitchen to watch the end of the series on Netflix.  There were only two sessions to get through but I think I must have missed something.....I thought I knew who did it....it was heading that way and yet the turn at the end really confused me and I think I have to watch the last episode again to make sense of it.  Quite a lot of activity from the hooded crows landing on the little house roof but I'm not sure what the attraction was.  I thought at one time that it was the box of walnuts that had somehow still managed to stay outside probably because of laziness on my part but in previous years I've put them in the little house and the mice or bigger have had them so I thought this year I'd make it difficult for them.

I watched the snooker this afternoon on the computer while I played games and caught up on emails.  I've ordered a new Fitbit strap and decided to have it sent from Ireland, at least their in the EU and so there should be no issues with it arriving safely and no official trying to hold up delivery.  I also tried to sort out a new cover for the Kindle but they make such a variety of covers for the different types of units that I was lost for choice and ordered nothing.  Supper was the heated up remains of last night's chicken and pasta and it was delicious.  Some pasta was left and that's for the birds tomorrow.  LN....Another cold night.....LN
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Elsa Peters
January 18, 2021, 5:33pm Report to Moderator

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Monday 18th January

So I woke up and immediately went to check the weather station on the table in the stairwell and it was reading a very big minus and not very warm inside...but that was the other side of the curtain.  I opened it up, the fire was still going so I went out to the porch putting the light on and ....no light ...so that was the first thing on my list to do.  I found a couple of small logs out and dropped them in the wood burner and it wasn't long before I had warmth.  I found a bulb, unscrewed the plastic cap from the light, changed the bulb and...I had light and the first job off the list before I'd even written it on there.  I made coffee, scouted around for the rubbish and got it ready for a bonfire, dressed and put on an extra layer to take the breakfast out for the cats, boots, bodywarmer and hat on and had my bonfire.  I spent quite a time down the bottom of the garden, the sun had come up and despite the cold it was a beautiful morning.

I came in and took off a couple of layer and cooked breakfast of bacon and egg.  I played a few games, moved on to the main computer on the upstairs landing and did emails and FB and caught up with some of the news.  I'd joined a closed group and why is it that they want to keep it strictly on topic and are looking for any deviations.  I know that there are trolls who will take everything and anything the wrong way and in a lot of cases put a sexual angle to it so I might not bother reading the comments....why can't people take it for what it is.  It's almost like a few people think it's like the holy grail...they've found it and it should be glorified.  Enough said!!  I went  outside again remembering that I'd decided to take the wire netting off the bird table.  It was almost as if they were too aware of the mesh even though they could easily fly through it so out with the bolt cutter and it was easily removed.  It was put on to stop the cats so hopefully they've put it out of their memory banks as being out of bounds.  I shelled peanut, they didn't take kindly to them when I left the shells on, threaded them and hung them like I used to do in England....Bulgarian tits aren't so desperate.  So peanuts and a couple of bananas that have gone over are still sitting on the bird table, there must be plenty of food about despite the cold.

I settled on the sofa to watch some tv and there was a knock on the door and my friend from a couple of villages away had called in for a coffee and a chat.  We had a catch up, sat out in the sun while he had a ciggy and off he went.  It's nice to see another face.  I went back to my pre-occupation and started to watch the series Merlin on Netflix.  I was surprised to see 'Victor Meldrew' in a prominent role. finished up watching several episodes and now I'm looking round for something else.  

Supper is about to finish, I've got barbecued spare-ribs tonight so this could get very messy.  Probably Djebel tomorrow to check when the dentist can fit me in and pick up the old batteries.  I'm thinking that the big one might be OK to put in the Beast and I'll keep the new little one until I need it for the Nipper.  LN....Already minus four and counting.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 19, 2021, 4:58pm Report to Moderator

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Tuesday 19th January

Really good night's sleep again, woke up to minus eleven outside and only fourteen in and that sun was still elusive first thing so patience is a virtue.  When it did arrive, the temperature in the house went up rapidly but outside was a different matter....it's not got above zero all day.  I went back to bed for a while deciding not to rescue the fire but in the end I gave in and then moved my activity to the sofa with the Kindle.  I washed and dressed eventually, put the bones from last night's pork cremation because I forgot I'd put the ribs in the oven but I soaked them first with boiling water to give the cats a fighting chance.  The did look and smell good and last night the ones that I salvaged for me were OK....just not a lot of succulent meat on them.  First up was the black cat who took the best bits and there has been several attempts by others throughout the day.  The bones tomorrow will be scooped up and go over the wall.  Breakfast time for me, the remains of the bacon and one of the two remaining eggs and that was me set up for the day.

I watered the house plants and those in the conservatory and noticed that the oleander seed pods that I'd collected the other day had burst open with the heat of the sun.  I moved them into a better pot and when the weather get a little better I'll be seeing how many will germinate.  These are a hardy variety, the mother plant is now five foot tall and has spent four winters outside so these should have similar characteristics hopefully.  I did managed to plant up some seeds from the bathroom vine that's now spending the winter in the lounge.  It has amazingly pretty flowers and the only other one that I've seen was in Agadir growing against a wall in a courtyard.

At around two. the house was cosy, I was drowsy so I lay on the sofa and I was out for the count for a couple of hours so I obviously need it.  I settled for a snack of ginger biscuits and cream cheese around five and currently thing that supper will pass me by tonight.  Nothing to say that at eight I'm poking around in the kitchen looking for something quick.  I didn't make Djebel...it seemed like a lot of effort for little return.....I'll wait for the shopping list to get a little longer.  I keep worrying the tooth with my tongue and pulling at it and am hoping that I can do it myself without the aid of a dentist but I fear not.  I think that root goes deep.  LN.....Cloudless sky and dropping temperature.....LN



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Elsa Peters
January 20, 2021, 5:07pm Report to Moderator

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Wednesday 20th January

Silly night again.....I woke up at three with my poor heart pounding and reckoned it was because I was so hot.  I threw off one of the duvets and immediately felt better but no sleep left in me so played silly games and Sudoku until five and then managed to get back off until eight thirty so not too bad.  That blasted weather station had reset the time overnight as it linked in to Germany and so I had to fiddle around with it again and suppose I shall have to reset it to plus on from the German time zone that's if I ever find the setting.  Maybe it will give up tonight and leave the time alone.  Cats were out and about and still gnawing on the old bones...there was only bread for them today since last night I made a cheese and onion sandwich and that could have been the reason for the disturbances in the night and interrupted sleep....

As I went into the kitchen one of the under worktop light flickered and then was OK again.  When I went in tonight the one over the kitchen sink no long works so I have to work out how to take it out and replace it.  It might mean taking off the addition to the base of the units so it will be screwdrivers at the ready tomorrow to see if I can manage it and then find a replacement...not sure where I bought it from...it was about ten years ago.  Hasn't it done well!!  I didn't bother with breakfast until much later in the day but filled up the log containers and searched the little house for the door stop that I used to have before the conservatory was built to stop the draught coming under the door.  I eventually found it after scouring various stashes knowing that there was no way I would have thrown it away.  I even went upstairs in the little house to see if it was up there but no, it was in the workshop.  It's now in situ and I've polished it with a neutral boot polish and done the door as well...it really has a very pleasant smell to it.

I sorted out the vegetable rack under the sink and relegated to the compost carrots that I insist on buying and never use and some old potatoes.  I also sliced up a couple of onions and potatoes and added them to the slow cooker with a chicken stock cube and that was my really late breakfast and lunch combined and it will be supper.  I'm having an easy day on my stomach and no cheese sandwiches for me tonight.  I also managed to pot up some Tulip Tree seeds and put some lemon pips on set kitchen paper to see if they will sprout.  That's the way I got three plants going so maybe more coming my way.  These aren't from my tree, they're from Kaufland so might or might not...they have two chances.  The rest of the afternoon I've been watching Merlin on Netflix, three episodes down today and I missed Arthur having his first kiss but caught his second.....'and of course, it cannot go any further, I am a prince'....same old.  As I said supper is already cooked, the boiler is on and so bath night has been declared.  It looks like the inauguration has ruined all TV channels for tonight so it might be more Netflix.  Wintery sundown and temperature is around zero now but not destined to go down to the minus ten we had last night.  LN....I'll remember, only one duvet tonight....LN



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My Diary by Elsa Peters (only location)

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