Mondayitis

MondayChrsitmas

You totes thought I had forgotten about being a moaning b**ch every Monday right? Well no, unfortunately the taste of halitosis combined with double shot espresso greeting me across my daily catch up of Perez Hilton (.com) is still, somehow, so much worse on this particular day of the week. So, instead of being a normal human and just instagraming a hilarious (or not) quote about how much I miss the weekend, I will write an exceptionally long posts about how much better my life would be if I had [insert materialistic item of awesomeness here]. Oh, and I also do the Instagram thing too. Duh.

This Monday my list is pretty long. Considering I’m professionally trained and paid to be an “editor”, when it comes to culling down the list of things I want right now I would be better labeled a “inability to prioritise-r” or maybe even “demanding”. (Who me?! Never). It goes a little something like this…

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A Normal Right Leg. Can someone please fix my knee? Seriously. Not only does it hurt like hell when I both bend AND straighten it, it has rendered me unable to do exercise (but, oddly, not unable to eat large quantities), but MOST importantly, it has swollen up to the point that I can’t fit in my new pineapple skinny jeans. So I need that to not be happening.

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A Wallet. More specifically, this wallet. Preferably with large wads of cash in it. The truth is, three weeks down and my coin purse (that was oh-so sweet and handy through out Asia) is now stuffed with one and two pence pieces (grumble, grumble, pointless ruddy coins, grumble), half filled coffee cards from Pret, and receipts (that I’m attempting to keep so I can start budgeting – ha). This bright, happy-making number has space for all those cards, a coin compartment, it opens out to fit all my pesky receipts (and large wads of cash), whilst being bright enough to spot in the bottom of your bag AND small enough to pop in your fave clutch when you head out for a drink. It’s totally more of a necessity than a want. Totally. (Stop rolling your eyes mum.)

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All Ruby Everything. I always talk about my love for this incredible kiwi brand, Ruby. It must be so boring for you. Because I actually have a super international readership (hey all you lovelies from all over the world) and you know what? It’s hella expensive to get Ruby shipped to anywhere but NZ. I know because I’ve looked. I’ve looked, I’ve weighed up the options, and I’ve decided its worth it. (Then I put down my wine glass and went to bed). No, but in all seriousness I miss this brand a lot; the quality is great, it fits me perfectly, I love the current collection and I seriously love the next collection. I’m pretty bloody upset that I no longer live nearby. Can someone please send me this? Oh and this? Maybe these too? Hell, just one of everything. (Told you I was grand and this “editing” business).

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The Petite Kitchen Cookbook by Eleanor Ozich. This girl is incredible. She’s a blogger who turned to wholefoods and general clean eating to help her daughter (who suffers from Gut and Psychology Syndrome, read her story here). She also went to my high school and I still get this weird how-can-someone-who-sat-opposite-me-in-maths-be-doing-so-freaking-well-at-life feeling every time I look at one of her recipes. Eleanor is one of the original inspirations behind the way I (try) and eat and I think her recipes are wonderfully simple, easy to achieve and always scrumptious. When the boy and I score a cute little London pad (cough, cough), the first thing heading to my kitchen will be this book. (Well, actually it will probably be boring crap like knives and forks… but you know… this is a close second).

I will stop now, even though I could go on forever. I’m starting to feel like I’m writing a letter to Father Christmas, and if I go any further with this fantasy I might start expecting things under the tree.

I’m pretty sure I’ve been a good girl this year Saint Nicholas, so please cure my Monday morning blues and…. give me all of the cool stuffs. Ta.

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White lies, fresh starts and stupidly expensive handbags.

ShoppingList

Is it just me, or is one of the best things about moving overseas is the opportunity to completely reinventing yourself?

When in New Zealand, I would often live my dream life out when I went to a hairdresser. It sounds crazy (it is), but my reaction to a complete stranger asking me a million questions about my life was to lie. I would tell them I was an actress, or I had twelve brothers, or I was currently writing a murder mystery novel, or whatever took my fancy that day. Unfortunately I found a hairdresser I really liked and wanted to keep seeing, so found myself tangled up in a web of lies. It’s the real reason I upped sticks to Europe. It was getting a bit hard to keep up with.

I digress, basically I like that this life change is giving me the chance to start fresh, like the first page of a notebook. And, as any good stylist knows, the best place to start when reinventing yourself is your wardrobe.

Upon leaving my studio flat in the heart of Auckland, I got rid of almost my entire floordrobe. (Apart from shipping over a few of my absolute favourite pieces). I juice cleansed my fashion “system” (but with less spinach). So, I’ve arrived ready to fill my new wardrobe with all the right choices. And I recon this list is a good place to start…

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A White Shirt This closet classic is a crime to be without. It can be dressed up, or down, and easily taken from the office to…well anywhere you might want to go after the office. Mine (already purchased – it’s that important) is a crisp linen with beautiful, delicate shell buttons. It’s simply gorgeous. My favourite way to wear it is with drainpipe black jeans, chelsea boots and a chunky necklace.

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Black Trousers Whether you prefer your trousers tux style, or skinny (like me), it’s important to have these. You don’t have to spend the earth, but they should fit you well. They’re pretty boring to buy, and yes those pineapple print jeans are SO much more exciting (I may or may not have bought them too*), but believe me – a pair of black trousers will see you through not only seasons, but a million different occasions too. They are pretty much the bread and butter of fashion.

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A Great Handbag Now, this one IS worth spending some money on. I would say that though, because a certain handbag is by far the most expensive thing I own. But it’s also timeless and still in perfect condition despite its nearly five years in my possession. I’ve decided (look away now mum) that upon getting my dream job here in London, I will celebrate by buying a very nice handbag. Despite being swaddled with all of the worlds best designers here, I’m still going to opt for a Deadly Ponies number – those guys make the best bags around. No question. Don’t fight me on this guys. I will take you on, and I will win. **evil glares**

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Ankle BootsI’ve already mentioned chelsea boots, and they are my go-to. The trick here is to start with the basics and go for a brown or black leather with a low(ish) heel. Once you have the basics covered, go nuts with any and every colour/material/embellishments that take your fancy.

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A Coat I’ve just purchased a textured navy coat that’s sort of a blazer come coat. It’s perfect. When I recover from the above bag purchase however, I will buy this…ok, I won’t, because unless I win the lottery I don’t have that much money… But I live in London now, so every coat dream that I’ve had to put on hold in toasty Auckland can now be played out (in my head). Plus everyone needs a camel coat. Like duh.

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Ballet Flats I’m all for heels. But, if you can’t walk in them – take them the hell off. Now. Because there is nothing more painful than watching some poor woman trying to walk in heels and failing. Every inch of elegance is snatched from her. So, ladies, embrace flats. My faves are actually these. Basic, cheap, classic and insanely versatile. Plus you feel like a dancer. WIN.

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Jeans This doesn’t need explaining. Even my Gran (aka my current flatmate) has a pair. If you don’t own any then you are just a crazy person. Sort it out.

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Knitwear If you have a wee bit of extra cash, cashmere is the best choice. Investing in a quality fabric here will mean that your jumper doesn’t loose its shape and can be worn for years and years (and maybe some more years). Try to have at least one lightweight, fitted option in your grasp before you start introducing cable knits or crops. I’ve just welcomed this baby into my wardrobe. It may not look exciting, but the wool and silk blend is so soft, and the style means it is perfect for layering.

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A Tee See this post dedicated to my love of all things tee and shirty.

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Statement Bling Some people will probably disagree that this is a “staple”, but I think popping your personality into any and every look is completely vital. I don’t mean wearing something crazy, just find a piece (or a few) that work for you. I love rings. All the rings, on all the fingers, at all the times. It’s my personal statement and yours could be different, but it’s a great way to add some of you to your outfit.

Armed with this list, I’m off out to spend up large (except not – damn being a poor unemployed traveler).

*I totally did. And I don’t regret it at all.

Railways, gift giving and a lack of class.

Watches

When I turned 18 my parents gave me a watch. My parents are usually epically good present givers (like seriously good). They have instilled in me this weird desire to give the most amazing presents, which is the bore of my boys life, he is more of the head-out-last-minute-and-but-a-scented-candle type (yes, that’s a legitimate type). But anyway, I had high expectations come that particular birthday. You see, it’s kind of a big deal, turning 18 (at least for British people, in NZ it’s your 21st that everyone goes bat shit for). So when all my excitement boiled down to a thin black strapped watch with a red minute had, that did one job (a job that my phone could do whilst also texting my friends), I was shocked. Shocked and kind of upset, I didn’t understand. Had I been naughty? Was this the birthday equivalent of Christmas coal?

I put on the face you are meant to put on, and said thank you kindly. I listened to the story about how fancy the watch was, how it was a ‘Mondaine’ and based on the Swiss railway clocks (basically it was a very sort after timepeice). And I still didn’t get it.

Six years on from then and I can’t for the life of me remember what I actually wanted for my birthday. No doubt it would have ended up in the bin or broken. But this watch remains (in almost perfect nick). To be honest I haven’t worn it loads (you see now my phone does even more things whilst telling me the time), but it has been coming out to play with my style more and more.

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I wouldn’t say it’s grown on me, I would say that I’ve grown into it. How was a teenager with peroxide blonde hair and a bad love affair with and overzealous side fringe ever going to see the importance (and beauty) of something so timeless (ha)? Now I look at this piece of history with awe. I lovingly waterproof the leather strap and even once got the battery changed (that’s a lot of up keeping for a girl who’s previously mentioned dyed hair quickly turned into an “ombré” ‘do of it’s own accord). What once sat in a box barely looked at, is now a common feature on my wrist, nestled between my stacks of neon beads (hey, I’ve still got a bit of that eighteen-year-old class in me).

I think watches are making a come back. I think the world of fashion is starting to welcome these gorgeously simple and functional pieces back into its life like a long lost lover. It’s the Baby G trend of the 00s, but with less pink plastic and more rustic leather. Ladies, throw away those cellphones (ok, don’t be too dramatic here, maybe just chuck them in your bag) because a sign of the real fashion elite is no longer a stunning pair of Louboutins, but a designer (somewhat oversized) watch.

Or maybe I am just getting old enough to finally appreciate a “classic”. Shit. Pretty sure it’s all down hill from here.

NB A terribly belated thank you to my parents, who seem to have (yet again) aced it on the present giving. Even if it took my class a few years to catch up.

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Mondayitis

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I seemed to have just skipped out on that ancient tale of waiting by the phone for a guy to call. You know, the one that features in romcom classics, made for desperate women around the globe? And, before you judge me, it’s not because boys always called, it’s because by the time puberty hit me (and boys hit my raider) texting was the thing.

For some reason I think text communication (or rejection) is a little easier to handle. You can text other people as a distraction, you can take your mobile with you when you’re out (to eliminate the fear off missing that all important beep), or you can even text the illusive party to relieve some of the tension. (Followed, of course, by huge amounts of self loathing because you ‘broke’ the illusion of playing hard to get).

Well, ladies of the pre-text era. I’m feelin’ ya.

No, the boy hasn’t gone array. He’s still here (not much texting though, more grunting). I’m talking about potential employers. Sending my blood sweat and tears (aka work-to-date for the less dramatic of my readers) into an automated email black hole is starting to get a little heart breaking.

I’m constantly checking my gmail, my phone and my LinkedIn for news from London shores. Hell, I’ve even started to over analyse my blog readership stats to see if I can somehow spy my future boss’s googling me.

They haven’t.

Questions fill me up, like “am I not good enough for you?” or “maybe I should just ring them?” and the age old “what if they lost my number?”. I am turning into every female character in He’s Just Not That Into You, except my hair isn’t as shiny.

So, this Monday I would freaking love my inbox to be full of responses to my beacons of hope sent in the direction of the UK. Or at least just ONE email that isn’t spam.

NB If you are in fact a potential employer reading this, I’m totally cool and laid back I swear. This post is just a total joke. If you email me, and I respond within 30 seconds it’s totally just because I was already online. I swear.

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Mondayitis

MondayCoffee

This morning I am not beating around the bush. There is no witty way to package it, and no amount of clothing lusting to cure it. The only thing to cure my mondayitis, is coffee.

You can throw gorgeous, designer dresses at me until I look like Joey from that episode in Friends when he wears all of Chandlers clothes at once (minus underwear), but it won’t do. Because all I want is a real caffeine hit.

It’s barmy outside and I want to walk around naked (I hear its inappropriate or something). But I don’t care. Halfway through this glorious trip, and the only words that are falling out of my mouth right now are complete gibberish and sound (or look) something like “blahblahblah CRAZY HOT LIKE A CRAZY THING blah”.

Between overnight trains, jet lag, and nights that are screamingly hot, sleep is at an all time low. I am craving the taste of my sweet local brew to pump me full of the energy needed to see me through this incredible Cambodian morning.

Next time you are in Auckland, hit up my three favourite coffee joints for your glorious taste of a “proper coffee” as my mother puts it. (A “proper coffee” being one made in a fancy machine, rather than that “instant stuff”.)

Rad This Mount Eden spot is the new kid on the block, and they use Wellington born Flight Coffee in there technicolour cafe. These beans have a deep, caramel-y hit to them and my pick off the menu would have to be the classic Latte. The endless creamy milk will lap up the richness of the shot. Also worth a note, are the scrum my smoothies.

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Twenty Three This little gem was right next door to me, so I had a wee soft spot for it. Not only are the brunch options stella, but the short black is a must try, and the amazing staff will know your order after only a few visits.

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The Espresso Coffee School A ‘gift economy’ cafe (basically, you pay what you think your item is worth, rather than having a set price – food included), which has a rotation of uni students all learning the ropes of the coffee machine. This a pokey place is always stuffed full of business men and suit clad ladies on their way to work, not only because it’s cheap (or you can make it cheap), but because, under the watchful eyes of the owner, those kids are making pretty damn good baristas. Go there and try the kiwi traditional Flat White for a “proper coffee” with a full bodied flavour. If you don’t like it? Don’t pay!

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Pimple cures, ego deflating and my (new) bestie.

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You know that phrase, the one featured in like every sappy 90s love song (or any love song at all for that matter), the one about not knowing what you’ve got… ‘Till it’s gone? Well I’m suffering from that a little right now. To friends and family back home – you can stop that head of yours getting any bigger, because I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about lemons.

Yup. Do you know how hard it is to hunt down a damn lemon in Asia? I don’t know if I’m looking in all the wrong places (and yes, I looked in fruit shops, supermarkets and even asked at restaurants), but I could barely find any. This doesn’t sound like much of a drama right? Well, I guess it’s not on the scale of life events (weddings, children and lemon draughts will probably make my obituary), but it has made me realise that lemons are one bloody brilliant fruit.

For the last 12 months in NZ I’ve been consistently guzzling a glass of water with the juice from half a lemon and a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar every morning (except a few hungover occasions that we won’t talk about). To be honest, I didn’t really understand the good it was doing me. I just kind of did it, because (like any good blogger) I read somewhere online that it’s super duper for all things digestive and helps out your skin too. (And yes, if the internet told me to jump off a bridge, I probably would do that as well).

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As much as I wanted to squeeze 9 weeks worth of lemons and ACV into my luggage, the boy had already been lenient with my packing quoter (he double checked the necessity of each item in my bag and even let me keep the third pair of shoes), so I decided to test my life – lemon free. Well, you know what? My life is oh-so much better with a little acid in the morning.

Even just a few days in from my morning ritual hiatus, I notices more spots. A week in and my skin tone was hella blotchy, and food was aching my tummy (this could also be because I’m traveling south East Asia… Or, you know, lemons are magic). Three weeks in and I’m reminded of my sixteen year old self, and not in a good way (in a hormones expressing themselves through my pores sort of way).

As well as doing wonders for your skin, lemons claim to boost your immune system (with all that tasty vitamin C), balance out your PH levels (aiding healthy digestion and knocking out toxins) and even reduce inflammation in joints!

So, when I stumble upon these citrus fruits on my journeys around the orient, Im buying as many as I think will stay good, and strapping them to the side of my already overflowing pack. I’ve even started using the juice directly on a pimple to clear it up quick (when I’m done drinking it obviously).

To all you people who are spending up large on fancy name skincare brands that promise to rid you of acne for life, save a buck or two and go to your local grocers* to pick up some lemons. Maybe some apple cider vinegar too – but that’s a love story for a different day.

*unless your in Asia, then good luck to ya!

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Mondayitis

MondayTee

My time as a Fashion Editor is often spent in pursuit of the archetypal wardrobe must have. And, although I can never quite cut that list down from my 387 strong clothing collection, to some what more manageable number (like 10), there is one piece that I’m even more convinced than ever should be in everybodies (men and women alike – hell, maybe even small dogs too) closet… I’m talking (of course) about the classic T-shirt.

This Monday, like so many before it, I felt like I had nothing to wear. My traveling pack has began mimicking my everyday wardrobe; it’s stuffed, scrunched and piled high with a tousled mix of clean and dirty clothes (and some “undecided”), all of which just don’t seem quite right for the day ahead. But you know what would fix that? Whether you too are living out of a suitcase, or a badly organised wardrobe? The perfectly fitting, loose but not-too-loose, T-shirt.

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For me it would fix the dilemma that comes with temple touring – it’s so freaking hot, but you have to cover your knees and shoulders (and it would be an added bonus if you could still look cute for those travel pictures). For you it would master the art of looking chic and sophisticated at work (pair a crisp white tee with a well fitted blazer then layer up the statement necklaces).

Basically all sartorial choices would just be so much more enhanced with a T-shirt shaped partner.

So, please T-shirt gods, set me up with a good scoop neck, cuffed sleeve, boyfriend fit, and I will be forever in your grey marl debt. And officially snapped out of my Monday morning blues too.

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Mondayitis

MondayLeopard

It is Monday, although (just to rub it in) days of the week are kind of smooshing (yup, that is a word) into one big unidentifiable blob right now. After four blissful nights at a beautiful beach resort, I have not one tiny inkling of Mondayitis… but being the lovely and giving human that I am (hey – I saw that eye roll) I’ve been thinking about some nifty things that could brighten the start of your week.

I’m about to head onto an overnight train from Ko Lanta to Bangkok, to see my family. (Yes, yes, I can hear you all gasping… I’ve only just left them, how am I already homesick? Well, don’t underestimate the power of my “mummy/daddies girl” combo. If the boy would let me, I’d probably try and fit them both in my back pack.) My mother is celebrating a pretty big birthday (woop, woop – happy twenty first mum) and as a family, we are coming together in Thailand to have a knees up just for her.

To keep up with these celebrations, I thought I would do what every good daughter does for her mother on her birthday – disobey her. You see, my mother used to tell me that tattoos were for sailors or prostitutes, and animal print was tacky*. Well, last year I got a tattoo, so I guess it’s time I whipped out my best Mrs Robinson impression, don’t you? Leopard print has long since left the realms of cougar-only wardrobes and has been seriously welcomed into the fashion elite (not that it ever left Donattela’s life).

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Just like Kate and Wills’, denim and leopard is a match made in heaven. The love affair between two heavy duty fabrics is the fashion equivalent of a commoner marrying into the royal family. The play of dressy vs casual, of plain vs out there, and of workwear vs um…play-wear… (?) strikes a brilliant balance. Taking the simple pairing of skinny jeans with a classic white tee and throwing on some (fake) animal skin heels really shakes up your look and lifts your style game. Other noteworthy partners for your lovely leopard pieces are camel (think traditional style trench) and leather (think texture combination to die for).

So, this Monday, in order to fight off your morning blues I suggest you all (maybe not you dad) throw on some animal inspired prints and act like Pippa isn’t the only hot piece of ass.

*Now, before I start getting angrily worded emails, please note that my mother has a fabulous sense of humour and this is a running family joke. NOT a comment meant to make sailors, prostitutes or wearers of animals cry.

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Mondayitis

MondayPinterest

Easily the hardest thing about packing up shop is leaving some precious people behind (that and having to cut my shoe collection down to three, way too practical, pairs). One of such people, who I’m missing like crazy this Monday, is my bestie. I love her (mushy-bel alert) for a million different reasons, but one of them is because she introduced me to Pinterest.

I also hate her for this.

For those of you not on Pinterest – whats up with that? You do know that it’s not just for people planning weddings right? There is literally an endless supply of beautiful fashion shots to inspire. It is like a beautiful home to build your perfect wardrobe… then just keep looking at it. Admiring it. Lusting after it.

So, while I live my life out of a backpack, in a miniature hostel room and in the same pair of cut offs everyday, I’m waisting away my early morning, jet-lagged, hours filtering through the outfits I wish I could be wearing (and owning).

To cure your Monday morning blues, check out my favourite fashion ‘pinners’, Elle, Lauren Santo Domingo and Rachel Gadiel  and get your wardrobe wish list flowing.

Mondayitis

MondayCoats

Despite the heat here in NZ, and the rather intimidatingly hot weather that will greet me off the plane tomorrow (yes, I said tomorrow… and yes I’m freaking out about it). All I can think about (mostly because I prescribe to the theory of “if your scared of something, ignore it and it will go away”), is what I will face when I finally finish my round the world adventures, and land in Europe.

Having lived in Auckland for 13 years, one thing I’ve very rarely needed is a coat. This will no longer be the case as I gear up for British winters (hell, even British summers). And to be honest? I bloody love dressing for the chilly seasons. Don’t get me wrong, hot sunny weather is great, but in winter I physically get to wear more clothes – win.

Drowning in cashmere, swaddled in chunky knits and investing in buttery soft leather as I sip on my Monday morning coffee – the life inside my head right now is pretty damn perfect.

What would complete the winter wonderland I’m creating is an all-engulfing coat. The kind that’s pretty much a dress, is very much oversized and looks best with a chunky belt (think Coco Chanel styles). I recon coats like this, in either bold prints or scream-your-head-off loud colours, will be big for winter months to come.

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With a backpack filled to the brim with flip flops, tanks and shorts, I’m well and truly terrified of the heat wave I’m spending the next two months playing in. So, in line with my amazing avoidance theory, I’m dreaming of nestling up by the fire, and falling into a coat (that will probably be bigger than my London apartment).

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