My family holiday and the perfect Christmas

It’s been a very busy few months for me, with holidays, moving house, my new work project, Christmas and of course loved ones!

Ben, Poppy and I had a lovely winter break to Egypt, we stayed in Sharm El Sheik… We booked our holiday through and I would highly recommend using them to book your holiday as they seemed to beat every other operator’s prices by a long way.

The hotel we stayed at was called Aqua Blu Sharm and totally catered for children by having multiple pools, and even more water slides – 45 to be exact! Poppy was in her element!






I have to say I have never needed a holiday so much after moving house. Because of my adrenal condition I was completely burnt out, so this was just what the doctor ordered.

Once we returned, I threw myself straight back into work, and I have not stopped since!  I have used my many years of business experience to form a digital design agency specializing in ecommerce websites, which is a ‘one stop shop’ for new and established businesses looking to get the most out of their online sales. has been running for 5 months now and I’m proud to say the hard work is paying off now – business is great!

I must mention a lovely night Ben and I had away in Brighton – a lovely surprise from the man I love! He took me to stay in The Grand Hotel, right on Brighton seafront. As if the hotel wasn’t breath taking enough, Ben had booked us a suite and oh my, it was amazing and the view was like something straight out of a romantic film!




In the evening we went for a fantastic meal at the Coté du Vin brasserie in the Malmaison hotel just along the seafront. The food was out of this world; we shared Chateau Briand steak – wow! I am not a huge lover of red meat but this was perfection on a plate!  We spent the next day arm in arm walking around Brighton, sipping on mulled wine in the Lanes and generally being completely in love.

The weeks go by so quick, and suddenly it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree.

This year I was so excited about Christmas, more so than usual. Finally I have so much happiness in my life and I couldn’t wait to share it with Poppy and Ben together in our new home.



Christmas was even more wonderful than I thought it could be.  Our Christmas Day began with an early start and many a present being ripped open in sheer excitement!  And that was just Ben!  Santa really had been this year and I was thoroughly spoilt.  An iPad mini, Ted Baker Coat, Ugg Boots, make-up, perfume, clothes, pjs, ooooh and the most beautiful Victoria’s Secret underwear.

There was a moment this year that was particularly special to me. Ben and I invited Ben’s dad and partner and his brothers and their children over on Boxing Day (15 of us in total).  We were all sat on the floor in the living room with piles and piles of presents. I looked around the room and realized that if I was to walk past a house, look through the window and see the most perfect image of Christmas this would be it. I was part of a wonderful family and everyone was smiling, I actually got a bit choked, I feel so blessed to be part of this so a big thank you to the Johnstons for allowing this to happen for Poppy and I.

As soon as Christmas was ‘wrapped up’, we had NYE to consider…Ben had been booked to DJ at BadApple in Shoreditch… I am biased, of course, but Ben’s DJing is amazing. He is so talented with his music and makes me very proud.

2015 is shaping up to be an amazing year already…!

‘My boyfriend’s the DJ’ and an update on my health

This week was the start of Bens birthday celebrations…a night out in Shoreditch with friends tied in well with a DJ booking he had.


I have to say that seeing Ben DJ made me feel like a teenager again. He was so amazing I just wanted to tell everyone ‘My boyfriend’s the DJ’

My Health

As you know I was recently diagnosed with Adrenal Dysfuction with a pregnenolone steal which affects my general health in many ways. I have started making natural lifestyle changes that have already helped me with my energy levels and digestive system.

First things first and lets get priorities straight here… resting, sleep and Vitamin D is essential when you have Adrenal Dysfunction so of course I booked myself a winter holiday immediately.

I used a company called I found this website so easy to use and you can build your package as you go along. Its really great if you are on a budget too which I was.


Ben and I sat for hours looking through hotels and researching what would be great for Poppy too and we found a hotel that looks INCREDIBLE. I am told the weather is pretty good in Eygpt all year around so this was our chosen destination.

The hotel we picked is called The Aqua Blu Sharm – it’s 4* and all inclusive. The reviews are fantastic and it even won an award with Tripadvisor this year. I love using tripadvosor…. I actually wouldn’t book a trip without using it first.


The main lifestyle change for me has been my diet; I am ashamed to say that convenience food was my middle name. I am a busy girl so eating on the go was pretty normal for me. Sandwiches, pasta, chocolate, coffee, cakes, crisps, toast. Whatever I could lay my hands on to take the edge off my hunger. This is terrible…did I have a death wish???

My functioning nutritionist Helen Williams at the Surrey Nutrition Clinic made it very clear that continuing to eat in this way would lead to me becoming quite ill and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why. No water, fruit or veg in my diet…What was I thinking?

For the past two months I have been on the Paleo Diet which is essentially eating like a caveman. Meat, fruit, veg nuts and seeds.

The most noticeable change for me since being on this diet is that I actually go to the toilet now (it took a few weeks of being on the diet). This is an embarrassing subject to talk about but constipation is something many of us suffer from, I have suffered for years and could go weeks without going to the toilet. Constipation isn’t just a case of not going to the toilet and having a tummy ache but its keeping toxins in your body that need to be disposed of. The toxins build up in your body, putting stress on it which will eventually probably lead to other illnesses and at the least it will have an impact on your energy levels. The Paleo diet has been amazing for my digestive system and I have alot more energy than I did before.

If you suffer from constipation too then my suggestion would be to look at your diet. It’s easy to pop a laxative before bed but it isn’t really treating the root of the problem.

You can read about the Paleo diet here….. the food in this diet is wonderful! I really like this website and refer to it most days for dinner ideas.

One of my favorite Paleo Breakfasts is sweet potato hash with a fried egg and its sooooo easy.


Lastly I want to say thank you to my beautiful boyfriend for being so supportive with the changes I have had to make in my life to get better. I am only talking about the interesting bits in my blogs but there have been times that I have been so poorly since being with Ben and he has looked after me. He puts my supplements out so I don’t forget them, cooks for me every weekend, massages me if I feel achy and slows me down when he thinks I’m doing too much. And did I tell you ‘My boyfriends the DJ’? 

More of my favourite Paleo recipes in upcoming blogs and also I will be taking you through my journey of making my new house a home with lots of ideas and before and after pictures.

Ooooh and Ben and I have news…


Sacrificing my health over stress

I have been struggling with my health for a while now and I have never been able to put my finger on what’s wrong.  My GP would often tell me that I had IBS, a viral infection or that the aches and pains were down to stress.


I started looking for alternative options for answers.  I felt desperate to get some answers as to why someone with a relatively healthy lifestyle, age and size could be suffering everyday with some kind of complaint that was starting to get me down and make me feel like an old person.


I soon discovered Helen Williams at the From the moment I walked through the door Helen completely understood and sympathized with the complaints I have been living with for a long time unlike my GP who was quick to rush me out of the door.  I understand GPs are under huge pressure to see a lot of patients but being sent away has just made my health worse, whilst all this time I could have been treating the problem.


Helen spent a lot of time asking me about my life from a fairly young age.   She took pages and pages of notes and I could see she was very cleverly piecing everything together.  The biggest factor in my life was stress, even from a very young age.  Eventually this would take its toll on anyone.


I guess the breaking point for me and when I noticed a real difference in my health was during and after a period in my life (in my last relationship) where I was emotionally torn apart until I felt destroyed.




This 18 month period is unquestionably the straw that broke the camels back and after a series of tests with Helen at the Surrey Nurtition Clinic I was diagnosed with Adrenal Dysfunction stage 2/3 with a pregnonline steal.


Sounds complicated doesn’t it?  In layman’s terms my adrenal glands are not producing enough of the human survival hormone (Cortisol).  Without Cortisol we cannot survive. The low levels of Cortisol my adrenals are producing is what has been making me feel so ill.


The lack of this hormone in my body means that my body is stealing hormones from another crucial part of my body in order to produce more Cortisol.


How does this affect me?  Well daily I feel tired, there are points in my day that I am hypoglycemic so my blood sugar level drops signifciantly which means I get dizzy and light headed, I wake up with aches and pains that sometimes mean I struggle to get up, my digestive system is shot to bits, my eye sight has drastically worsened in a short period of time, headaches can be unbearable.  My general un – wellness is draining and whilst I am always trying to be on top form sometimes it gets the better of me effects my emotional wellbeing too.


More drastically if my body is put under stress I can get very ill, a few months ago I even got so bad I ended up in A&E.


So where do I go from here?  Read my next blog to find out the steps I am taking to get my health back again.


If there is any advice I can give from this it is that no amount of stress in your life is worth risking your health and even your life for.  Taking care of yourself is so important.  I hope I can help you with my upcoming blogs with my suggestions on how to lead a healthy lifestyle even if you are super busy like me.




I like to leave on a happy note so despite this hurdle in my life I feel so blessed to be living the dream with Ben.  We recently went to see Wicked at the theatre which I loved, we have just booked a holiday to Egypt in October and we are off to a spa in a few weeks too.  We are spending some really lovely time with the girls too who I feel are really benefiting from playing happy families too.


I feel so protected and loved by Ben, I couldn’t imagine ever not having him in my life now.

Summer holiday fun and Poppy’s bond with Ben

As many of you can relate to, summer holidays can be tricky, it’s a busy time of the year but my mission has been to keep things as balanced as possible. I have had a wonderful few weeks as you will see from the photos below.

Meeting Ben’s family was a breeze because they have all been so lovely. Last week we took a trip down to Deal in Kent which Poppy LOVED. Ben’s dad has a collection of vintage cars and motorbikes – Oh and one very special Harley Davidson. I never thought this type of stuff would interest me but I loved learning about Ben’s dad’s toys and Poppy did too.

I love this photo because with no prompting we all posed like this – Cheeeeeese!


Whilst we were in Deal I realised and appreciated more than ever the bond that Poppy has made with Ben.  She adores him and even tells her friends that Ben is her best friend.  It means so much to me that Poppy has taken to Ben the way she has as I know Ben is here to stay, and what lucky girls we both are to have someone so fun and loving in our lives.


After our weekend in Deal it was time to meet one of Ben’s best friends Rich and his wife Jess.  Rich made the best roast dinner I have ever had in my life (sorry mum), I am hoping now I have given him a credit he might invite us back again ASAP.  What I loved most about our afternoon with Rich and Jess was seeing how loved up they were.  Rich talks to Jess like she is his little princess and there is no question of a doubt she adores him.


I have to say that since being with Ben I have realised exactly what the dynamics of a relationship should be like. You think you know already but until it happens you don’t really. Ben tells me I’m precious and he wants to keep me safe and love me forever.  I don’t think anyone has ever said those words to me.  I know it’s sickening but I literally love every teeny weeny thing about him, he makes my belly hurt  with laughter most days because he is so nuts.  So here are the dynamics…we both love each other so much.  There are no games, no upper hands and no under the thumb treatment going on, there is complete and utter trust and unlimited respect.  Seems obvious doesn’t it but its taken me 32 years to find this.

Ok love rant over.  I also went out for a lovely meal with my amazing friends Laura Hamilton, Kim Tiddy and Ellie Crissell, I love these girls so much I just wish I got to see them more.  I cherish the moments we share and this was one of them.


Lastly Poppy and I spent a really lovely day with my neice Evie and nephew George.  George took Poppy for a ride on his snap dragon (electric wheel chair) and Poppy made me so proud dividing her time between George and Evie who love her very much and both want a piece of the Poppy action.  Poppy adores her cousins too and you can tell she feels like the responsible big cousin with them.


I love the way George is part of this little gang walking down the road.  It is so beautiful that they see George, the little boy, and not his wheelchair.  Even Poppy’s friend Lily who came with us for the day didn’t batter an eyelid and played with him like she would any other child.  It’s just wonderful how children are born so beautifully innocent.


I hope you have all had a lovely week.

Nicola x




A pretty special place to be in

Two weeks ago my Nan was admitted to hospital and taken to intensive care. Doctors called in the family to say goodbye to her, but I was convinced she would pull through even in these darkest hours. My Mum and Dad both said to me “Nicky I think you need to prepare yourself for this”. I even got cross with them for saying it…Stop trying to prepare me for something negative because I am busy focusing on a positive outcome here – just stop it!!! I do not cope very well with negativity so without physically putting my hands over my ears, this is essentially what I was doing. I didn’t want to hear it. Despite the fact that my Nan was relying on medical assistance to keep her alive I just knew she could do it.


My Nan is a ROCKSTAR!!!!! She shocked doctors and nurses and defeated the odds of getting better. Nanny Snoopy (she had a dog named Snoopy when I was a little girl) is now out of intensive care and is slowly taking steps forward every day towards getting better.


So whilst this is a strange introduction to a blog about my romantic holiday with Ben I would like to dedicate this to my beautiful Nan who WILL see the day that her first grand daughter gets married!

At this point I should tell you that I am not engaged, however I have never felt so sure about anyone in my life. Ben lights up my life in every way and a holiday in Spain for nine days was everything and more I could ever wish for.

Ben and I spent our days chilling out, there was no pressure to do anything other than be totally consumed in each other’s company, which is exactly what we both wanted. I know this is cliché but Ben treats me like a princess and I feel like one. Every evening, I would get ready to go out for dinner and as I walked out on to the terrace where Ben would be waiting for me his face would light up and it makes me melt.


There is no question of doubt that I love Ben, I love him to the moon and the stars and back and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world…but best of all I know he feels the same too. A pretty special place for us to be in.

When you know you know


This week has been a dream!

I can honestly say I have never felt so happy in my life and it’s all because of love. Not just from Ben but from my beautiful little girl, my family and the precious friends that I surround myself with. Life just feels perfect even when it’s not…I have been facing some health issues this year and this week I felt myself getting a bit poorly again, but Ben came to the rescue with a weekend I will never forget! And guess what…I didn’t get ill!!! Wooooohoooooo!!!!

Our day in Brighton was the most romantic day I think I have ever had!! It was completely off the cuff but utter perfection. I don’t want to make out that Ben and I are completely Wet staring into each others eyes all the time because one minute we are gushing with Love and Romance and the next minute he is making me belly laugh like no one else could! We have the best banter I have ever had with anyone. We are the most PERFECT fit!


We also went for a lovely meal in a fish restaurant in Beaconsfield with his brother Simon and his wonderful family.


But the icing on the cake was a day with Ben’s daughter Thea and of course my very own Poppy! I will respectfully keep details brief but what I will say is Thea is a beautifully balanced little girl with a fun and kind nature and is an absolute credit to both of her parents and Poppy adores her.

On Sunday morning Ben and I dressed the girls up in party frocks and took them to do something pretty special. We told them we were going to take them in a magic glass lift to take them for breakfast in the sky and we weren’t lying.


The Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower in London  is where we went and it was magical. Not really an obvious destination to take children but if they are as beautifully behaved as the girls were, I can’t see why not.


Last but not least we spent the afternoon at Old Mcdonalds farm in Essex which was great fun…….. even Ben had a few turns on the tractor.


I can’t possibly put into words the love and happiness that I feel now but I think you might have a little idea…

Never ever give up on love because its just around the corner when you least expect it.

N xxx

Meet Ben

I am so many months behind with my blog that I feel like I need to bring you completely up to speed on the Ben situation. Ben and I are officially boyfriend and girlfriend and it feels wonderful. He is the funniest guy I have ever met and a bit of a lad but on top of this he has a gentle, kind and caring nature that makes me feel like I can trust him with my heart.

Ben will not be a happy boy with me using this picture because he looks grumpy… He really wasn’t grumpy but I think he was caught off guard a bit here.


Apart from being super kind, loving, affectionate, funny and generally wonderful, Ben buys me little gifts all the time which I find so cute. These have varied from a keyring, iphone case, chocolate, a book, perfume to a tooth brush and deodorant for his house (Errrrm was he trying to tell me something?) He is so super thoughtful and I LOVE that. He even cooks the most amazing meals for me too. Have I hit the Jackpot??? Its early days but I hope so.



Poppy’s sports day

What a great week I have had – Poppy absolutely rocked at sports day! Naturally as a parent you would be proud however well your child does in their racebut Poppy-Belle absolutely smashed it and I was bubbling with excitement and trying so hard not to squeal loudly every time she out ran all of the other children. Please don’t think I am being smug but I just feel so proud of my Little munckin.


My proudest moment came when I saw my five-year-old be the most awesome team leader. Another little girl in her team didn’t do so well and poppy rubbed her arm and said well done you were great. Wow! How is my little girl so ridiculously amazing?!!! This little moment was so special to me and this was the reason she got a little present after sports day and not because she was outstanding in every race.

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Poppy with her best friend Henrietta from school.

To end the sports day naturally Simon and I joined in the parents Sportsday – As you can see Simon took it a little more seriously than I did.

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Ben asked me to go back for ‘cuddles’ on date two!

Date two with Ben was way more nerve-racking than date one.  There seemed to be a lot more pressure with this date.   Am I the only girl in the world that not only has first date fears but worse than that first kiss fears?!  What if you have a first kiss and they dribble or open their mouth really wide or  even worse stick their tongue right down your throat!!!! Eeeeeewwww!!!!

Ben had chosen such a cool bar in Shoreditch called Lounge Lovers.   I would highly recommend trying this place out. The décor is uber cool, this is such a great place for dates or a night out with your friends.  The cocktails are amazing  and not over priced!  I was so impressed.  Great choice B!

There are some pictures below but take a look at the website too.

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We seemed to drink a lot of cocktails and didn’t stop giggling.  I was having such a great time and didn’t want it to end however the lights went on and it was closing time…….. how did this happen so fast?  I hadn’t even had my first kiss yet!!!  All of a sudden I felt nervous again…… was my kiss with Ben on the way?  Was he going to be a gentleman and kiss me on the cheek before he puts me in a taxi?  Nope, he did something much better than that!!!!  Ben held my hand and pulled me towards him quite firmly, he gave me the most passionate first kiss, put his hands in my hair and held me pretty tight.  I have a feeling my foot may have left the floor.  Wow!  We kissed for ages and eventually when we stopped and I opened my eyes I realised we had been kissing in the middle of a road!!!  Oooops!!!!

We went to a night club for a few more drinks which was fun but I had definitely  reached that point of not being able to drink any more even though Ben looked like his night had only just begun.  I didn’t want to spoil his fun but for me it was time to go because I was feeling a bit giddy. Ben wasted no time in popping the question “I think you should come back to mine for cuddles”   In fact that wasn’t even a question! We all know what men mean when they say they want cuddles!!!  And if there are any men reading this……… Yes we know!  I declined Bens offer for ‘Cuddles’ but I thought he was very kind to ask me J

FYI – Never got in from a date at 4.30am before!!!

The next day I had my friend’s wedding to go to, it was unreal!  And soooooo much fun!!!  I was the only one there without a boyfriend but I had a sneaky feeling at the next wedding I might actually be taking a plus one!



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My day date with Ben

Ben and I had texted each other a fair amount when he was away and he didn’t beat around the bush in asking me if I would like to meet him for lunch on the Monday he returned.  I was pretty excited to meet him even though I had contemplated giving up The Game.  I think I had come to the conclusion that I just wasn’t interested in wasting my time with the other guys when I new I didn’t feel that spark I was after.


Monday arrived and it was a beautiful sunny day!  What a perfect day for lunch in a pub garden.   This is the first day date I had ever been on, I wanted to look nice but also didn’t want to over do it……..  I wore a cute little white dress from Lavish Alice with a pair of flip flops, wavy girly hair and pretty day time make-up.  I was ready to meet the guy that had given me butterflies for two weeks without even speaking to me.  Please please don’t let this be a let down!


Sorry I do not have any piccies from the date but below you can see how I achieved my day date look.  (more on the date underneath)


Cute Girly Dress from Lavish Alice – In the sale now for just £10 (bargain) –




Girly day time make-up



Wavy Locks like Lauren Pope’s…. You can achieve these with a wand or hair straightners.  Mine are from Cloud Nine and I love them


You can also buy the most amazingly natural clip-in hair extensions from – if you are struggling to achieve this wavy look on your own hair.  I know Lauren wears these hair extensions and her hair always looks amazing!!!!

I always love using my eye shadow palette from Smashbox to do pretty day time eyes. –


Ben was 20 minutes late…… Good start Benny Boy.  However I took the opportunity to have a glass of Pimms at the bar to calm my nerves.  Ben pulled into the car park and I walked outside to meet him, as he walked towards me my heart jumped into my throat.  He was lovely!  His smile was beaming and I loved this.


We sat down in the pub garden and chatted and laughed for two hours…… I was really gutted to have to leave because I was having so much fun but I had to pick Poppy up from school. When I got home I texted him to say……  “I think I love you”  he texted me back straight away to say “I defo love you”  awwwwwwww  no games just straight down the line cuteness. We obviously didn’t love each other at this point but we were just being cute!  This is exactly what I want from a guy……… so I felt like I had hit the jackpot.  I just wonder if the cuteness will last!


Ben texted me that evening to ask when I was free again, I thought it was really good that he had asked to see me again the same day, there are way to many games between people dating.  If I thought for one second there was any game playing going on that would have been me out.  We were both keen and not at all bothered about showing that to each other.


Date two was all booked in…. this time a proper date and Ben had chosen our location to be Shorditch. Ben you’re so cool :)




Both dates turn up to meet me on the same night!

Meet Marc
So Paul is still in the background and I am off on a night out with the girls in Clapham where I agreed to meet a guy I had matched with on Tinder, Yes I am on Tinder, I would highly recommend this to anyone single, its great fun! As Tinder guy walked towards me and sat down I soon realised he was totally uninteresting although very pretty to look at, I decided not to waste a night out with my friends so I left him with his to go and get myself a drink from the bar, this is where I met Marc. Oops there I am on a casual tinder date and I get talking to someone else, we exchanged numbers and a date was quickly arranged.


Meet Jack
Whilst enjoying casual dates with Marc, in fact I was up to date 4 (still no snog though) I was chatting to several other guys on Tinder too…… isn’t this so naughty?! But everyone is doing it right? Someone really cool popped up and his name was Jack! What a handsome guy he was, only 28 which is a bit on the young side for me but chatting to him isn’t doing any harm, is it?

Meet Ben
I swiped to the right and was soon chatting to Ben. But this was different. We instantly had great banter and I got butterflies in my tummy every time the phone beeped before I had even met him. Within about ten minutes of casually chatting we joked about getting married and without sounding like a complete nut case I rang my mum and told her I felt very excited about this guy.

Get back in the Game Nicola!!!
So Ben was off to Vegas the day we started talking and I was gutted that it would be at least 11 days before I got to meet him. I needed to get my head back in the game but I really didn’t want to. I had to remind myself that I was committed to the rules in this book because I never manage to get things right so off I went on my mission to keep four guys on the hob! In all honesty I can’t really count Paul anymore because he had done his disappearing act again leaving me feeling completely used and I knew that was the last time I would let him do that, it’s my fault for getting involved with someone that didn’t want a girlfriend. So let’s say goodbye to Paul now. Bye!



As Ben and I messaged each other the whole time he was away I felt so guilty about carrying on the game even though I hadn’t met him yet! Crazy huh! But I am no fool, he was single and in Vegas so I’m sure he was getting up to all sorts himself.

Dating Marc was really nice but I didn’t feel that spark in my tummy, I kept telling myself it’s not all about that and I needed to persevere. In the meantime I organised a night out to Wimbledon with Jodie and what a night it was.

I must have being feeling particularly daring because I casually invited both guys out…… I didn’t for the life of me expect them to both text me to say they was on their way.

Jodie completely freaked out because as we are standing in the bar waiting for both guys to arrive…… she literally screeches: “Nicola how the hell are you going to get away with this?” OMG OMG OMG now she had freaked me out!!!! I had a genius idea. Let’s get drunk and then we will just find this whole experience hilarious. Jodie and I started knocking back the shots and the rest is a distant memory but according to the photo evidence we had an awesome night and I got a lot of exercise running between Marc and Jack whilst Jodie distracted when necessary.

I saw Jack twice the following week but again I wasn’t getting the butterflies I so desperately wanted. What If I’m craving something that isn’t even real, what if my desire for a fairytale is above and beyond anything that is actually possible? All of a sudden The Game was not something I wanted to play anymore. What’s the point in dating loads of guys that your not really interested in just because the book tells you to? I actually even said to Simon (Poppy’s dad) I think I’m going to be single forever, He just told me I’m to fussy and always pick the idiots anyway. Thanks Si!

But what about Ben? Should I still go on a date with him despite giving up the game?

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