Thursday, May 05, 2016

I CAN’T GET BY WITHOUT MY MUM!



Taken 6th April, 1966...my first wedding...from left to right; My mother, Elma; my Nana, Ivy; me and Mervyn; Mervyn's father and my brother Graham.
Here's Cheers!

Unfortunately, I’ve had to do so because none was available when I went to buy one!  What is the world coming to?  Don’t be silly! Mothers aren’t for sale at the supermarket! I’m referring to Mum Roll-On deodorant.

When I went to replenish my supply of Mum the other day there wasn’t any to be seen.  To my jaw-dropping surprise none of the latter was in stock at our local IGA supermarket. The shelves were bare - not a Mum was in sight!  I almost collapsed in a faint. If no one had been around I would’ve sat down in the middle of the aisle, cried my eyes out while throwing a tantrum; but  there were other shoppers milling around so I was forced to roll up my sleeves, pull my head in, yank up my socks, and put on a brave front - onwards and upwards I rolled forth. 

At the tender age of 15 I stepped into the adult world when I commenced my first job. Oh! The joy of earning my own money!

It was then, as a fledgling beginning to spread my wings, I started using underarm (wings) deodorant.  Mum Rollette was what I purchased when I was a teenage high roller hitting the Gympie dances, record hops, and the beaches of Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headlands and Noosa Heads.

Loyally, I’ve faithfully carried Mum under my arms, out of sight, throughout the years since those halcyon, innocent times.  Mum took the worry out of being close. 

To the letter, I followed the mantra; “When you’re on a good thing...stick to it”. The Mortein insect spray advertisement insisted everyone followed its wise advice; so I did.  I never used Mortein under my arms, though, if that’s what you’re thinking – there were no flies on me (not even Louie)! 

With my weekly pay packets clasped securely in hand I started doing lots of things I’d been unable to do while a school student. I was able to buy my own clothes, or in the majority of instances, the material to make them.  I was capable of paying my own way with the money I earned.  I felt independent. It felt good.  I was proud to be able to help in the running of our family household.  No longer was I dependent on my mother and grandmother for my upkeep.  Being self-supporting was the best thing since sliced bread – and Elvis! 

During my older brother’s and my childhood our mother and grandmother were the money-earners. There was no father on the scene.  Our welfare, guidance and safety were in the hands of those two wonderful, strong women.  They weren’t perfect; no one is, but they were perfectly incredible in so many ways; having had to face and conquer many obstacles.  “Surrender” was a word they understood and could spell; but it was one they never put into practice.

Mum and Nana worked hard to ensure at all times my brother and I had clothes on our backs; shoes on our feet and food on the table.  Our cupboards were never bare, even the times when the coffers were.

There was little my late brother Graham and I did without.  And if there was, we never fretted about it.  We had enough to occupy our time and our imagination.  We never coveted what others had. We were too busy playing cowboys and Indians, and/or building cubby houses and tree houses; or earning our pocket money by lugging read newspapers, empty milk and soft drink bottles to the local shops up the road to be swapped for shiny three-pences, sixpences and one shilling pieces, depending on the going rate.

Our grandmother and mother shared an unbreakable bond.  Sometimes they argued like sisters. At all times our mother respected her mother, our grandmother; and vice versa.

My Mum and Nana were good mates; they were each other’s best friend.  Their unique connection was unbreakable.  No man or woman could tear their alliance asunder.  Mum and Nana remained each other’s ally through thick and thin.  Too often they faced adversity, but they faced it together, side by side, and, more often than not, won. Sometimes the battles they faced seemed unconquerable; but, jointly, hand in hand, they leapt hurdles Superman would’ve had problems overcoming.

Both brought the appreciation of music, of all genres, into our lives from an early age; and for that I thank them. Hardly a day went by the piano wasn’t played.  Music, also, always flowed freely from the radio. Through their encouragement my enjoyment of music (and my late brother's love of music) covered a broad spectrum from classical and opera, to jazz, through to country, honky-tonk, folk, pop and rock and various derivatives. They, also, introduced us to dance....in its many forms.

Mum and Nana taught us to be up front and honest.  We were taught to be respectful of others...and of our own self.  They imparted the knowledge how important it was to stand tall; to look the world and those in it directly in the eye.  Nana and Mum taught us not to fall into the traps of “following the leader”; of mindlessly being “part of the pack”. We were instructed to run our own race, not to be like lemmings, following our peers in the fear of being ridiculed by them if we didn’t follow suit. If a situation arose wherein we didn’t agree with the behaviour of our mates in a given situation, for us to walk away; to have the guts to be an individual; to hold on to the values we’d been taught.

They encouraged Graham and me to dream while advising us not to be disappointed if some dreams didn’t come true; and not to let our disappointment crush us or stop us from dreaming; from having goals.

Both were wags.  Each harboured a mischievous, subtle, sense of humour. 

At times, when in company, Graham and I found it best not to look at them, or be close enough to them (one, the other or both) to receive an unseen-by-others nudge, given with a wicked twinkle in their eyes. All they had to do was cast a look with a cheeky, indiscernible smile teasing at the corners of their mouth, and immediately we knew what was going on in their head!  The Terrible Twins had nothing on my Nana and Mum!   They found humour in many situations. It was difficult to not get caught up in the flow. 

Many years ago both left this mortal earth; Mum in 1974, and Nana in 1976 - but they’ve not departed my heart or thoughts; there they remain.

Never a day goes by I don’t think of them; most often accompanied by a smile.

Our mother and our grandmother...our Mum and our Nana loved my brother and me. We loved them in return.  Like two lionesses, to the best of their ability, they protected us; but never mollycoddled us.  Graham and I were aware the “world out there” was not all sunshine and roses.  Similar could be said about inside our home....it was not all “sunshine and roses”; but that’s life, isn’t it?

It’s my hope Mum Roll-On returns soon to the IGA supermarket shelves. 

There are substitutes for Mum deodorant, but there are no substitutes for your Mum.

If you still have your Mum...cherish her every day, not just on the appointed, special date for Mother’s Day; and never worry about being close...close is good.  

If you are in a similar position to me...cherish your memories...they are special....

Happy Mother’s Day! Hugs to Mums – and to Grand-Mums!

Mum’s Roll-Ups: Cut crust from 8 slices of white sandwich bread; flatten with rolling pin.  Place 1 to 2tsp cream cheese and diced strawberries (or use your own choices; Nutella could be good) 1-inch from one end of bread in a strip. Roll the bread up tightly; repeat with other slices. Whisk together 2 eggs and 3tbs milk. In another bowl combine 1/2c sugar and 1heaped tspn cinnamon. Heat pan over med-heat; melt 1tbs butter; dip bread rolls in egg mix; then place in pan, seam side down’ cook in batches until golden on all sides; add more butter if needed. When cooked add immediately to cinnamon sugar; coat well. Serve with Maple syrup, if desired.  You could substitute the strawberries with blueberries, raspberries or banana; or make a combination using all...it’s up to you.

Eggs Mumma Mia:  Cut in half and toast 4 English muffins; set aside. Heat 2tsp x-virgin olive oil in pan; add 1 minced shallot and 1 minced garlic clove; cook, stirring, about 1min. Stir in 2 diced, medium zucchinis and 3-4 diced tomatoes; cook about 10mins; remove from heat; stir in 1tbs thinly sliced basil, 1tbs balsamic, 1/2tsp salt and ground black pepper. Poach 8 large eggs; cook as desired. Transfer eggs to paper towel to drain; top each of toasted muffin halves with some of the vegetable mixture, an egg, freshly grated Parmesan and some diced basil.

Rolled Stuffed Pork Belly: Score skin of 2kg boneless pork belly. A day or two before you plan to serve the pork, brine in non-reactive roasting dish. Rub 30g salt into both sides of meat; leave for 30mins. Turn the pork belly so skin faces down; then cover with enough cold water to submerge it; cover tightly; store in fridge, 24-48 hours.  Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sit a rack in the centre of the oven. Drain the brine from the belly, pat the pork dry all over and place it with the skin down on a clean work surface. Peel and discard the outer four layers and the upper and lower parts of a lemongrass stem, then finely chop the rest. Mix 100g of peanuts, 250g of peanut butter, ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes (or more or less to taste), 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or grated, 3 tablespoons of coarsely chopped fresh tarragon or dill and the lemongrass together in a bowl and spread this evenly over the flesh side of the belly. Roll up the meat tightly and tie it up with string, keeping the roll as tight as possible. Line a large roasting dish with baking paper. Place a cake rack in the dish, then sit the belly on it, with the seam facing down. Rub the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkle with flaky salt. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour 45 minutes until the skin is golden. Turn up the heat to 230°C; cook for another 15-20 minutes until the crackling has crackled. If it doesn’t crackle, turn the grill on medium-high and cook until it does, keeping your eye on it to prevent burning. Remove the belly from the heat and leave to rest in a warm place, uncovered, for 15 minutes before removing the string and slicing the meat. Serve with potato salad and green leaves or with creamy mashed potatoes (with crushed garlic added, if desired),rich home-made gravy and steamed greens of choice.

Mum’s Just Dessert aka Cherry Cheesecake Brownies: Preheat oven 175C. Either spray with baking spray or grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. For the cheesecake layer, in a large bowl, mix together 240g cream cheese, 1/3rd  cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1/2tsp vanilla. Set aside. For the brownie layer; In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2c softened butter and 1c white sugar. Mix in 2 eggs, and 1tsp vanilla. Stir in 1/2c unsweeetened dark cocoa powder, 1/c plain flour, 1/4tsp salt, and 1/4tsp baking powder. Stir until everything is evenly combined. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.  Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the brownie mixture.  Gently process canned/bottled cherries, but don’t over-process (add some raspberry jam/preserve to it, if you like after you’ve processed it.  Drop by spoonfuls on top of cheesecake layer; then using a knife, swirl this through the cheesecake layer.  Bake in oven for about 45mins.  The cheesecake layer will still jiggle in the middle even when cooking has finished. Let it cool 1 hour; then chill for at least 4 hours.  Make a chocolate drizzle by adding 1/4c semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2tsp butter in small bowl; either melt over water, or in microwave if you use a microwave oven.  Spoon the chocolate over the top of cheesecake before serving.

Mumosa: Mix together 45ml fresh strawberry juice, 1tsp strawberry jam and 45ml simple sugar syrup; pour into a champagne coupe glass; add a dash or two of Vok strawberry liqueur; top with Champagne to taste; garnish with a strawberry slice on the glass rim.  Cheers to all you Mums, Grand-Mums and Great-Grand-Mums – have a wonderful day! 



35 comments:

  1. "Mum and Nana taught us to be up front and honest. We were taught to be respectful of others...and of our own self. They imparted the knowledge how important it was to stand tall; to look the world and those in it directly in the eye. Nana and Mum taught us not to fall into the traps of “following the leader”; of mindlessly being “part of the pack”. We were instructed to run our own race, not to be like lemmings, following our peers in the fear of being ridiculed by them if we didn’t follow suit. If a situation arose wherein we didn’t agree with the behaviour of our mates in a given situation, for us to walk away; to have the guts to be an individual; to hold on to the values we’d been taught."

    I would like to say that I could have written that paragraph but words don't flow for me like that. My Mum and my Nana (who lived with Mum and Dad and my brother and I in her later years and died in 1971 at the age of 93) were both very strong women and the advice they gave was exactly the same as you were given. Continents and cultures a world apart and the same advice given: it makes one think doesn't it that it was probably exceptionally good advice.

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    1. Hey, Graham...I agree re the advice given. One can only hope that the younger generations are receiving (and giving) similar advice.

      The old ways...teachings were the good ways, I believe. Call me old-fashioned as far as those values are concerned...I'll accept it willingly. :)

      Thanks for coming by. :0

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  2. A lovely tribute to two special women.
    My relationship with my mother was mixed, and I never knew my grandparents.
    Mixed or not, I have a lot to be grateful for, and I am.
    We never celebrated Mothers' or Fathers' Day. Both parents told us one day does not make up for a year of neglect. And they were right.

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    1. Hi EC....We didn't make a big deal about Mother's Day, but we always did something special for Mum and Nana; even if it was our attempts at cooking them breakfast...just among us...in our own small way. I still have here part of my memorabilia a couple of cards Graham and I drew and wrote upon for Mum and Nana on a Mother's Day when he and I were little kids. Mum and Nana had kept them through the years...and I ended up with them after their passing. Throughout their lives I never forgot them on Mother's Day...and in my own, small, understated way, they were given made feel special and loved. It was no big deal.

      One day doesn't make up for the rest of the year, I agree...as I inferred in my post...but I see nothing wrong with having a bit of fun on that special day that has been set aside. I feel the same way about Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day etc..any excuse for a bit of fun, I guess...no harm in it. It's better than all the gloom and doom we're surrounded by all the time.

      Remy and Shama are preparing breakfast for me on Sunday! Thanks for coming by. :)

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  3. That was so beautifully written, and so full of respect and love for these two very influential women in your life.

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    1. Thank you, Arleen. They didn't have it easy...but they did their very best to make it easy for my brother and me.

      Happy Mother's Day to you...thanks for coming by. :)

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  4. before breakfast and once again I am drooling, I still miss my mom; I use the family toothpaste to this day, pepsident. ha.

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    1. You're just going to have to read my posts after you've eaten, Linda! lol

      I know what you mean...I still miss Mum, Nana and Graham, too. They knew me well...and I knew them well...special bonds. :)

      Wow! Pepsodent toothpaste! I've not used that brand in years. I must look for it at the supermarket next time I go. I have to buy some more. I wrote toothpaste on my future list only this afternoon! I usually use Colgate or Macleans.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  5. Just stopping by to say hello and wish you a Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. Hey Sandie...My two furry rascals are thinking up ideas for the breakfast they're going to prepare for me on Sunday morning! I don't have any children...so these two cats of mine have to step up to the plate!

      Thanks for coming by....a Happy Mother's Day to you...I hope you enjoy it with your family. :)

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  6. I was looking forward to reading your Mothers Day post and you have not disappointed both in your fond recollections and food. I of course have forwarded the recipes on to my son and he is so keen to make everything you have shared for his Mum on Sunday .. I am of course just dreaming πŸ˜†

    I love our Mum's hat .. The photo is similar to photos from my family, and my Aunty used to wear a hat like that.

    I wonder why Mum roll-on has disappeared from the IGA shelves? I wonder whether their parent company is in trouble, whether they have stopped making the product, whether IGA have decided not to stock it any longer or if there are just problems getting stock?? I am indeed curious.

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    1. Oh and I was going to say .. Enjoy your Sunday Lee xx

      P.S. More kids should leave school at 15 and start working.

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    2. Hey, Carol. I'm sure the lad will be out shopping for the ingredients today...and eyeing of the neighbours' garden for some likely flowers! You'd better not eat tonight...to leave room for the feast you'll have presented to you tomorrow :)

      Mum Roll-On is still on the market and available elsewhere from what I can gather, so I don't know what the story is with IGA...but I will find out....Mum is a must!! Old habits are hard to break!!!

      Have a wonderful, lazy day tomorrow, Carol; forget about the coming week and work...listen to some good music and know it's your day to enjoy you way because you have a lovely son as proof. Happy Mother's Day! :)

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  7. What a wonderful post this is! You are so right.... there are no substitutes for your Mum!! I've been without mine for 20+ years and also think of her everyday. Thank you for the recipes and adore that cute vintage card with the kitties! No children here either Lee, I'm also a Pet Mom like you. I raised one of our cats since he was a wee kitten and he really does think I'm his Mom!

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    1. Hey, Diane. My two furry mates I've had in my life since they were three days shy of turning six weeks old. They're brother and sister. Once I set eyes on them there was no way I could take one and not the other. They turn 14 this coming November (they came into my life on 13th December). The way they both behave and boss me around, I think they believe they are human! I have to sit them down every now and then remind them this is not so, but they just shrug their shoulders and go back to sleep! :)

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  8. It sounds like you come from a long line of strong, beautiful, smart women.

    Have a great week.

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    1. I'm not sure about that, Gail...but it's nice of you say...I inherited the insanity gene, I think! ;)

      Thanks for coming by....Have a happy Mother's Day. :)

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  9. Good to read you mum and her mum got on so well, not always the case.
    Mum deodorant, I remember using that a few times way back in the past.
    Wedding photo it very nice - you looked good as a bride should on her wedding day.

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    1. Hi Margaret....Nana stuck with Mum. She played a major role in the raising of my brother and me while Mum went to work outside of hearth and home. They were good mates; they had their "moments", as is normal, but there were always there for each.

      My dress was a mini, made of linen and my head-piece or whatever it was called was also linen...I loved the one Liz Taylor wore when she married Burton the first time, and modelled mine on hers. I was never one who desired long, flouncy, fairy princess white wedding gowns...they weren't my style...just not me.

      Thanks for coming by. I hope you enjoy your Mother's Day. :)

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  10. Trying again to comment. I'm having major computer problems this week. One of my computers will not type a Y or a T. The other is worse; it will only run Windows 10.

    Very well said. Bravo. Nice tribute to your mother and nana. I didn't realize that Australians play cowboys and Indians too, like I did when I was a kid.

    Would love some of that cherry cheesecake brownie, but I have a doctors' appointment in a few days and am restricted to rabbit food.

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    1. Hey there Dave....computer problems are the pits! We're so dependent upon our computers...well, I know I am! I hate when things go wrong! I've no patience! lol

      Oh, yes...cowboys and Indians were a major playtime pastime when we were kids. Many handmade bows and arrows were our weapons as were sticks as pretend guns if my brother's toy guns weren't handy!

      What was a Saturday afternoon matinee if a western movie (picture, as we called them in those days) wasn't one of the features!!!!? We had to re-enact them all! I was a Gene Autry and Audie Murphy fan with a couple of others thrown in for good measure! :)

      All the best at your doctor's appointment...take care and thanks for coming by. :)

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  11. I haven't seen Pepsodent toothpaste in the supermarkets in years, good luck finding some. I gave up on mum deodorant years ago too, I'm a heavy sweater, it just wasn't working, even the anti-perspirant types.

    I don't remember learning much from my mum, not dad either, after she left. I was left alone a lot, kind of dragged myself through the minefield of growing up. I think I did okay.
    I like this tribute to your Mum and Nana, they sound like wonderful women, strong and determined and they certainly did a good job with you and Graham.

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    1. Hey River...I've always used Mum....it works/ed well for me so I hope IGA get it back in again. I must look to see if Pepsodent is still available when I go to the supermarket tomorrow. I don't recall seeing it, but then I wasn't looking to buy it, either.

      There was no father in our lives...he and our mother separated when she was still pregnant with me. Nana and Mum did their best with us kids...and we tried to do the same in return, in respect. Of course, we weren't perfect- far from it! lol

      Thanks for coming by. ..I hope you had a nice day today. :)

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  12. OH! I hope you find your MUM deodorant again!
    Lovely post about your Mum and Nana! Love your wedding photo from 1966, what a pretty bride!
    Two things I always bring back from England - Yorkshire teabags and my Soft n Gentle Deodorant! I love it! Do you have it in Australia? There are certain ones I like the best, but you can guess, they are the hardest to find! LOL.

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    1. Hi Kay...I'm not sure if Soft n Gentle is available in stores here; it can be purchased online, though. I don't recall seeing it...but that means little. I'll have a look for it tomorrow when I'm looking for my Mum and Pepsodent toothpaste. My shopping list is growing! :)

      I was just a baby in that wedding photo....21 years old!! My God! How the years have flown! That girl has long gone...flown off with the years!

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  13. Ban Mum. Ban roll on is my favorite. But nothing could beat my Mum. My real, dear, loving Mum.

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    1. Hi Annie...I don't recall seeing Ban on the shelves, either. That doesn't mean it's not available here...I've just not noticed. Mum all the way for me! Mum for President!! ;)

      I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day, Annie...thanks for coming by. :)

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  14. Love reading your post about those two important women in your life. The memories do not fade but get more precious as each year rolls by. Peace

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    1. Hey Miss Kitty....you're correct, the memories do become more precious. I even shed a couple of tears in remembrance yesterday. A few moments of sadness overcame me...

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  15. '“Surrender” was a word they understood and could spell; but it was one they never put into practice.' - Another brilliant quotation that deserves to live on way beyond this blogpost.

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    1. Thanks, Yorkie...and thanks for dropping in. :)

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  16. I thought I was the only person left who used "Mum" deodourdant! Stupid name for it though. It disappeared from my local supermarket shelves years ago.

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    1. Hi there Helsie....Mum was back on the shelves of my local IGA this morning....so I bought some, of course, while I was doing my shopping.

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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  17. I see in the comment above that you got your MUM product back - so glad. My sister was lamenting that they stopped making Curel cuticle cream - she found a batch of it on ebay and bought all of it. It's terrible when things like that happen - something you love disappears.

    You had a lovely family - I know you miss them so much. Lovely memories.

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    1. Yes, Lynn...it was a pleasant surprise to find it back on the shelves today, after not being there for about a month or so. :)

      My family wasn't perfect...we had some very difficult times...but they were my family. :) And now there's only me left....

      Thanks for coming by. :)

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