Is it just me who sometimes feels they have stumbled into a life they hadn't planned?
Not all the time.
Mostly I like it, and I recognise that being at home with the kids is a luxury many women - and men - long for but can't afford.
But... it's not what I expected to be doing.
I expected to continue my career, to use my education and professional training and skills.
I think these are now so rusty after years of disuse as to be non-existent.
I'm good at making a tit of myself though, that's a skill I still use regularly, to keep it sharp.
In case any of you UK gals are wondering, these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago. I haven't become so unhinged as to wear a winter coat on a warm sunny day.
Not yet anyway...
The original intention behind these pics was a jokey look - sexy neutrals! post, since my disdain for beige and camel and neutrals in general is common knowledge to most of you.
But the photos... oh dear, the photos gave me pause.
I look sad. Not just in a Chronic Bitchface way, but properly downhearted, dispirited, tired and old.
So I shelved the idea.
1970s Alexon wool/faux fur coat, 1960s slip, sunglasses and faux pearls - charity shopped
Bangles - gift from my favourite freckleface Tania
Lurex fishnets - gift from darling skip-filling Vix
Shoes - retail, ancient
Just so you know, I am not meaning to denigrate the hard work and valuable contributions of stay-at-home mothers.
It just isn't what I anticipated for myself, and now I seem a little stuck with a role in which I'm not sure I am either effective or satisfied. This is a view I hold about myself, no one else.
Don't mind me; in a couple of days I'll be whizzing round the charity shops, selling on Ebay, helping out at school, feeling more productive, and counting my blessings, of which there are many.
I credit blogging, a less provocative equivalent of Lucy Jordan's urge to run naked through the shady streets, screaming all the way, with helping me avoid her fate on the Paris rooftop. I adore this song, but had no idea when I first heard it in 1979, that I would come to identify with Lucy's story.
Funny how things turn out.
Oh good grief, give me slap or a shake in your comments, snap me out of this!
I don't feel at my most visible, but I'm taking my angst and my neutrals over to Patti's as usual. She may throw me out for being a misery but it's a risk I'm prepared to take!
First of all, you don't look sad. You look wistful and elegant and romantic. I am so right there with you, Curtise. How many times have I slogged my way through some sort of school function or wandered aimlessly down the aisles of the supermarket and wondered "How the F#%k did I get here?" But like you I adore my kids and know that they are very lucky to have had me at home and I am lucky to have had the time with them. There is still time, my dear, for you to have an awesome career. In fact, you may have already found it. Your blog. It's better than most of the novels I've read lately (& let me tell you, I have read quite a few) and far more entertaining than television and a constant source of inspiration. If I could afford to send you a paycheck, I would!
Not sad , not old - Beautiful!
Life takes some strange and not so exepted turns with us ...
It's not just you. I have no idea how I ended up here. It is not at all the life of romantic adventure I spent my childhood dreaming of.
Before I go on, I must say I think you look beautiful in these pictures Curtise, beautiful, sexy, enigmatic.
I agree with Connie, there is time to reinvent yourself in your work life when the time comes and it can be odd how opportunities present themselves. Plus, we can all always learn new things to add to our skill set, then the rust falls off. But you are entirely justified in feeling how you feel and it's OK to say it too. Looking forward to meeting up again soon. xxxxxxx
I am living proof that you can lead a fun, vibrant life after you send the kids off into the world. I am so glad I took the time to pour into my children...now it is MY TIME and a little Grandma Time...but I am loving every minute. Do not lament..your time will come and what you are doing is so important. YOUR LOOK GREAT in these photos...so be of good cheer!
Gosh we all have days like this. I often wonder what the hell happened to all the fun/exciting things I was going to do and how the hell I ended up in my 40's with very little to show for it, but believe me if I can start again from scratch in a job I hadn't a clue what I was doing in at first anyone can!
Just remember we all think you are fab even if you don't always see it. x
You look fabulous! I understand the feeling even though our circumstances may be different. This week I've sort of been feeling indifferent about everything, even blogging. I hope in a couple of days we both will be feeling like we're on top of the world. I love your pics!
"I'm good at making a tit of myself though, that's a skill I still use regularly, to keep it sharp". oh how you make me laugh. and so weird i'm familiar with those lyrics but i don't remember the song at all?!!
i think 'don't fight it feel it' would be my thought on the matter. emotions are meant to signal things and push us to places we might not go without 'em aren't they. and who want to be a stepford wife anyway-i like complicated people, they're more interesting: and funny!
I think I started early with my existential crisis. I was about 29 when I first started questionning my life and wondering how the hell I got here. I think all women (and men) have times like that. Thankfully I'm at a point now where I am enjoying being a mum and realise how lucky I am to have what I have. Parenting is the hardest and most underestimated job in the world. It's unpaid, unrecognised and comes at a huge cost to your physicial and emotional wellbeing. Still, it's one of the most important things you'll ever do. You clearly have 3 happy, well adjusted children and that's a huge achievement and a positive contribution to society. And, I don't think you look tired at all. You look sumptuous in that darling pink slip xxxx
wow we are so not seeing the same woman...I look at these pics and see nothing but spunk and sass and a whole lot of style. chin up love!. the mundane parts only make the exciting times better! x
ps nice boobies!! :)
oh firstly you look gorgeous! secondly motherhood is like that! I dreamt i would be maria and would be singing on mountain tops with harmonising kids all dancing in unison in their hand-sewn matching outfits! the reality sees me most days coming out of hiding and begging for the nazi's to shoot! hugs xxxx
Hmm, I was leading a fun filled life, working as a TV producer, I was invited to a lot of functions and shows. Now no more working and living abroad with not too many friends on the same wave length, some days can be really low.. thanks to blogging, I find myself partying with you ladies in Blogsphere! Hope you feel better soon, you should when you are looking so hot in this outfit!
GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)
I think you look like Mata Hari or some other mysterious femme fatale. And look at that sexy dress and cleavage! You have a lot of great years ahead of you, but it makes sense to plan for them. I often think, how the hell did I end up working in a boring office job in a medium-sized, mediocre town? And the answer is, I didn't plan, I didn't apply myself, I didn't take opportunities that I could have. Enjoy your kids - that is precious time - and plan for what you'll do when they don't need you at home.
I think you look mysterious, sexy and a little edgy here, not dispirited at all, but only you know what's going on inside. I have so much respect for mothers, not being one myself, and for the million and one skills you need to help your kids turn out ok. You do need your own things too, of course, and that's what we're here for : 0 Thanks for linking up, and love, hugs and kisses to you.
Oh, Curtise, and my first thought was that you looked beautiful and very mysterious! I love that first picture. I have always wanted to stay home with my children, so I got a job working at home. Good grief. Talk about tiring!! But I would not trade those years I had with them when they were little!!
I hear ya! The other day it dawned on me that I moved away from California in 1982! And that I've been living in a place for 25 years that I don't like. Thank god I have a loving husband and a job I like. Next year, if the stars aline and everything works out as planned, we're moving back Home. If I can sound like a total idiot for a moment: the sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow will be a better day blah blah..........
Such a lovely cleavage you have, my dear! And, yes, many years ago I felt this very angst you describe...and went on to become a published author and college instructor. Life can take the strangest turns. What was your field prior to all the little ones?
Hey you! *virtual slap!*
No just kidding - you are QUITE ENTITLED to feel that way. If your look inspired that fit of melancholy that's OK.. I actually think you look rather gorgeous!
I can wholeheartedly related to every word you say. I DID imagine myself to be here though (SAHM), although, I had little IDEA what it would ACTUALLY be like!.. ie harder than anyone could imagine if they didn't already experience it! Hard. but I wouldn't have it any other way.
And a brilliant writer.
OMG you look so sexy and mysterious in the coat and the sunglasses!! You make me think of a Hitchcock heroine. To be honest, I am not sure what role I have ever anticipated for myself either. For someone wearing neutrals I think you are highly visible, not just your gorgeous figure, but also your thoughtful words. xx
I think you look a bit wistful, perhaps lost in thought, but also very sexy in that wrap coat with the fur collar. It may be a neutral colour, but it channels a jaded french woman who has just dumped her lover and is wondering if she made the right choice.
I remember being obsessed with that Marianne Faithful song when I turned 37! I think that if we have any self-awareness and a reasonable intelligence, we are given to question whether our lives are what we had hoped, planned, or expected them to be. I never thought when I was 20 that I the life I have now was where I was headed. I wish I would have been braver in my choices when I was younger, butI can make up for that lack of courage in the choices I make now (like blogging).
I prefer to subscribe to the french view of "Je Ne Regrette Rien". You may not be living the life you expected, but you have created a full life in which you care for your family and support your community, have a means of creative self-expression, and friends all over the world who think you're pretty awesome. Not bad, I think.
Lady, sad or sexy, bright or neutral, you are ALWAYS to the party.
I love the coat- in fact have recently bought 3 beige coats- yeah I'm a girl who's avoided beige her whole life (I am beige ferchrisake) but a nice tan sure does look classy.
Funny thing- up until the internet- I didn't think I was born in the best time. But now...how lucky are we? We can connect soul to soul, shirt to shirt from across the pond, and lady, I am sure glad!
Maybe you can use your profesh skills even at home- write a book!
after ALWAYS, please insert welcome.
I should proof read more.
PS: You are beautiful. I love how you are so in real life, and how you might shine in your brights but you still stand out in your tans.
You make neutrals look glamorous, mysterious and sexy. Your writing is eloquent and your sense of humor is a gift to us all. So though you are having a difficult day, you always brighten mine.
Hi Curtise.....I have read your post and had to go away to think about it.....
First no slaps just a big hug.
I think we all find that the reflection of who we are and what we are doing hits us.......
Maybe the beige and neutral are the metaphor for the parts of you that want to run and scream.
All I know is that you are beautiful inside and out.....I find my self smiling at the screen so many times when I read your blog, you are a caring, kind and intelligent woman. Take care sweet.....you are touching many hearts, not just the little poppets at home. love V
Snap out of it sharp-titted Agent 38D. Do you WANT to blow your cover? (I hear you quip, "Yeah, well, it depends how handsome he is...") Sorry, this calls for desperate humour.
I see you are wearing your Emergency Ops uniform. Ah, very clever, distracting the enemy with your mighty cleavage and gorgeousness. That's why you were always Top of the Class.
Paris is still there, and so are the sportscars and the warm winds in our hair. We get up, we put on awesome clothes because we can, and that's a lot more than many people can say. You DO NOT look old!! We travel wherever we want in our heads and you help me get there. I adore you and your blog.
So continue to fight the good fight, 38D, we in the Commonwealth nations depend on you! xo
I read your post when I was just out of bed and still in a fog, but I've been thinking about it all morning while getting everyone up and ready Curtise. First of all, you look wistful and touching in these photos, maybe a bit more vulnerable than usual, but not old and dispirited, I don't see that, though I can really relate to that feeling myself! I know exactly what you mean about identifying with that song when you didn't before, that happens to me with all kinds of things, "Muriel's Wedding" is one of my favourite films and for years I identified with Muriel, but recently it's her mum whose story strikes a chord with me, I don't know if you've seen the film or not, but it's not good that I often feel like my life is like her mum's! I hope by the time you're reading this you're feeling happier, we all have these blips so you aren't alone, and these comments hopefully make you realise how much love there is for you here in Blogland, plus the fact some of them are very funny, Melanie's really made me laugh, Agent 38D. And I agree with other commenters, you aren't just a mum and a housewife, you're a Blogger with a capital B, and a damn good one, I could easily see you taking your writing further when you're ready. xx
I love the heavy coat over the peticoat, ahhhhhhhh. Must try.
I also stayed home looking after the girls. Later on , my husband stayed home and I worked. From the moment they were born we knew they had to become first until they could fly solo and believe me it has paid; although I understand how you feel.
Much love goddess.
We all understand where you are coming from my darling Curtise. As you have said we do understand and appreciate that we can afford to stay at home and be with our children and look after our family home, but modern women need modern lives and I do think that that involves another form of validation, be it a job or a course to study, something to help us feel less like repressed 19th century women at home. We have come to accept working as a normal way of life and I think that those of us who can be homemakers feel a little lost with no job title! This of course is just my opinion and my intention is not to upset anyone.
All we can do is shake ourselves out of it, and look to what we can do to change that feeling and not just put it in a locked box inside just for it too escape in the future. We remember that we are the lucky ones xx
I admire your honesty. The world is still a place where people who opt to spend time looking after children or dependants are undervalued.
At the age of 37, I happened to be backpacking in Paris, and it didn't matter that I wasn't in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair, because I was where I wanted to be at that time.
Your writing and photography is so inspirational.
Oh Curtise, count your blessings! If I had cleavage like that I would never stop smiling! You look gorgeous! xxxx
I know just how you have been feeling lovely I to have felt the same at times over the past 2 years. And I think its ok to feel like this its all part of our journey as mothers everything in life is about timing and we all get to where we need to be in the end positive thinking and all that. You look gorgeous as always, sending you a hug, dee xxxx
I'm the 40th comment! hope i weight a bit in the balance of snap me out of it!
I's ok to feel blue sometimes, i do too, even tough I'm spoiled rottern, have no financial worries at all, nice family, work is great so far...just human nature i guess, it will go away, it good to express your frustrations- Stay home Moms don't get lots of glory, they should especially a Mom like you!
Cool outfit you got there, sexy, the coat and petticoat wow!
I adore Marianne Faithfull and this is the first time I listen carefully to Lucy Jordan'd lyrics and loved them! I'd like to be in Paris but I'm glad with what I've got, especially my daughters and yes sometimes we just have to be happy with our unplanned lives or at least try to improve them!You look fabulous in your coat and pink slip and if our blogs are just like running free in the wind, well we should keep on writing and dreaming!
One of my very favorite Marianne Faithfull songs...I love the bit about being 37 and never riding in a sports car in Paris with the wind in her hair:( I'm still trying to that same thing in Italy:). I think this outfit accidently worked because it sure has a mood. I do see the sadness in these pictures intended or not and I really like the feelings these images evoke in you.
I never stop being amazed at how small decisions cause huge change. I have walked away and started over my life at least 5 times. It feels safe to say I finally see myself right where I should be. I say make a small change in a new direction. I think what you are feeling is totally normal and healthy, it's when people deny how they feel that leads to trouble.
Care to trade lives for a day? I bet those kids would drive me crazy, in a good way:)
I was going to offer a sensible comment but I caught sight of your magnificent boobs and all my thoughts flew out of the window.
You look gorgeous in beige - and that is an achievement! The panty-ho fishnets, T-bar shoes and red lippy make you smoulder.
It's never too late to change direction, start anew and do something daring just wait until after the 6th June 'cos I've just bought my ticket!
Being a mystic I predict a boozy pub lunch and lots of insane suggestions! xxxxxxxx
In a society where mums that choose to focus on parenting are undervalued at best and derided at worst, it would be surprising if you DON'T sometimes feel that your talents are wasted Curtise. I've also chosen to spend my time and energies with my children and watched my career ebb away but I don't regret it for much more than the odd instant. Like you, I consider it a real privilege to have been able to choose that option and the happiness and fulfilment I've got from it has been so much more than my stress-filled, undervalued previous life as a graphic designer. As the children have grown older I've been able to start my own business which has given me a real sense of achievement - and I can see that you have many talents you could harness when you're ready. Big hugs from me and I want you to know that I admire you enormously. Vicky xx
I has a sad 'cause you has a sad!
The problem with going for jokey in this case is that you look so *heroine-noir* ... straight out of an early 60s crime film. French, maybe! I expect Humphrey Bogart to come around the fence at any second to rescue you!
You did it too well to be funny, I think. (I hate chiming in so late as everyone else has already used all the best words ... mysterious, enigmatic.) The look goes beyond sexy to cinematic!
I love the idea of beiges and blushes ... but they are not my best color-friends either. (We probably shouldn't be mean to colors ... they don't deliberately make us look like poo!)
Its a daily battle here to recognize and attach meaning to the life Dan and I have constructed down here in Bumfuzzle, Nowhere. We don't really belong, or fit in where we live, nor do either one of us use our degrees in professional ways, so we often wonder how we wound up here.
But then you love the people you love and carry on.
We love you, and please remember that we know best when we say how wonderful you are. You are among the coolest women I've ever met.
Let's just get out of the way that you look like a stunning 30's movie siren in one of those pre-code films in your slip and coat--
I totally get you and what you're going through. I didn't have enough time to just be a mom (thank you alcoholic ex-husband)and now I sit here trapped in this soul-sucking job wondering if life is passing me by. Can't quit cuz I am currently the breadwinner (Lauren was unemployed for almost 2 years and is essentially starting over career-wise-which also sucks)
The fibro zaps almost all of my energy these days so I just can't seem to do enough creative stuff or art or such after i get home from work. I spend an inordinate amount of time in the recliner like a slug.
I'm looking forward to retiring so I have time to do what I want.
enjoy the littles whilst you can. One day they will be grown and gone.....
I love that song. Funnily enough I had hoped to be a stay at home mum but ended working all the way through my four children growing up.
Hi my love!
I too have been, shall we say, 'fated' by circumstances that affect my daily life. I do sometimes give up. I have found that when I try to look around and see how worse things could get, I try to stop and give myself permission to bitch, then go on another day. Good for you! Authenticity is so lacking in our society. I appreciate your honesty. A full life is one we can make in our minds sometimes, but some days can just seem really hard.
Hugs and thoughts your way my dear!
Love the pearls. You look tough and idiosyncratic, not tired. Tired from a life of partying!
Such wonderful Hitchcock-look!
I think that everyone who came before me said it well. Now you just need to take heart. Feel the love and support flowing your way and think of some way to use it for your "own good". You look elegant and wistful and romantic... so take a second look at yourself and see what we all see.
RE: that coat...I own a very similar one but mine is rust colored and I LOVE it to death. Truly, the fox fur is a big mangled now. LOL
Look at all your internet support! See how much you are cared for?
You have all this, for the woman you are, and because as well as the well-taken picture (talent# 1), you have such a talent for writing (# 2) which brings is all along with you, not feeling left out or a bit misunderstood, whether you are talking about real honest feelings or things you have bought at an antiques market.
Whatever you do, and whether you are needing to focus yourself elsewhere for a while, you will always have these talents... and you can draw on them on in a flash when you are able to leave the small people to their own devices...
and I like these pictures very much. I see a beautiful woman xxx
You look so amazing in this coat and that wonderful vintage slip! I agree with many of the commenters - do something for you and then move on. Our lives are all the little choices we made - we can't regret who we've become.
You do look sexy in your neutrals. I'm not usually a fan of beige or camel either but that coat is fabulous. I can't really relate because I don't have kids, but I'm not sure anyone's life turns out like they plan it to. I certainly didn't plan to be unemployed with two degrees and a massive student loan when I started uni six years ago.
You look frigging GORGEOUS and HAWT and SEXACIOUS!!!!
I wouldn't think that there's many out there who don't wonder how they came to be where they are! I am grateful you are on my screen most days, if that helps!
You totally rock my world,baby!\
LOVE AND COCKTAILS!
Great images, you look absolutely fantastic! What a lovely coat and slip, the ensemble looks particularly brilliant against the brick wall.
I can sort of identify with you in some ways. I certainly didn't expect to be in a boring job that does not challenge me one iota at my stage of life. After working full-time for thirty four years I am rather fed up with it and the idea of being at home sounds so appealing.
My fault entirely for not working harder at school and not being driven. I think what you are doing is the best gift you can give your children. I too, think I look tired and old, btw YOU Don't! Maybe it's a bit of the middle-aged miseries or the crappo weather that's making us glum ?? Your 'thrups' are rather magnificent displayed in that petticoat, resplendent with gorgeous pearls. Bet there was curtain twitching going on that day!xx
I love these photos, the coat is beautiful, I like camel and of course you'll never look boring in neutrals. The slip and the shoes and really gorgeous too... and what about that hair! wow! How'd you do that? Don't worry, things will pick up, there's something round the corner that's perfect for you, maybe you need a new project or a course or there's a job you hadn't though of? Don't listen to Lucy Jordan again though, that's such a depressing song. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
it's stunning how you've managed all that beiges and neutrals to look decadently sexy with a flapper twist!
And I think sometimes how unpredictable is my actual bureaucratic work, when I was a so anarchist young girl!, but I don't care too much about what was predictable or not!, life is what we decide to do now!
besos & enjoy everymoment Just Now!!!
Very lovely jacket and the outfit is awesome.
So sorry you're sad. Does it help to say that you do look very glamourous despite the sadness?
I abandoned my career for no good reason, went back to it after a few years & then abandoned it again. I could see why I had wanted out. When the time is right something will come along for you - life's a bit like that & you've lots of talent, your blog shows that.
Hope you're feeling better.xx
I think we all have those feelings, and then feel guilty for having them. And then feel a bit sad and out of place again. Bloody vicious circle! When I am racing madly after all of my clan, ensuring they are all fed, clothed, happy, etc, I have that little voice inside screaming "What about me? Who is looking after me? I'm meant to be a princess!" But then we get a cuddle, an I love you, go op shopping and score a bargain or blog and the world brightens a bit.
I'm sorry I'm late to commenting on this post.
First thing I don't think you look sad at all I think you loo sexy and romantic in a lovely soft sort of way.
Secondly you're entitled to your feelings. I must say when I worked full time I was utterly frustrated that I didn't have time to indulge my mind, hands, heart in creative and collective pursuits. I'm so pleased for me that being at home with my kids also affords me that time albeit around them to do what I want and not be suppressed by a conventional work environment. So I understand the feelings of women like yourself who are feeling that now after being at home. All I can say is it truly is never to late to chase your dreams and desires. Just go for it. X
first love the gatsby vibe you have going on here
second- life is never about expectations! my life has recently been turned upside by a family crisis that i couldn't have seen coming...ever!
enjoy those healthy children and count your blessings!
You know, I think it's my first visit here, and I think I've dropped by on an off day. Fortunately, we are in blogland, and you neither have to shut the door on my face, or try and make awkward conversation. You do look sad, but I hope it is indeed a fleeting feeling. I myself, am living an unplanned life. And yes, it certainly has it's ups and downs. So, if it's any consolation, you are not alone and let's hope it's the little things like reading the blogs of like-minded souls that help carry us along. Sending you a big cyber hug.
I think this is a sexy look!! I did NOT plan on being a stay/work from home mom either and sometimes it's a little shocking when I stop and think about my daily life-- it's just so not me!! Yet, it is totally ME lolzzz. All I would add is a drink and ciggy and you'd be a movie star in these pics!! (At least, that's how I'd film you in the movie in my head. Is it weird that I'm casting you in a pretend movie?)
If you look at my blog posts pre-September 2012 you will notice sadness all over me. In my face, in my poses, in my outfits. I know I was living a life that was wrong for me on so many levels.
I describe my life as being like a snow globe at was sitting on a shelf for years until someone came along and gave it a good shake. Now I'm "getting to happy".
Love the coat, you look fabulous! This is a timeless item.
blue hue wonderland
I hope you are feeling better by now. Just remember we all have our own problems- remember what I told you about my office life and that I felt like a miserable cow all too often? You really don't want to do that either.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to get your spirits up :)
Much love from boring old G town hehehe
Jesus, you are stunning, Curtise! You take my breath away. You have mad skillz in so many areas, and can do anything you put your mind to.
I hope this is the start of a lingerie meme...:D
Oh darling. If you could only see yourself through my eyes. You do NOT look tired to me... you look absolutely beautiful. Sophisticated and divine and amazing and Wonderwoman.
I know you're fine. I know this is ancient history by now. But just to reiterate - I AM TEAM CURTISE! I think you're an amazing woman, a wonderful wit, a fabulous friend, a marvellous mother and gorgeous, to boot.
Reel life is so hard at times. Luckily we have drugs and music and frocks and each other.
Love, Sarah xxx
My brain literally just exploded at my reelly bad typo in previous comment. I know you'll forgive me. Right?
I thought you looked very sexy, actually, and I freaking love the coat. Oh Curtise. Rant/lament to me any time you feel this way, because chances are I do. Of course we love our children, but you can't say that being a stay-at-home-mom doesn't come with a TRUCKLOAD of sacrifice. I was just online the other day looking up local available jobs. Kinda considering..Whatever. Anyhow, I felt like I didn't have the skills for ANY of them, and in the meantime, my husband has worked his way up out of a stock room of a department store, and he has "titles," and bonuses, and I got called an idiot today because I wouldn't let Jack go to school in a shirt with a pudding stain on it that the washing machine didn't get out.
I felt every word you wrote.
I think you look beautiful Curtise but I know how it is when you can't see that, maybe because we're always too close to ourselves and life gets in the way and clouds our vision xxx
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