Friday 31 October 2014

Halloween Cakes

Hey everyone :)

Halloween is a great time for kids and adults too.

I enjoy baking but sometimes there are cakes in shops you just can't make yourself.

Here's are a few that I love to buy every year when it comes around to this time!

cakes for halloween shoutjohn

McVities Toffee Apple Cake - tastes like apples!

McVities Bonfire Toffee Cake - tastes like toffee from toffee apples!

McVities Zingy Orange Spooky Cake Bars - very zingyyyyy!

Mr Kipling Chocolate & Slime Slices - very green!

As I said these are just a few of the cakes I buy around this time of year. I was very disappointed to find out that one of my favourites (I think) has been discontinued as I couldn't find it anywhere this year. 

They were the Mr Kipling Shock and Orange Slices (£1 for 6 slices) they were amazing. Slices of orange with dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top! 

Hope you guys enjoyed the post - I will admit I posted this a bit late - as these products are probably all gone now as its the last day of Halloween - or perhaps shops will reduce them down to get rid of them before Christmas. You might be in luck.

Oh I bought all of these from Tesco, but you can try Asda, Waistrose or Sainsburys too.

Happy Halloween!


#Blogtober14 - The End

Hey everyone.

For those of you who don't know I took part in #Blogtober14. It's now the 31st of October and I actually managed to blog every day. I'm so proud and happy for myself as I didn't think I would manage it.

For those of you who don't know what it is ... Two lovely girls Helene & Taylor created #Blogtober14 - which basically means that for each day in October you have to post a new blog on the topics stated.

I just wanted to do little blog to signify the end of October and all my blogs that contributed to it. I've made some lovely friends and gotten a chance to read all sorts of blogs from around the world. In case you want to look over the blogs here are links to them all:

So that is all 31 blogs for #Blogtober14 - as I said I have a really good time and want to thank everyone for their lovely comments on my blogs and I hope everyone else had a good time like I did writing them all.

Until next year ... or unless we all end up doing 'Blogmas14' lol


Autumn Walk in St. Albans

Hey everyone :)

So this weekend gone - Dave and myself went for a walk through Verulamium Park which for those of you who don't know is in the little town of St. Albans near where I live.

The park also has the following which makes it a good day out:

- In one corner of the park across the road (so technically not part of the park) there is the Waffle House - which as you can guess serves waffles with basically anything you want - they have breakfast menu, lunch, dinner menu - it's very popular and always busy.
- There is a splash park for toddlers which if memory serves - is only open May to September during the year - basically it sprays water out of holes in the ground.
- The lake - yes in the middle of the park is massive lake - the main walk of the park takes you round the lake. There is quite a lot of wildlife in the lake - swans, ducks, moorhens, seagulls - I think you can feed them bread.
- Walks - there are quite a few walks - the main one as I said is round the lake - but there are paths that branch off to other parts of the park (to be honest I haven't gone on every walk so not sure where they take you)
- Pub - there is a little pub in another corner of the park - that you can chill out at and get a drink
- Toilets are located half-way round the park so if you find yourself needing the toilet don't worry. They are only open during the day though.
- Cathedral - in the corner where the pub is located, if you follow the path towards St. Albans town centre - it will take you past the very large Cathedral - I don't know much about it or its history but it seems very popular in the town and one of its major buildings.
- Town centre - as I said if you follow the path towards the Cathedral it will take you to the town centre where the shops are located (if you enjoy shopping).
- Ruins - there are a few ruins in the park - again not sure where they come from or what they are.
- Car parking - thought I'd mention this - there is a very large car park - so don't worry about parking, it does cost though.

It was quite a windy and dull day but we got a walk around the lake before any rain started so all was good. Here are a few pictures I managed to get. This was on one of my old cameras so apologies for the picture quality.

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

verulamium park

As I said it was a bit of a dull day - but we still had a nice time and enjoyed the walk around the park/lake. If I get some more time this coming month - I will be a little adventurous and see where those other paths go ...


#Blogtober14 - Day 31 - Halloween Costume Reveal

Halloween Costume Reveal

halloween pumpkin

Hey everyone :)

I don't really dress up for Halloween so this is going to be a short and sweet blog prompt today.

I'm still on my holiday so I'm using that as an excuse.

Hope you have a fantastic halloween and for all you parents who read my blog - hope your kids have an amazing one too!


Thursday 30 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 30 - Facts About Yourself

Facts About Yourself


Morning everyone!

Today is not a good day ... I have the dentist in just under and hour and I'm dreading it. Lately I have had a very sensitive and sore tooth and it appears one of my wisdom teeth is coming through but is pushing my molar at the back of my mouth out - as it comes through - so not very comfortable for me.

So today's blog prompt is 'facts about yourself' - when I first started this blog I did do the TMI (too much information) tag but I will try and think of different facts so it's not a repeat.

1. I'm a sci-fi geek - I love most of the Star Trek series (Enterprise, Voyager), all of the Stargate series (SG1, Atlantis, Universe)
2. I used to have a second life character - for those of you who don't know - its like a digital world and you create a character (a second life if you will) and you can chat to real people, visit different worlds, you can buy clothes, land, houses. Some people even work in second life and make a living out of it.
3. Much to your surprise - I do enjoy going out with friends but hate clubbing.
4. When I first started secondary school - I was the smallest in the entire school. I can't remember exactly but I think I was around
5. I spend too much time on Minecraft - a game of blocks.
6. I can speak some Polish - not fluent but would like to learn more.
7. I'm a bit of a Taylor Swift addict - I love her music.
8. I've been to see Britney Spears in concert when I was younger.
9. I hate all fish apart from tuna - I can eat tuna mayo - but that's as far as I'll go.
10. I enjoy watching old television shows even though they have finished.

That's all the random facts I can think about for you guys. Let me know if we have a match or if you think they're odd.

I'm going to get ready for the dentist now. Wish me luck?!



Wednesday 29 October 2014

October Playlist

Hey everyone :)

october playlist music shout john shoutjohn

It's that time of the month again where I get to share my most listened to songs in the form of a playlist.

So I present my Spotify October Playlist:

It's quite a mix this month ... 

> Birthday by Katy Perry - this came out months ago and I still can't stop listening to it.

> Back to December by Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift's new album 1989 is out soon, but I still love her old stuff especially this song, well actually I love the entire album. I actually have a separate playlist for her albums. (Yes I'm a 'Swiftie')

> Gypsy & Fashion! by Lady Gaga - I was watching a Zoella video from maybe a year ago and Tyler Oakley was collaborating with her. He mentioned a few of Lady Gaga's songs from her new album that people needed to listen to and I did and guess what? There quite catchy! Have a listen!

> Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton & Underneath the Christmas Tree by Kelly Clarkson - Your not seeing things - Christmas songs! Shoot me now! I can't help it - my work colleagues have been telling me off since August when I started playing them. I think we should play them all years round! These two are quite catchy!

> Maps by Maroon 5 - one of their newer songs and I really like it. Still similar to their old stuff but defo worth a listen.

> Only Time by Enya - I don't know why I added this to the playlist. I think I was watching one of Shane Dawson's spoof videos with Shanaynay and this was in his CD player at the time. I used to listen to Enya when I was younger. I like her music, really nice when your soaking in the bath or are upset.

Anyway ... enough drearyness. That's my favourite songs for this month. What are yours?


#Blogtober14 - Day 29 - Most Embarrassing Moment

Most Embarrassing Moment

help me

Morning everyone :) Hope you are all having a great day so far. We're nearly halfway through the week which means half my holiday is gone already. #sadface

Today's blog post is about your 'most embarrassing moment' - before I fell asleep last night I was thinking about this and truthfully I cannot think of any moment in my life where I was really embarrassed.

I'm assuming its the kind of embarrassment when you feel like you want to curl up into a ball and hide under the cover. But I really can't think of anything that happened to me that was that bad.

I can recall when I was in primary school (I think for you US guys - year 1) I was around 5 years old. I decided that it would be a good idea to come out the toilet waving my 'you know what' at the girls that were sitting outside the toilet. Needless to say I got pulled into the teacher's office and told off. The girls happen to be some of my closest friends that I still speak to and sometimes it does come up in the conversation when we are talking about the past and I suppose I could say its embarrassing to think about now.

So that's what I'm going to go with for my most embarrassing moment ... what about yours?


Tuesday 28 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 28 - Things You're Superstitious About

Things You're Superstitious About

shoutjohn metal wall 13

Morning everyone :) So we're nearly finished #Blotober14 - and I'm slightly happy as it means I don't have to get up early to write a blog, but I feel also slightly sad as I've been doing this for 28 days now and I'll feel lost when I don't have to post everyday.

So today is a good blog prompt - funnily enough its nearly Halloween so a blog about superstitions is a great idea :D

I'm still quite sleepy having only woke up about 10 minutes ago. But there are a few of superstitions that spring to mind so I'll pick the first five:

1. Cats have nine lives - I always heard this growing up.

2. Black cats - a given - I always got told if they cross your path - bad luck will follow.

3. Breaking a mirror - 7 years bad luck ... I have broken a mirror about 2 years ago ...

4. The number 13 - also when it falls on Friday as well - you'll have all heard of Friday the 13th?!

5. Garlic protects you from vampires - you see this in all the old movies :D (now a days its vervain)

That's all the ones I can think about at the moment. What are yours?


Monday 27 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 27 - A Letter To Your Younger Self

A Letter To Your Younger Self

letter shoutjohn

I feel that this is a very hard blog prompt to do because I'm not sure what to write to my younger self. Should I write a letter warning me about all the crappy things that happened to me or should I write a letter saying how good my life is or should it be a mixture of both. Then I think what's the point in writing a letter telling myself I should do something different (I'm a strong believer in paradoxes) as if I changed something in the past I probably wouldn't be where I am today and I'm happy with where I am. Anyway enough rambling ...

Dear Younger John,

I hope you are well. I'm not sure when this will reach you or what age or what date it is. But your probably working at Hospedia taking calls from people. I just wanted to let you know that even though your going through an awful time in your life right now - it does get better.

Soon your going to hand in your resignation, end that horrible relationship with that abusive parnter of yours and leave Scotland (sounds quite drastic doesn't it). Luckily Isa-Jane is going to take you back to England with her and your going to stay with her for a while and start fresh. This is a great opportunity for you and you should definitely consider it. I know that you wanted to go back to Nursing and finish the degree but you can look at going back to that in a few years time.

What's about to happen is going to change your life - your going to pack everything up into Isa-Jane's car, travel the 6/7 hour journey to Slough, England and live above a pub with her and a lovely lesbian couple and their little dog 'Sookie'. Your going to get a job as a Team Leader in a warehouse and your going to meet some absolutely amazing people who will become your friends. You'll also take on a second part-time job in the pub and pull some pints for the locals all who are really friendly and welcome you with open arms. You'll also have to endure lots of Chelsea matches, band nights and snooker nights - but there all fun so don't worry.

After you've been in Slough for a couple of months you are going to go on a date with a lovely person whom you'll spend the next - well nearly 3 years of your life with come Christmas Eve - yes your anniversary will be on Christmas Eve (isn't that great?! - double presents). He is the most wonderful, lovely, caring person you'll ever meet. That person unfortunately does go away for 3 months in January though to Bulgaria (a month after you meet) but don't worry you'll be okay.

The pub does go through a few changes - meaning Becky and Kim leave, Izzy probably by this time will have left too (I forgot to mention that) and the owners of the pub ask that you find somewhere else to stay. So you decide you want to move closer to Dave and move 40 miles to a lovely countryside place of 'Hemel Hempstead' famous for its 'Magic Roundabout'. You currently have been here for 3 years and are renting a room in shared accommodation (it has its ups and downs) but you have the biggest room and it feels like home. Dave has decided to go to Canada for 8 months so similar to Bulgaria he will be gone for a while but not to worry as I'm sure the time will fly and this blog will keep you busy.

Anyway I know this is alot of to take in ... and it seems really crazy! Don't worry and remember be happy! Because right now at this minute in time - I'm happy. I couldn't be happier. Lovely life, awesome partner, awesome friends, an okay work place ... what work could I wish for :D

Anyway I'm going to finish there as I'm about to watch some Netflix :D

Oh btw don't cancel Netflix when you decide to ... it gets better.

- John



Sunday 26 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 26 - Who'd Play You in a Movie?

Who'd Play You in a Movie?

Photo: &

So I had no idea for this so I googled for one of those personality quizes that asks you a bunch of questions and then based on that tells you - who would play you in a movie.

I, funnily enough ended up with David Tennent - which I think is cool because I love him and his acting. He was amazing in Doctor Who!

Anyway enough today ... as I said yesterday I'm on holiday so I'm getting ready to pop out for a lovely Autumn walk ... if your lucky I will post some pictures later, if I remember to take my camera :D



Saturday 25 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 25 - Favourite Book

Favourite Book


I would probably have to say that my favourite book of all time would be the Harry Potter series. As these were the first books I ever really read. I mean by 'really' as in never skipped a page, read it religiously, the first thing I did when I got home was read it. I loved the series and all the books. The films were good too.

If I had to choose a book from nearer to this day (as the Harry Potter books came out years ago now) I'd probably go with the Hunger Games series at the moment. I bought the first book a couple of months ago and I am really enjoying it. I'm hoping to catch up with the books as the films are on Part 1 of the last book I think now.

Anyway that's enough for todays blog prompt - it is my first day of my 11 day holiday from work so I've got lots of things planned to do today.

Catch you all later :D


Friday 24 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 24 - Beauty Product You Can't Live Without

Beauty Product You Can't Live Without

What a great day! I got my iPhone 6 yesterday. I will do a blog post about it on the weekend if I get time. I did a video about the unboxing so I'll pop that up once I've edited it.

So today's blog post is interesting. I had a look through my 'beauty products' << because I have soooo many (I don't, I'm being sarcastic).

I'd probably choose the Simple products I bought a few months ago. I do have a couple more expensive items but I tend to use them sparingly as they are so expensive so I wouldn't say I can't live without them.

simple facial products

The Simple products I use almost everyday unless I'm sleepy or in a rush then I will admit I sometimes forget.

The tub on the left is a night cream which you slap on after you've showered or washed your face just before bed - it is very light and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy.

The bottle in the middle is a morning cream that I pop on after I've washed my face or gotten out the shower - basically the same as above. It's very light and has SPF 15 which is good if your out and about and the Sun is shining.

The last bottle (which thinking about the structure of this blog - I probably should have talked about first) I go through about 2 or 3 of these a month. I use this facial wash any time I wash my face. It's amazing and so gentle on my face (as I have horribly sensitive skin).

I have wrote a blog post about the above items as part of a Boots Haul - you can find it here if you want to check prices etc on Boots:

So these are the three I probably couldn't live without. What about you guys?


Thursday 23 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 23 - Favourite Editing Tools

Favourite Editing Tools

editing, shoutjohn

Today is a good day. I just got an email to say that my iPhone 6 is being delivered to the store ... so ... fingers crossed ... I will go pick it up after work :)

Today's blog is about my favourite editing tools for Instagram and my Blog. First we will start with Instagram.


To be honest I don't really used any editing tools but I do have a couple on my iPhone - these are:

> Aviary - a basic editing tool, you can enhance different objects, add effects, add borders/frames, crop, adjust the brightness/hue etc - really good app.
> PicFrame - Similar to InstaCollage and stuff - its like PicMonkey - and you can shape, add, remove photos and have different sizes.
> Camera+ - Gives you more options over the iPhone camera app.
> InstaSize - Uses the iPhone camera to take a Insta-Size photo rather than a long photo the iPhone normally takes.
> Facetune - mostly focuses on your face, this app is amazing. It can smooth your face, whiten your teeth, remove spots - the works!


GIMP - This is available for PC or MAC - I have it on both - to compare it to anything - I've read on other forums that its the cheap version of Paint Shop Pro.

Futur - This is an app from the MAC Store which is like an installable version of pic monkey it doesn't have all the features of PicMonkey though. It makes collages of your photos. You add photos, choose how many pictures you want in the collage and then choose colours, designs, backgrounds.

PicMonkey - I use this for my YouTube channel more than my blog, but I've used it a couple times to try it out. This is a new discovery. I was using the free version but I gave in and paid the £20 GBP to get the Royalty version which adds tons more features. You can make collages, then edit them - with cool designs, cartoon pictures, you can add text, blocks of colour - as its halloween - I've added spider decorations, ghosts, used scary fonts with blood dripping. I've also used the Christmas cartoons too for a Christmas Lush Haul video I did. Well worth using and I highly recommend - even the free version is good. You don't need to pay to use it or have as much features.

What are you favourite apps? Let me know if I'm missing out on anything?!


Wednesday 22 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 22 - Your Pet Peeves

Your Pet Peeves

coffee rings

Today is an upsetting day. My new iPhone 6 that should have been despatched today and delivered tomorrow has been pushed back due to no stock available. So I decided to cancel with that supplier and order one from the shop in my town (which has stock) however now I've been told I have to wait another 2 days ... I suppose that's better than waiting until 4th November.

Anyway enough of that ... one with today's blog post - pet peeves!

This is a great post - there are so many little things that annoy me so I decided to choose 5 from the top of my head.

> Coffee rings on coffee tables when there are coasters in the middle of the table that would have prevented the ungodly sight and mark.

> Things sticking out of drawers - why not put it away properly and close the drawer properly - why do half a job?!

> Dirty work surfaces - this happens in my house quite alot (I'm in shared accommodation - with 5 other people) and once they've finished cooking in the kitchen - half of them don't clean the surfaces so when I go to cook or bake something - I spend 10 minutes putting dishes in the dishwasher and cleaning work surfaces.

> Peolpe who don't flush the toilet (at work) - This bugs me so much I wan't to scream when it happens. My work employs mostly 18+ staff and yet some people still think its nice to poo or pee and not flush the toilet - sooooooooo disgusting!!!

> Slow walking people - I am a fast walker ... enough said!

So those are my pet peeves - probably could have thought of better ones but that will do for today! My iPhone 6 issue has annoyed me!


Tuesday 21 October 2014

LUSH Christmas Haul

lush christmas stock

I feel I am skipping Halloween and moving straight into Christmas with this blog post! But Lush have just released their amazing Christmas range and it's too good not to blog about. I probably could have done a Lush Halloween blog, and a Christmas one but I noticed they only have a couple Halloween-themed items and lots of Christmas items so I opted for Christmas :D

I don't know how I ended up buying them all if I'm honest ... I thought about going to the shop but I had a random look through their website (check it out here) just to see what I wanted before I went to the shop and then next thing my credit card took a hit and I got these beauties a few days later.

I won't blog about each individual item as we'd be here for days - so I have picked out a few favourites and I'll leave the rest to your imagination!

lush product

From left to right ...

Dashing Santa | Lush - the first item on the far left is the 'Dashing Santa' - as soon as you pop him in the water he fizzes and shoots all over the bath tub (hence the name 'Dashing Santa'). The main ingredients in this item are Bergamot Oil and Mandarin Oil - both are good for giving shine to hair and can be used to help clear oily/greasy skin. They are also used to by aromatherapists to help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For £2.75 this is a great buy.

Golden Wonder | Lush - the second item (in the middle) is the 'Golden Wonder. This is by far my favourite bath bomb from the Christmas range - when you place it in the bath - you think its going to be glittery and yellow - which is it, until the present breaks open and explodes with blue colour filling your bath with yellow-blue-glittery water! The two main ingredients for this bath bomb are lime oil - which helps to cleanse and tone and helps with circulation and and sweet orange oil - which has a happy, uplifting scent and helps with the immune system - Another fun thing is when you shake it before you put it in the bath - you can hear a bell too! (It's the small things). This one is a little more expensive at £3.75.

Snow Angel | Lush - the third item (on the right) unlike the other two is not a bath bomb, but a bath melt. These are slightly different as in there not too crazy when you put them in the water they just float around and melt into the water. This one leaves a yellow, golden, silvery colour and the water feels quite silky when you get into it. A couple of ingredients in this are cocoa butter - which is used in a variety of products in Lush and is known for its moisturising and softening properties, it is also known to relieve dry and itchy skin. There is also rose absolute in this melt which I think is mostly for the fragrance but its smells amazing - like you are in a field full of flowers on a warm summery day. This one is in the same price range as the Golden Wonder but a little more at £3.95 but well worth it if you want a soothing and relaxing soak in the tub.

As I said and from the picture you can probably tell I bought a lot from Lush and I won't go on and on ... but here is a list of what I bought and links to them if you want to check out any more info on Lush's website which is great and very informative.

1. Golden Wonder (bath bomb)
2. Dashing Santa (bath bomb)
3. Snow Fairy (shower gel)
4. First Snow (body dust powder)
5. Snow Angel (bath melt)
6. The Melting Snowman (bath melt)
7. Holly Golightly (bubble bar)
8. The Christmas Hedgehog (bubble bar)
9. The Christmas Penguin (bubble bar)
10. Candy Mountain (bubble bar)
11. Father Christmas (bath bomb)
12. Shoot for the Stars (bath bomb)
13. Luxury Lush Pad (bath bomb)

Anyway let me know if you have already bought some or all of these and what ones you enjoyed!


#Blogtober14 - Day 21 - Dream Vacation

Dream Vacation

vacation plane wing
Photo: epSos .de

This is a great blog post today. There are sooooooooo many places that I want to go - if only I could win the lottery :P

I only recently got my passport - actually I've had it nearly a year now I think, maybe a bit longer.

My first holiday was to Rome last year in April - it was my first time in a different country and on a plane and I absolutely loved it. Being on a plane is like a roller-coaster - I love the landing and take off especially.

A few months later I then went to Spain with friends to a villa and that was my most favourite holiday - we drank, swan, visited the beach, went on a tour of the island - it was amazing and I loved every minute of it. We are going back next August so I'm really looking forward to that!

I'd love to go to the US and do one of those tour holidays - you know where you get a car in LA or something and then drive down through lots of cities and see what each has to offer. The company sort everything from the car, to the hotels, tours etc - they look quite expensive but looks amazing!

I also want to go to NYC - just for the hell of it ... I know alot of people just say its for shopping and there's not much to see - but I really just want to visit and see what the hype is about!

Anyway I'm rambling ... if I had to pick my dream vacation would probably be to go to Canada - and visit a couple of friends that worked in Scotland with me for a Summer a few years back. I did promise I would go and see them but I haven't gotten round to it yet. Plus I need accommodation haha and flights and spending money - its not cheap!?

What's your dream vacation??


Monday 20 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 20 - Biggest Fear

Biggest Fear

Hey everyone :)

Hope you all had a good weekend! I had a relaxed, chilled out weekend. Spent most of it in PJs lounging around the house.

Today's prompt is quite a dark, dreary one ... mostly due to my fears I think.

I decided to cheat and go with two fears I have ... I probably have alot more but these two stick out like a sore thumb.


cobweb spider

For some reason I hate these evil, small crazy little creatures. Never have I liked them nor will I ever. It's not nice when your sitting on the toilet (try not to picture me on the toilet) and you see a black thing shoot past your feet. Never have a I gotten up so quickly and ran for the door with my trousers round my ankles! There is a spider currently living near my front door so every morning - I open my door, look around the door frame and then run outside hoping it doesn't catch me ... I'm sad I know ... I just hate them!


pumpkin casket

Another fear I have (not sure its an actual fear - okay just goggled it - there is a phobia for it) is death. When I was younger between 15-18 I constantly thought about dying and what happens, and where you go, and do you just cease to exist or do you move on or do you just get forgotten about. It got that bad (because I was thinking about it all the time) that I was waking up during the night screaming and running around the house - my parents got really worried. They sat me down one night and told me I had to stop because it was becoming a problem. It kind of did - I focused on other things and I stopped worrying about it as much. I still think about it sometimes (like now for example) as I'm writing about it. But I know I should enjoy life, and worry about death later on!

What is your biggest fear or fears??


Sunday 19 October 2014

#Blogtober14 - Day 19 - What Makes You Happy?

What Makes You Happy?

what makes you happy

There is quite a few things that make me happy if I'm honest such as:

> Seeing my partner
> When work is quiet and there are no issues (sad I know)
> When I actually have money to spend on myself
> Shopping
> Christmas time
> Winter time (similar to above)
> My birthday (it's soon)
> Seeing friends
> Catching up with old friends

Those are just a few - I can't think of many others at the moment!

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