Tanks a Quarter Full

Wednesday

Today was the day…

We had enough rain to fill the tanks to a quarter. Mike was a happy man!

The other day, I forgot to mention, we trotted off to Valley Timbers and picked up a couple of sheets of lattice. We loaded them up on the roof rack and bought them home for Courage to install on Monday. They conceal the tanks nicely.

We have an ivy plant just waiting to grow up over them and it will do a good job in providing a green cover.

This is what the back looked like in June…

And in May 2022…

And March 2022

Mike and David in the back foundation trench…

Before the house was built. We didn’t know there would be tanks at about Mike’s waist level. How far we have come. How to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. It was a mammoth task!  Maybe tomorrow, I’ll post some photos of the steps to remind us of our access journey!

I had a solid day’s work and attended to a few other chores like getting a bank account FICA’d without leaving my office.

We have just got back from a walk which we managed to complete between showers. Now it’s dinner time.

James 3:18

Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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A Break in Routine

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I broke from routine and left home just before 8am to drive to Claremont.  I had an appointment for my new tooth to be fitted. The traffic was crazy. My Garmin led me off the M3 and up Wynberg Hill, finally along Main Rd Claremont before telling me to turn right down to the taxi rank. Completely out of my range of familiarity I blindly obeyed and found myself on a broad and empty boulevard going round the back of the building I was due to visit. I soon found a familiar set of traffic lights and was relieved to get there with a few minutes to spare. It had taken me best part of an hour to get from Fish Hoek to Claremont.

The outcome – the crown is still the wrong colour. He put the temporary one back and I have to return in 2 weeks.

The view from outside the dentist building. A view to stop and admire.

From there I went to the Southern Sun hotel next door and spent the morning working. Julian flew in from Johannesburg and caught an Uber to the hotel and then came home with me.

I worked this afternoon and then went for a short walk to the end of the road. End of Echo view…

Storm clouds are gathering and it’s chilly.

Tomorrow, we should have rain.

There are a couple of things, I have forgotten to write about. The first pertains to my mud  mishap. That happened on Saturday. I felt fine and completely uninjured but on Sunday I woke up with sore muscles down the inside of both my arms. When I slipped I fell forward and both my forearms hit the ground with a rough thud. They are better today.

The other thing I meant to mention yesterday was I saw a shooting star! I was up early and standing at my bedroom windows, when I suddenly saw something shooting across the sky. It was not very high up in the sky. It was dark and all I could see was a small light moving at speed. At first I wondered if it was some sort of helicopter but it was going too fast & there was no noise. I thought it could have been a flare but it was too small. It wasn’t falling – it literally was shooting horizontally. I watched it cross the length of my windows and then in a split second the light was gone.  Memorable.

Psalm 68:19
Blessed be the Lord! Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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A Good Monday

Monday

Today was the day…

I woke early, did my Bible reading and by 9 minutes to 7 I was off walking. There is an eensie weensie bit of snow on the distant mountains, so the air was chilly. I walked to the end of the beach and back. I stopped to speak to Lorraine, who said the morning temperature went down to 2C. I told her I had only swum 4 times in July and not yet in August. I decided I wasn’t up for bone chilling cold. When it warms up, I’ll be back. I got back after an hour and broke the back on my required steps for the day.  Mike and I have just got back from walking to the end of the road so my goal for today is reached.

The day was sunny and windless so I got a load of washing done, including the mud-streaked jeans.

I got to work and during the course of the day a massive bunch of flight bookings arrived for 14 of my teachers. That is a big relief for some. Others are impatiently waiting for their documents to chug through the system, but at least I have 14 happy teachers frantically adjusting to the fact that this is really happening and they will be on their way in a week.

Today’s the 15th August, so it’s 14 years since my Dad went to heaven. It was 15th August 2008 that he slipped away after having a heart attack a few days earlier. My Dad and Mom on their wedding day in 1956. Thanks to Julian for the picture!

Romans 14:8

If we live, we live to the Lord: and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Mike Ran 12.5km

Sunday

Today was the day…

Mike ran 12.5km.  With the weather overcast with occasional showers, it was nice and cool and a good day to try a longer run. He thought he was going to run to Simon’s Town and back but when he got to the Glencairn traffic lights, he decided to turn right and head up Blackhill. That’s a crazy hill – it goes on and on and on and when you think you are at the top, you’re not. When he got to the other side, he stopped at Stonehurst security gate for some water and then carried on home. He got home pretty tired.

Meantime, I had walked across to the old house and picked up the car so now it’s here ready for Julian.  I got there just as a rain shower was coming through, but missed the worst of it.

For the rest of the day, it was quiet and I enjoyed sitting in my rocking chair reading.

I also went for an afternoon walk, rambling back across the mountainside.

I’m feeling pretty rested and am looking forward to the new week.

Job 22:21

Submit to God and be at peace with Him

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Muddy Mishap

Saturday

Today was the day…

That rain was forecast, but it dawned with glorious sunshine and blue skies. We had a lazy start but by 11am, we were at the start of a special place we have never been to before. This is definitely a place for Julian and I to visit. It is amazing! Apart from being very picturesque and easy walking, it also is spectacularly clean. There was no litter, no rubbish bins even and no signs of anything untoward – just lots and lots of folks enjoying the trail – walkers, runners, dogs, families, babies in prams, horses and us!

I found it online and in doing so I downloaded the most amazing app.  It’s called All Trails. To get their free map, I had to sign up – which was free – for the first week. If I don’t cancel in a week, R299 will be deducted every year until I do decide I don’t want it any longer. The great thing is that it is international so I can already look up trails in the Lake Como area.  I signed up and off we went. Well we didn’t follow the map initially, to our detriment. It all looked straight forward.

But we ended up crossing to the other side of the river, where there was more elevation. We were passing people and enjoying the walk when the path began to narrow and there were no more walkers. I wonder why. We were soon to find out. The path eventually  arrived at a very steep embankment down a muddy slope to the river. There was only one way and that was down. This was where I had  my muddy mishap. I went down side ways and got to the last little bit. Mike said, ‘take my hand.’ I turned to face him and took his hand. It was at that point, facing Mike, my feet slipped from under me and I fell flat on my stomach with my legs in the middle of river. Mike was mortified. I was completely fine and more amused. The only thing I worried about was my cell phone but that was still firmly in my back pocket and as I was on my tummy, it was fine. There was nothing to be done but for me to stand up in the middle of the river and carefully step on a branch and cross to the other side. Albeit with shoes filled with water, I found myself safe and sound. Now Mike had to try get over without following my method. The red circle displays the Helga-shaped tummy slip!

He figured that spot was too risky so he went a little further on and scrambled across…

Still pretty messy but he got out dry. I meantime, found a log and sat down. I took my shoes off and squeezed out my socks, then put them on again. “How far have we come?” I asked Mike. “About 2km”. “7km in wet shoes to go,” I thought. Check my jeans! My shirt must have been pushed up because when I got home and showered, I found mud on my stomach.

On we went, this time following the map. It took us onto a road, where we passed the Spanish embassy, which is called Mandalay.

Back on the trail, then onto the road again & past Cecelia forest…

Back to the trail and over a bridge to the main section.

We took the longest option, but there is a 4km easy alternative which is most likely the one we’d do next time. And we’ll know which path to avoid. It is a beautiful walk to know about.

We came home via the shops and no one noticed or cared about my less formal attire! Home, shower, hair wash, pajamas on and all is well.

I had a nice call with Stacey and now the rain has come and the soup has come out. A lovely day.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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The End of the Week

Friday

Today was the day…

Rain came and helped our 4 new tanks to about 1/5 of capacity. As I sit at my desk, I see there is more coming. The tide is high and I can see the waves crashing against the wall down by the beach front, between the lighthouse and the Lifesaver’s club. When the tide is super high, it’s usually close to full moon, not that we’ll see it with this cloud cover –

I’ve just checked. Full moon was last night.

Meanwhile, looking down towards Simon’s Town, a rainbow peeped through. Normally, the other side of the bay is visible, but not today. It looks like rain there too.

We haven’t had a particularly wet winter, so the rain will do well to fill the dams as well as the tanks.

Today I went to the optometrist and had my eyes tested again. There has been minimal change but my frames broke. They are giving me anti-glare lenses that also reduce the blue light effect. I was also instructed to take an eye break every 20 minutes and spend 20 seconds staring out to the horizon. Now to remember to do that!

And I’ve worked for about 7 hours. The end of the week, but not only that. My colleague returns to work on Monday and it brings to an end 2 weeks of extra work. It has been a bit too busy for my comfort, so I’m glad to see the weekend.

The one other thing for me to make a note of today is that 10 years ago today my brother-in-law, Derek passed away. He was 52. Anne’s husband impacted our lives practically when he taught Mike to carve a chicken. Mike’s has perfected the art and whenever I see him carving a chicken, I think of Derek. Lots of love to Anne.

Luke 2:14

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Water Tanks Connect

Thursday

Today was the day..

All the tanks got connected. Mike wanted to get this done because rain is forecast over the next few days. The upper 4 tanks already had got some rain water from this week. Now it was time to run a pipe from these 4 to the lower two…

Pipe down the left side of the wall by the fence…

It goes underground and down to the big tanks below…

It then goes past the red tap and UP the tank to the top entrance point. Open all the taps and the water from the top tank flows down the pipe, then up to fill up the bottom tank. As soon as it reaches the orange float, the float rises and shuts off the incoming water.

Mike’s a clever chap! Courage was amazed it didn’t need a pump to pump the water up. Mike can explain how it works. The tank water flushes all the toilets, except one which inadvertently got missed. Need to get that fixed.

Meantime, the rain is coming.

I worked 9 hours. We walked to the end of the road and back. Herman, our guest who has been in the Little Lookout for the last week came up to say goodbye. There was a whale in the bay and we enjoyed watching it loll around a bit. Herman has really enjoyed his time. He drives back to Pretoria early tomorrow. It’s a long, long drive.

Overall a satisfying day.

Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Schengen Application In

Wednesday

Today was the day…

I went back to work after being off yesterday, so it was a solid work day and I got quite a lot accomplished.

But the big accomplishment of the day was Mike getting his application in for his Schengen visa. He drove into Cape Town, got in a long queue for his 11:45am appointment which happened late as the queue was so long. But it got done. The fee was paid and the documents will be couriered back to us here, hopefully with a Schengen for 5 years duration. That’s our hope, but I think it may be wishful thinking. Now that Brexit has happened, he gets no advantage from my British passport. Prior to Brexit, he got a free Schengen and they happily made it 5 years. Now he has to pay (R1500 today) and it may only be for the duration of our trip. We’ll wait and see.

After work, we walked down to Fish Hoek, picked up a few groceries and came back via the mountain route.

It was a day that began with misty cloud cover which gave way to light rain. Rain of any sort is useful and it wasn’t long before we  noticed our new tanks taking in their first rain generated water. More rain is forecast in the coming days.

Courage’s wife Ruth came and cleaned the cottage and the Seaview Apartment. They are now ready for guests again.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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36 Years

Tuesday

Today was the day….

We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary! I took the day off and we headed for Constantia Nek again. This time we walked to the three reservoirs at the top of the mountain. There and back was about 11km, so once again we returned with wobbly muscles and sore feet, but it was worth it.

Mike starts off…this is a steep staircase that is a short cut to the jeep track. Walking sticks are helpful.

When we got to the jeep track, we hid our sticks in bushes and then continued. One of the peaks in the surrounding area…we had a long way to go..

Getting higher…

Mike and I differ when it comes to our heart rates. It’s crazy how low his is. Mine was 140, his not even 100. To ramp his up a bit, what did he do? He jogged!

The track looks benign. It is a steep upward road that is easy to walk on but very uphill and it goes on and on and on. Everyone coming down was very cheerful. We were too.

Just when you feel the hill will never end, you round a corner, the road levels out and ahead is the first of 3 dams.

What we did was go onto the other two…

Alexandra dam wall….

And then returned to De Villiers which was easy to sit on the water’s edge and soak my feet. Returning to De Villiers the Keeper’s cottage comes into view. Mike reflected on the last time he walked this path was with Julian (probably 25 years ago or more!) when they boldly climbed Table Mountain and walked all the way across the mountain, past McClear’s beacon and down this very path. I picked them up at Constantia Nek. On that walk,  Julian commented on this little establishment, although the new build on the left was not yet there.

Opposite the Keeper’s Cottage gate is a sign to De Villier’s dam. It is misleading because you actually think you can get to the water, but it’s not that easy and eventually we turned back and went round to the main entrance. This is Mike pondering where the path is to get you to the water’s edge from the other side. There wasn’t one.

We soon were sitting on the rocks and this was my view.

What amazed me was how many people do this walk. It was busy! Loads of families and young people of all ages and cultures labouring at different speeds up the mighty mountain. When we were walking down we were stopped by two couples asking, ‘how far to go?’. Mike is my motivation – I point to Mike and say, “he’s 71, so you can do it!”  When we were sitting on the water’s edge I marvelled at the dozens of visitors who were picnicking at the reservoir. Certainly free entertainment and everyone will sleep well tonight.

The walk down is much easier and faster, but this windy road has to be trod…

What a wonderful day out and one we will remember. We arrived home with dinner in hand, sore feet but filled souls. Our guests were on the kerb. They had inadvertently locked their keys in the car! Who of us has not done that before?! Mike was the hero who laboured up our 85 steps and then down again to assist. I said bye to them on the street!

It was a treat to shed my shoes and make a cappuccino. Tonight we have lamb shank and mashed potato. 36 years have been a blessing & we are beyond grateful.

A good good day.

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

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New Tanks Are Ready

Monday

Today was the day…

That was busy from the get-go. It was busy for me and busy for Mike. He and Courage set about getting the tanks linked to the gutter.

 

All done. These 4 tanks are now connected to the two big ones.

Here are the two big ones down the other side of the house.

Water goes from the roof into the gutters into the top 4 tanks which feed these two big tanks and they in turn use the water to flush the toilets. Now all we need is rain and hopefully it’s coming…

Mike on the side balcony. It was a good washing day.

I worked 9.5 hours. Julian returned to Johannesburg.

I have taken tomorrow off because it’s our wedding anniversary.

Psalm 119:165

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing can make them stumble.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

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Whale Watching That Wasn’t

Sunday

Today was the day…

After an interrupted night – there were party goers next door who found entertainment in screaming at the top of their voices. Why? I don’t know, but they tried it at about 8:30pm, 3am & 5am. I woke up to it, as did the neighbours, but, I was glad to discover, my guests did not. At 5am, of course, I did not know that. When I opened my door and looked down, the guest’s lights were on so I was sure they had been disturbed but when we spoke to them later in the day, they said they hadn’t. Such a relief. The noisy party people robbed me of my joy this morning. I had to steal it back.

Today Julian and I planned on going on a whale watching tour – this is something we have said we should do for years, but never done. Today was the day I phoned, booked and paid. We were minutes before leaving when the phone rang and the tour operator said the Captain had said the sea was too rough. Well. It looked really calm to me, but what do I know? They most likely didn’t have enough bookings and it wasn’t worth it. Anyway, now they owe us a trip for two.

Meantime, a whale did swim past our house – just one – gracefully porpoising towards Simon’s Town….if a whale can be graceful.

In light of no whale watching, we sent for a drive and ended up passing Cape Point and stopping at a very rural spot (South Point) for tea.

It’s very bucolic and the restaurant on the far side of rustic.

Onwards to Kommetjie where we walked to the Lighthouse.

Home again and hoping for a quiet evening.

Dinner time.

Philippians 4:7

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Domestic Kind of Day

Saturday

Today was the day…

We had the cottage guests leave – they were a small but busy family that were sleep- deprived for most of the week because their 14-month-old, Hugh, had a bit of a cold. They are a British family, living in the UAE and travelling in South Africa for a month. They  came to us from Hermanus and while they had been there, they had put Hugh in a creche for 3 days. Unfortunately, germs spread quickly and Hugh acquired a hard fought virus that resulted in little sleep all round. They were a really nice family. The Mom is a paramedic which helped with the medical issues. They are both teaching in the UAE so we had lots to talk about and I certainly will be contacting them in the future for some info. They slept in all the beds, so there was a ton of laundry to be done. Two loads were done in the new cottage washing machine and one has been done up here. There is half to go when we do our own laundry. If we don’t get a cottage booking, Ruth will come on Wednesday to cast her magic over the place. If we do get a booking, Mike and I will scramble to get it into shape.

Other guests arrive today, so we got the Seaview Apartment  up to standard and the new guests should arrive in just over an hour.

Mike and I shopped. Mike made bread and a bolognaise sauce to freeze.

I did this. I love codebreaker puzzles. Years ago I used to try do them by finding all the letters but not filling in the words. It’s crazy brain work. I tried again today. Mentally, I figured out the words and put the letters into the side blocks.

There were 4 letters not used…2, 5, 8 & 23. Maybe one of those numbers is there and I missed it! Anyway, that got my brain going.

The wind is howling in Fish Hoek today….true south-easter, like a summer one, but it won’t last long. When we wake up tomorrow, it should be calm and pleasant.

Psalm 29:11

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

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4 Water Tanks Arrived

Friday

Today was the day…

4 water tanks arrived. The pictures tell the story…it wasn’t easy.

They are very bulky and 32kg each.

They didn’t fit between the tree and the wall, so Mike made a little bridge…

And over the wall…

And up the stairs..

Repeat 3 more times. 4 tanks now in place.

Another massive job done. It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to this point because  the back of the house had to be filled and levelled. It looked like this in March…

Next step is to connect the pipes to catch the rain. That will happen next week.

As for me, it’s weekend!! And I can turn off my computer and call it a week. Next plan: a walk.

Romans 8:6

The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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David in Bali

Thursday

Today was the day…

I had a long team meeting. A bunch of my colleagues all were in the UK simultaneously so they went to the MD’s house and had a day-long meeting. I joined them for the morning session which was a couple of hours long. I have now caught up on all the week’s work and am looking forward to a couple of hours off tomorrow morning.

The main highlight of the day was having a video chat with David. He gave us all the news including his busking experience in Bali. He was out walking close to his apartment the other evening when he saw a guy with a banjo. He was an Indonesian fellow, so he stopped to speak to him about the banjo and they had a conversation about music. His English wasn’t so great, but he made himself sufficiently understood that he was going busking and asked David to join him with his guitar. And so David had a lesson in Bali Busking. The chap was a pro. He strode confidently into a random restaurant and together they played a couple of songs. Then Mr Banjo  man took off his hat and walked around the restaurant tables collecting some tips from the diners. Then it was off to the next restaurant with David in tow. It was on about the 3rd place, noticing a number of curious stares that David thought it might be a good idea to take off his Apple watch. Maybe this busker didn’t need the cash!  At the end of it all, Mr Banjo man tried to give David half the night’s profits. David said no, not needed! The next day Mr. Banjo returned to seek out David hoping he would join him busking on the beach, but David declined the opportunity. Busking is a marginal form of performance to a less than enthusiastic audience.

David had learned two things: 1. Indonesians are very generous. Almost everyone gave something, no matter how small. 2. There are a lot of places in his area of Bali who sell coffee for much cheaper than he has been getting. He headed back to one of those places today! R11 for coffee. Yes please. Good to catch up with him.

He’s having a good time, is on leave week-days for a couple of weeks and will be enjoying some adventuring.

Today Mike has been preparing for the big tank arrival. A bridge has been set up and a couple of extra guys are coming tomorrow to assist with their arrival. Hopefully, I’ll be around to get some photos.

1 Corinthians 16:14

Everything should be done in love.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Schengen Application

Wednesday

Today was the day…

I worked loads of hours – I’m not even going to look to see how many. I’m covering for two people today and tomorrow, so it will continue to be busy.

A big event of the day was Mike’s project. He spent a chunk of the day getting his Schengen Application sorted. First it was collating all the paperwork, then completing the online application. Finally, he got himself an appointment for next week.  Let’s hope for the best.

Julian and I walked to Fish Hoek beach and back. Sunset surf-skiers were doing some drills…it looked like it was the beginner’s class. The sea was flat and there was very little wind, so conditions were ideal for paddling. Maybe it wasn’t the complete beginner’s class because all of them looked pretty steady and balanced.

We went to dinner at Sav and ordered their new Kudu Loin. It was tough! Mike was the winner with the sirloin which was super tender. Note to self – skip the buck.

Home and we are now watching an old episode of Grand Designs – when I say old, I mean 23 years old so all those in their 30s in the episode are now in their mid 50s! I wonder where they all are today.

On the Airbnb front, our honeymoon couple who arrived from India the other day checked out and are off to Knysna. A previous guest, Herman, returns on Friday for a week and on Saturday, a couple come for the long weekend.

And that pretty much wraps up the events of 3rd August 2022.

1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx  🙂

 

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