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Posts Tagged ‘http://www.twitter.com/notjustagranny/’

 On my ‘wish list’ was the desire to travel; and so I have, to villages and towns around the UK.   Not quite what I had in mind when I sent the message to the ‘Universe’, but there you go. 🙂

The latest on my travels is what at first glance appears to be a rather non-descript little village named ‘Cottenham’.

Cottenham, Cambridgeshire

On arriving in Cottenham you could be forgiven for thinking that it looked rather dull, albeit lined with some pretty little houses and some fine examples of Georgian and Gothic architecture, there was nothing much else to excite the senses. It reminded me a bit of that song by John Denver; Saturday Night in Toledo. Some of the lyrics go: “they roll back the sidewalks at night”.

...they roll back the sidewalks at night

Ah! But wait, we have yet to discover what lies beneath!

Cottenham it seems has in fact existed since prehistoric times, and scattered discoveries of Mesolthic and Neolithic tools have been made. Now we are talking! 

On a bend in the ‘High Street’, kind of halfway between here and there,

small part of the original settlement of Cottenham

on an area named the ‘pond’ of which there is currently no sign, are the markings of a very early ‘Roman’ settlement; now mostly built over with houses and buildings – the historic society has in fact been able to mark out the early boundaries of a formal settlement, long since disappeared into dust. 

What the area looks like now:

what was the original Saxon settlement site, now built over

part of the medieval Crowlands Manor, now built up

 Origin of the name Cottanham, appears to be Saxon, arising from the early English ‘Cotan’ for dwelling and ‘Ham’ for settlement. Most of the older houses along the High Street were at one time farmhouses.

The High Street, so named, is the longest in the country, measuring 1 & ¼ miles from the Green to the Church. The ‘Green’, a triangle of grass at one end of the village, is edged with lovely plane trees, planted in 1885 by Robert Ivatt, and was once the grazing ground for cattle, now an oasis of repose for the villagers, of which there are currently just over 5,000.

the Green at Cottenham, where they used to graze cows

Amongst the present inhabitants, many of whom are descendants of people who have lived here for centuries, are records of the Pepys family in the village since 1273 and the present Earl of Cottenham is a descendent of Samuel Pepys (the diarist) and recorder of the 1666 Fire of London.

Pepys house (Samuel Pepys; diarist used to live here)

Two thirds of Cottenham itself, was destroyed by fire in 1676 (mmm, seems perhaps we should take a closer look at Mr Pepys then!) The lady I was caring for has herself lived in the same house since the day she was born 84 years ago, and inherited the house from her parents.

Across from the Green and on the fork of two roads is the War Memorial – unveiled in 1921 in honour of fifty nine local men killed in the 1st World War.

memorial to fallen villagers WW1

On closer exploration are many fine houses, some of which are centuries old:

Queenholme built 16th century

The Wesleyan Chapel built 1864

The Gothic House built in the 1730s, was a red brick house, bought by the Ivatt family in 1770 and greatly altered around 1860 when the decorative chimneys were built.

Gothic House

front facade of the Gothic House

wisteria draped over the side of the Gothic House

detail above the front door

White Cottage – home to ancestors of Calvin Coolidge – American President 1923-29

White House (aptly named as it turns out)

As I explored the area on Sunday, I was drawn by the sound of bells pealing out their call to prayer! The ‘Parish Church of All Saints’; has evidence of a church on this site from the mid-10th century.

All Saints Church

The existing church was built in the 15th century, with a 100 ft tall church tower – and a sundial built into the side with the inscription – ‘time is short’.

'Time is short' inscription on the sundial

Across the road is the Old Rectory – dating back to the 16th century. In 1644 the Rectory was given to Oliver Cromwell’s sister; Robina. (I guess no-one would have argued with that).

At that point the road leaves the village proper and now becomes Twentypence Road – which derives it’s name from a parcel of thirty acres of land on the Cottenham side of the River Ouse, as described in Richard Atkins survey of the Fens in 1604.

Twentypence Road

At one time there were four pumps in the village, and with all but one subsequently removed, the remaining pump – erected in 1864, was moved to the Green in 1985 along with the horse-trough.

water pump and horse trough

Cottenham was a treasure trove of old houses, ancient history and houses with stories behind their walls.

Although the main road through the village was quite busy during the day the villagers seemed to prefer a lighter form of transport

the villagers preferred mode of transport!

On the sidewalk was a sight common in these villages; a sign board with description of goods for sale. In this instance ‘Pink Peony plants’, unattended, left on a stand or in a box or wheelbarrow, and as is common the instructions for payment are: “please put money through the letterbox”.

'Pink peony plants' - leave money in the letterbox

One day I discovered a book that detailed the history of the village and had a fine old time digging a bit deeper.

85 High Street; house of Fred Stone – watch and clockmaker and music teacher

house of Fred Stone - watch and clock maker

next door was the old Jolly Millers public house – burnt down in 1898 (now rebuilt)

Jolly Millers pub

Pond Villa’s built in 1902, and the last houses in the village to be built from Cotteham brick

Pond Villas

Pond Villas

120 High Street – Pond Farm; A group of fifty dissenting families, which called itself ‘The Church Congregation Society of the Protestant Dissenters of the Denomination of Independence’, worshipped in the barn behind this 17th century Farmhouse. Pond Farm was also the site for meetings of the Ranters, or Primitive Methodists.

Pond Farm

The village was a delight in it’s various architechtural styles.

Ivy House

Before leaving I took a stroll over to the old Saxon area to see the moat

Cotttenham moat

Cottenham moat - a scheduled ancient monument

The area has been listed by English Heritage as a scheduled ancient monument. The moat contains a small breeding population of great crested newt, which is strictly protected under European legislation.

And that was my excursion to Cottenham, a quaint English village in Cambridgeshire, not too far from Cambridge and a treasure trove of ancient and new.

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I recently received this via an email from a friend; it is delightful:

Recently, in a large city in France , a poster featuring a young, thin and
tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, “This summer, do you
want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of
the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the
gym.

To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious
humans.) They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby
whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with
shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like
Patagonia , the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are
wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures
and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected
and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don’t exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the
offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?

They don’t have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not
to mention how could they have sex? Just look at them … where is IT?
Therefore, they don’t have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get
close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only
skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my
kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate
with my friends. With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much
information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it
distributes out to the rest of our bodies.So we aren’t heavy, we are
enormously cultured, educated and happy.
Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good
grief, look how smart I am!¨

thanks to shutterstock.com for the picture 🙂

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You may or may not know it yet, but I love twitter.  To me it is one of the best internet inventions ever….well besides the internet of course 🙂

I’ve said before that I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter; following links, retweeting quotes, chatting to friends around the world, connecting with new friends I noticed mentioned by current friends, having a laugh at the jokes, responding to mentions, having a peek into someone else’s life: finding out what they like, who they don’t like, what they think of Tiger Woods, who is visiting starbucks, who loves tea, who has been where, whose kids are on spring break, photo’s of gorgeous places, who is sitting on a carribean beach, what is happening 6,000 miles away, who is passionate about which cause, who supports those causes, who is selling what, and why, who writes poetry, whose baby has just been born, whose birthday it is, celebrating their achievements, who is passionate about their garden, who shares my interest in travel, which people lean towards religion and who doesn’t and much much more…….you know what I mean.

And this got me to thinking about the etiquette of twitter, about how it is we get to connect with the people behind the profiles and I wondered if twetiquette is the same as etiquette and do the same rules apply when we are relatively anonymous behind a computer screen as opposed to being face to face.

Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word étiquette, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.

So if I understand that correctly; etiquette in simple terms is a code of behaviour within a social class or group.  How then is etiquette practised in the world of twitter.

In a normal social setting it is good etiquette to introduce yourself, to shake hands in greeting (or whatever the correct social norm would be in your any particular country), to engage in polite conversation, to enquire after someones health and if you feel comfortable in the environment you then engage further and enquire as to career or family ties, do they participate in a sport, what sort of music they enjoy and so through a repartee of conversation within the norm of a social setting you get to find out more about the person you are communicating with.

On twitter your introduction is your profile: you have an opportunity to introduce yourself.  I come along, I have a look and if we speak the same language or like similar things we then ‘follow’ : we shake hands.

Next I post a tweet that I am about to go on holiday or I re-tweet an interesting link you have posted about travel tips or an exciting destination – you respond and as we engage so we get to learn more about one another: conversation.

Then perhaps a friend comes along and we think the person we are with might like to meet them, so we introduce them: @mention the person and if possible we say why aka #ff or #followfriday

Sometimes over the course of time we find that the things they say aka ‘tweet’ are of no real interest, so we move on : unfollow

When we first meet a new person in a normal social settings we dont just jump in with the company’s latest advert : marketing links

And I dislike the idea of ‘automated’ following programmes to build numbers : running down the street ‘shouting..be my friend’?!

So here is my idea of twetiquette:

Follow = I like you and think we may have things in common

Retweet your post = I find your post interesting and would like to share it with others

@mention you and comment on something you said previously = conversation

Click on a link you posted = taking an interest in what you have to say

Retweet the link = I think other people might also be interested

Retweet a comment you made eg a quote = repartee

#followfriday = I think youre a great person and would like to introduce you to my other friends

So, those are just some of my ideas!  What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Hello. I just finished reading a great article about the phenomenal rise in twitter users world wide.  It is interesting to note that more than 60% of users are from outside the US of A.

DYK? that India has 550billion mobile phone users; that the twitter website is available in 6 languages, and there are even twitter users in The Vatican and outer space!

Personally I love twitter.  I love that it is fast, I love the homefeeds although of course they sometimes move too fast.  I love that I can connect with people around the world in real time and have short bursts of conversation, find out whats happening and meet lovely people in the virtual world who are really real people.

One of the things I enjoy most about twitter are the very diverse and creative names that people come up with.  Sometimes it relates to what they do, or their philosophy in life, perhaps their beliefs and for some it is just a bit of fun.  It is amazing how many combinations the english language can come up with.

Many ppl pass on or re-tweet quotes and I love thinking about those quotes and what they mean to me before I RT them for others to enjoy.   It amazes me just how many quotes there are in the world and the diverse backgrounds the ‘quotees’ come from.  (I’m not sure if quotees is a word…if not… well now it is )

I enjoy the different applications that have sprung up around twitter and my particular favourite is hootsuite, possibly coz it is such a funky name.  I love the lists, makes it so much easier to find the ppl whose tweets you want to keep track of and also lets others know who you find most interesting; like @HelpSaveBees 

The follows are great fun too: like #ff or #followfriday where you get to mention ppl that you have had conversations with during the week, or ppl that you really appreciate and you get a chance to say thanks for retweeting my quotes or my links, or get to #shoutout your appreciation for their following or comments.   You get a chance to mention ppl who have impressed you with the content of their tweets or links, and say hello to friends.

Of course as Kenneth Wu will tell you; there is a dark side to twitter.  One of these would be the ppl who use twitter as a platform for abuse and rubbish content.  Fortunately you can just block such ppl.   I had one bloke who was beginning to stalk me, sending really idiotic tweets….so boof bang…blocked!

I always tell my daughter that I was born to twitter.  I started my account @notjustagranny just over a year ago and have never looked back. It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s really interesting.  I love the educational links that get posted and have learned more about the world through these links than I did before.  I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter…….

I find it incredible how news gets posted around the world in the blink of an eye and you get to hear in real time about things and events that are happening on the other side of the world before you even hear it on the news……it’s like the 6 o’clock news is almost redundant.

I love that I can show my support for various causes and give a #shoutout when they have a particular campaign like @Socks4HappyPPL whose mission it is to supply a pair of socks to homeless kiddies in Mongolia. So for every pair of socks you buy they send a pair to Mongolia.  And we get to share and contribute to that.

It’s fun to see what people are getting up to, to be able to know what is being said in a seminar that you are unable to attend, to know who goes to #starbucks and who is jetting of somewhere nice.   It’s great to share in the events of the world like #earthhour; to see photos that you may not have seen ever and to connect with people around the world for a great cause.

I have inserted the link to the article in question and hope you enjoy it too. click here

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I was reading a very interesting blog today from Jeff Bullas; 30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media.

He mentions some seriously idiotic things that people post on facebook and following close behind on twitter.  They tend to forget that their posts are open to public viewing and all it takes is for someone to take offence or perhaps a work colleague to notice a detrimental comment and ooops you could lose your job, or at the least face disciplinary action.  I was aghast at some of the stuff people write about and call me naive or ignorant, but I did not think that people actually post pictures of themselves inebriated or comments on their bodily functions!

One of the replies on the blog from a reader commented that because of the apparently virtual anonimous space of our computers, the barriers of propriety are breaking down and things you would not dream of saying to someone’s face, are shared via the virtual world.   Stories have a way of spreading and going viral as it is known today.     I was thinking about the various items that Jeff mentioned on his blog and the power of social media for spreading the word so to speak.   But what of the age old methods from the past: gossip.   Gossip passed on becomes rumour, and no less damaging albeit on a smaller scale.   Imagine my suprise then when I opened my email box today to find this article from my sister:

“Once upon a time an old man spread rumours that his neighbour was a thief.     As a result, the young man was arrested.     Days later the young man was proven innocent.     After being released he sued the old man for wrongly accusing him.

In court the old man told the Judge:    “They were just comments, didn’t harm anyone.”       The judge, before passing sentence on the case, told the old man: “Write all the things you said about him in a piece of paper.     Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out. Tomorrow, come back to hear your sentence.” 

Next day, the judge told the old man: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper that you threw out yesterday.     ” The old man said: “I can’t do that!    The wind spread them and I won’t know where to find them.”

The judge then replied: “In the same way, simple comments may destroy the honour of a man to such an extent that one is not able to fix it. If you can’t speak well of someone, rather don’t say anything”.”

Which brings me to the article from Jeff and the list; beware of what you say on public forums; if you can’t speak well of yourself or someone else, rather don’t say anything at all.

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I have been thinking a lot about the phenomenal response to EarthHour that swept the world last night, and reflecting on how amazing it is when people from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures and countries pull together to’ make change’.

I spent many hours on twitter last night following the story and reading people’s comments (hugely entertaining, I might add).  So when I opened my email today and noticed this article on ‘Power’, it seemed quite congruent, as the reason for EarthHour was of course ‘power’, of an electrical kind as well as the power of people all working together and focusing on one thing to make a change.

As a subscriber to SelfGrowth.com, I receive updates from David on a regular basis.  I usually enjoy the articles he features and this is no exception; I found this absolutely delightful story by Jan Bolick, in my inbox today and decided to share it with you:

If you’ve lost power, or never had any to begin with, how can you possibly make a difference? Why bother dreaming? Or trying to make a goal? Or even setting one? Someone or something will keep you from it anyway. Might as well forget about trying to make a difference in someone else’s life — much less your own.

PLEASE don’t listen to ANY of nonsense above!!! You have plenty of power. It might not be obvious. You may have to hunt around a bit. But it’s there somewhere. I hope this article will help you with search and discovery so that you find your power. And if you are a manager, I hope it will help you help others find theirs. A must for morale & productivity.

************

One December morning – the house was colder than normal. The clocks were dead. Out the window, we saw trees sagging under a beautiful crystal-like layer of ice; power lines across the road beneath branches, limbs — even whole trees.

We learned from our battery operated radio that 90% of the homes in our town were without power. They said it would take 8 days to restore.

We went in search of breakfast and found only one restaurant open. It seemed the entire town was there — hungry and powerless.

Powerless. We had lost possession of control.

It’s funny the habits we found hard to break. Passing the neighborhood video store on the way home from breakfast, my son said excitedly, “No school today! Let’s get a video!” “Oh — I forgot”, he said. “We don’t have power.” For two days — I flipped the light switch every time I entered a room. “Oh — I forgot. No power.”

No lights. No video. No hot water. Or stove. Or refrigerator. No washer. Or dryer. No television. No computer. Or e-mail. No phone. Or fax. No traffic lights. Or streetlights. Never mind that our ancestors didn’t have these things. Never mind that many people of the world are without these things every day.

WE HAD NO POWER!

We are spoiled by power. Feel entitled to it.

Yet — might it be true that by losing it, we uncover forgotten power? Hidden power? Maybe even become more powerful?

We remembered some forgotten power fairly easily. Like the gas hot water heater. And the gas logs. Then we remembered the “old-timey” telephone in the attic. You know — one of those that doesn’t need electricity?

And what about the gas grill? It became a great and fun place to heat water for hot chocolate, cook eggs and a “mean” tasting grilled cheese sandwich.

Our power was revealed in other ways as well.

Gerry and his friend went out with their chain saws on that first day, clearing streets and driveways all over town. They did it because they had the equipment and the know-how. Not for rewards or payment. They told us about a woman who gave them a $50 bill to thank them for their help. They refused. She insisted. They took the money and gave it to charity. They used their power to help others and to pay it forward.

Other friends and neighbors who did have electricity called their friends and neighbors to check in and offer assistance. Once we located our old timey telephone, we were lucky enough to receive one of those calls from Lou and Tracey. They invited us over for showers and dinner and to spend the night. We gladly accepted!

The first night, we helped cook dinner for ten others who had been invited for a warm-up dinner. It quickly became dinner for 35 and a night full of fun and laughter. We all forgot about our own cold, dark households — for three nights in a row. Meanwhile — their showers had revolving doors. The washer and dryer worked non-stop. And the countertops were constantly lined with charging cell phones and laptops. Lou and Tracey had power and they shared it. In the process, they reminded the rest of us about the power of friendship and generosity.

Our neighbor, Beth, also had power. Looking for those without, she knocked on doors and called on the telephone, repeating what became a famous refrain “Come on over and BYOT!” (Bring your own towel).

WCHL, our community radio station that had lost power, but the engineers and generators kept the sound waves going 24/7. And somehow the sleep-deprived announcers kept providing information and entertainment, both vital during this emergency situation. One announcement was about Weaver Street Market. They had lost power and their food was spoiling. In an effort to turn their misfortune into good fortune for others, they asked WCHL to announce “Come take our food. It’s FREE.”

Sally heard the announcement and went right over. Her power was out so she had no place for the food, but she knew of a family of eight whose home had burned to the ground the week before. They were starting over in a rental home near Sally and they had power, an empty refrigerator and an empty freezer. So Sally drove to Weaver Street and let the manager know the situation. He loaded her station wagon with food which Sally delivered — filling her new neighbor’s freezer to the brim.

Sally had lost the power to do her usual job. Weaver Street had lost their power to provide fresh food. WCHL had lost their usual source of power as well. Even so, this threesome had a powerful impact on a family that had suffered a tragedy few of us can even imagine.

Dave also heard an announcement on WCHL about someone giving free wood to those in need. Dave had no use for wood, but he knew of an older couple nearby who had run out, so he filled his trunk with wood and delivered it to the couple. Dave had lost power to do his usual job, but he found hidden power to help another couple in need.

The power lines had been completely ripped away from our house. We had gotten conflicting information about whether to wait for the power company or call an electrician. On the fifth dark day, we decided to call an electrician. As you might imagine, it was hard to locate one at this time. We finally reached Sam on Sunday morning at 7:00am. He drove 40 miles to come over and repair the damage. When we asked what we owed, he quoted his normal weekday, non-emergency hourly rate. He had the power to repair the damage done by the storm. He did it. He had the power to charge far more than his normal rate. He didn’t.

The power was on and everyone went back to work and school.

Shortly before the storm, Shelly Heath, a teacher at McDougle Middle School, had introduced “kindness” as part of a values curriculum. Our town’s loss of power added power to this values lesson, as kids came to school after the storm, reporting their many powerful exposures to kindness.

People often talk about things they wish they could have — things they wish were different. Those wishful statements are often followed by reasons these wishes won’t or can’t come true. Reasons or obstacles — like spouses, kids, bosses, mergers, layoffs, the economy, war — the list goes on and on.

These obstacles seem to zap our power like the ice did.

Yet if we truly want the things described in our wishful statements — don’t we have the power somewhere? Forgotten power? Hidden power? We certainly found a lot of it back in December.

Copyright 2010 – Business Class Incorporated

About the Author:

Jan has thirty years of sales and management experience and loves sharing it (plus her love for solving problems and for making work fun) with others so that they can get through tough situations, make big goals and celebrate these achievements.

She is now President of Business Class Inc which provides resources to managers and business owners such as one-on-one coaching, master mind groups and management team retreats. Plus FREE resources such as a Blog, E-Zine and Quote Library, which includes over 100 motivational quotes ready to download, print, post and share to help teach, learn, remind and reinforce important keys for business success.

If you’ve lost power, or never had any to begin with, how can you possibly make a difference? Why bother dreaming? Or trying to make a goal? Or even setting one? Someone or something will keep you from it anyway. Might as well forget about trying to make a difference in someone else’s life — much less your own.

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as mentioned previously in my post Chruch Bells are ringing, I got to help ring the 5 minute bell calling worshippers to service 🙂  I have hereby added some info about bell ringing.  Before I left the Tower Captain gave me a wee book that all learners receive called : ‘This book belongs to…..who is learning to Ring Bells at…… and a whole load of other information on the front. Inside the book is a treasure trove of information on bell ringing as well as do’s and dont’s! One of which is never go near bells which are ‘up’.

My little escapade involved ringing the bell on the back-stroke (=tail-stroke).  So here is some info about that:

Rules to remember:

1. Keep hands together

2. Arms straight

3. Look ahead

4. Feet slightly apart

5. Pull should be:-

-straight, vertical, close to body

-gentle and even: just keep the rope tight & “feel your horse’s mouth”

-all the way down, until your thumbs point downwards – try to throw the rope thru a hole in the floor at ‘X’ (metaphorically speaking)

6. Catch the sally at about waistheight and allow it to rise to the balance.

Other info:

all ringing starts and ends with rounds.

there are different ‘methods’ of ringing;  the names of which alone, are melodic:

“Grandsire Doubles”; “Cambridge Surprise Minor”; “Oxford Bob Triples”; “kent Treble Bob Major”

Some different types of ringing:

‘Method Ringing’; ‘Plain Hunting’; ‘Good Striking’; ‘Coursing Order’; ‘Plain Bob’; ‘Bobs’; ‘A Touch’; ‘Plain Bob Minor’; ‘Treble Bob’; ‘Stedman Doubles’.

Ringing is based more on rhythm and method than musicality, and having an ear for music is not essential.  There is a method for tying the rope, pulling the rope, the count, standing and calling out. Fascinating world and far more involved than I ever imagined, it takes months, even years to learn to ring properly and takes dedicated attention.

The church where I got to ring the bells is St Edward’s King & Martyr in Cambridge 🙂

to hear more about the travels of notjustagranny find me on twitter

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