Tag Archives: blogging

What should have been.

Tonight’s blog should have been about fears, what shapes them and how they impact our daily lives. It was a carefully constructed article (If I do say so myself) that tackled the issues of childhood trauma and facing those fears. Then unfortunately WordPress happened. Thanks to a issue saving the article the whole thing was deleted. I’m not a huge tech whiz so there may be a small chance that it was my fault somehow but I’m trying to not cry so let’s just leave it at that.

Instead you may consider yourself having read a terrific article and are now thinking, “Wow! That’s probably the best thing I’ve ever read on the internet.” I’m trying to cheer myself up here if you will indulge a girl. Anyway, if you find my article zooming about cyber space feel free to nab it and prove me wrong.

This isn’t the greatest thing you’ll read on the internet but at least it’s a tribute 😉

In the meantime I’d like to continue on the theme of fear with a few words:

They sow doubt and plague our minds. 

Fears hold us back; routed deep in our design.

A time comes when we don’t have a choice.

They come at us full on with a screaming voice.

Then we decide to run or to fight.

Do we give in to that all consuming fright?

Face them for the sake of those who rely.

Face them or at least give it a try.

Enjoy this? Read more articles from Vivika Widow by clicking HERE 

Coming 2020

Bring my your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with, for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.

Click HERE to pre order.

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Character Profile: Kieran Mack

Age: 37

Occupation: Unemployed (technically)

Features in: KNOCK KNOCK ; HARBOUR HOUSE

Kieran is the eldest Son of MACK AND SONS brewery. However, his age didn’t make him the natural successor of his father, BRENDAN MACK. Instead the distillery will pass to second born son, PADDY. The reason for this is that of his brothers Kieran is the most erratic. He has shirked responsibility for as long as he can remember and truthfully he too agrees that the lead of the distillery should fall to the more capable son.

The Macks had their reserved table at the Knock Knock waiting for them when a long hard day at the distillery had drawn to an end. Kieran would be especially excited when he heard favourite Knock Knock girl would be on hand. They called her Big Diane (or Double D) and her party trick was being able to serve drinks from underneath her large breasts. For Kieran’s 25th birthday THE BARONESS had treated him to having Diane use her breasts to break water melons on his chest, Kierans favourite part of the party piece.

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The Mack Distillery, located on Love Street in Bellfield.

That’s not to say that Kieran isn’t without his merit. The Mack and Sons form such a tight unit because of their loyalty to each other. Kieran may be the first to cause a headache for them but he is also the first there on hand to help when trouble arrives on Love Street. He will follow Paddy’s lead to the death if need be and should anyone believe he is a weak link in the Mack chain they would be mistaken. Brimming with the Mack spirit of fighting to the end Kieran may let his mouth run away with him most times but he will not go down without a fight.

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Kieran will always stand by his family.

It is no secret there is a strong bond between the KNOCK KNOCK club and theMACK AND SONS brewery. The Macks have supplied the booze and the club supplied the entertainment. For Kieran the bond was stronger than that. For him it was an extension of an already large family. As his father always told him, “yer an eejit but yer family and family is what is important.”

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Brendan Mack head of the Mack clan.

Coming 05.02.2020

The Mack and Sons reserved table was filled. An attack on the Knock Knock club would leave the rehab facility HARBOUR HOUSE picking up the pieces.

Click HERE to pre order.

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Complete Season 1 of the Knock Knock graphic novel series is free to read HERE.

Or click HERE to download for Kindle.

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My Earliest Memory

I have a terrible memory at the best of times so why, you may ask, have I chosen to write about my earliest one? Just how far back can I go?

Despite having a shocking memory there are those moments that just stick. One such memory is of something that happened to me when I was about 5 years old. It’s probably not as far back as many of you can go and probably not technically my earliest memory but it certainly did stand out for me.

My mother had explained to me that she was going to visit an aunt. Letty her name was. I had never heard my mum mention this aunt before and I had certainly never met her. I was in and out of hospital a lot as a kid so I was familiar with all the hospitals in the area. The one I was taken to to see Letty wasn’t so much a hospital as a care home. It was private, beautiful with elaborate gardens. The lighting wasn’t as harsh as a hospital normally would be. The nurses weren’t wearing NHS uniforms. There was hospital beds though. That was when I was introduced to Letty. As I said I had never met this woman before in my life. Mum seemed to know her real well though. She was incredibly sick. She had an oxygen mask on and kept drifting in and out of sleep. Mum spoke to the carers but I watched Letty, comfortable, clean and surrounded by people.

Obviously mum had just made it her point to say hello to an old relative as she was easing away from life, perhaps not a relative at all but a friend of my grandmother. Either way having never met before I was taken to this strangely caring, friendly place. Now that I’m older I realise it was probably a hospice. The reason this particular memory stands out to me is because it was all so strange as a five year old. As a child you see things in black and white for the most part. I had never before witnessed death and age walk hand in hand with smiles and comfort.

We may have only just met that one time but Letty certainly had a huge impact on me. I could ask my mother exactly who she was and why she was there but sometimes it’s best to allow that little bit of mystery to remain. I sincerely hope that little girl clutching a grey rabbit brought some comfort to you Letty. I do remember it made you smile.

What about you? What was your earliest memory?

Enjoy this? Read more articles from Vivika Widow by clicking HERE 

Coming 2020

Bring my your sick. Bring me your troubled. Bring me those that society can no longer cope with, for they will always have a home here at Harbour House.

Click HERE to pre order.

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Get Well Soon: Harbour House

Featured in: KNOCK KNOCK and MUSE

Located in the CHAMBERLAIN DOCKS area of SWANTIN in the south of the city, Harbour House Clinic is a stand out feature in the area. With a beautiful expanse of gardens to one side and the main port to the Hathfield Bay islands on the other, Harbour House is the perfect place for recovery.

At Harbour House the residents can enjoy peace and serenity. Most of them are survivors or trauma or recovering from surgery.

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Resident 1310: David Finn. ADDICTION

Some of the residents are once pillars of the community who have grown tired. At Harbour House they will find the motivation they need.

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Resident 1105: Vincent Baines. OBSESSION

Longer term residents of Harbour House require special care. The caring and committed staff are all too happy to provide.

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Resident 0109: Tawny McInney. TRAUMA.

Despite having the best psychiatric nurses and doctors on staff, CEO DR G WINSLOW states that it is not an institute but a rehabilitation clinic.

Coming 2020

What do a drug addicted artist, a disgraced former music teacher and a night club owning show girl have in common? They are all residents of Harbour House.

This Child Bugs Me

The fly has always been bothersome.

Buzzing To and Fro, vomiting over its next meal.

Food and pleasure and an irritating hum.

It always hung around where it had no appeal.

Swatted away, it took a child along.

It kept the baby it know it couldn’t raise.

Blaming it for all that went wrong.

The fly grew fatter and fatter, waiting for the end of days.

“This child bugs me,” one day it said.

Too fat now to buzz away.

It didn’t matter, it was already dead.

The pain was finally removed that day.

Enjoy this?

David Finn was once described as a Coldford’s most promising young talent. An addiction and a self destructive nature caused a very public fall. In order to reach those lofty heights again he’ll have to address that bothersome fly with the help of coy farm girl, Julia Harvester. His latest MUSE.

Click HERE to read.

Coming 2020.

When David discovers his friend’s baby has been taken getting through rehab becomes critical. Coming 2020. Welcome Resident 1310 to Harbour House.

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March of our Times (encore)

As promised, Leslie returned again around four.

“Did you have a good day honey bunny?” She asked her husband as she dropped designer bags onto the kitchen counter.

There goes what remained in the BECKINGRIDGE ACCOUNT.

“Yeah fine,” he said. “I may be going away for a few days.”

Leslie was preoccupied emptying her bags.

“Oh? Did you get a new job?”

“Something like that.”

“That’s good pooky.” She took a jewellery box from the bag. Karrer. Diamond merchant. Expensive. “Did you cancel the reservation at Le Worde?”

He hadn’t even made it in the first place.

“No,” he lied. His acting skills coming into call once again.

“I was thinking, you’ve had such a hard time lately with that awful soap opera so you need to relax. Let’s just have a quiet night. Just you and me.”

Laurence smiled. Relief. No acting required.

Leslie took the jewellery boxes. “I’m going to pop these little gems in the safe.”

He hoped she wasn’t planning on wearing them any time soon. He was going to have to return them to get the flight back to COLDFORD.

“Pooky?” She called from the hallway sounding quite distressed. He found her staring into the safe. “Where’s mum’s pearls?”

Oh sugar covered shit stain!

“The last time you wore them they looked a little mucky. I sent them to get cleaned.”

Leslie batted her thick, black eye lashes and puckered. “Aren’t you just the sweetest?”

Laurence committed to the scene. “Not as sweet as you.” He rolled his eyes. “I was keeping it as a surprise.”

Leslie put her silk gloved hands to her mouth. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “Why don’t I run you a nice hot bath?”

“Only if you’ll join me.”

Leslie giggled.

Get this man an award.

***

After a week stay at the HARBOUR HOUSE facility in the city Laurence was glad to get back to his rambling beach house in LUEN, away from it all, even if he came sans a kidney.

“The operation was a massive success,” said DR WINSLOW. “ With your kind and generous donation some poor soul with kidney disease will live to see another day – without dialysis.”

“So are we quits with the debt?” Asked the actor feeling a little queasy.

The doctor ignored him. “You know, it’s a pity I’m such a stickler for doctor/patient confidentiality because my patient would get such a kick out of knowing they had a kidney from the Laurence DuBoe. It would have drove the price up …” He turned to Laurence, sat upon a ward bed in the old house styled clinic, clutching his suitcase. He laughed. “Oh don’t look so concerned Laurence. We are talking about people who are clinging to life. They don’t really care where the kidney comes from, they’ll pay the price. We wouldn’t want to start some frenzy now would we?”

Laurence hadn’t thought about it like that before. People had wanted a lot of strange things from him before – signatures on breasts, spat on napkins, old play bills from some of his early plays.

So Laurence was sent home to complete his recovery. He told a distraught Leslie that he had sustained an injury on set and just needed to rest for a few days.

“Just give me a little tinkle on the bell and I’ll bring you whatever you need Loo Loo,” she had gushed, tucking him up in bed with a tray of tea, toast and his favourite orange marmalade.

He must have fallen back asleep. The trip from Coldford to Luen was a simple hour flight. He couldn’t have been jet legged.

“You have just been through major surgery,” he could hear Winslow saying.

It was almost two in the afternoon when he was awoken by the noise of the bells. Their house was large but he could hear voices. Mostly Leslie shrieking.

When he got downstairs he found two repo men carrying out expensive pieces of art.

“Oh Loo Loo!” Leslie rushed into his arms. “These men say we owe them money? That’s not possible? Tell them there must be some mistake.”

The repo men glanced at Laurence but they both had been doing their job long enough to deduce what had happened. He wouldn’t be the first husband to lie to his wife. Probably the first actor husband to make a complete scene of it though.

When the men had gone, leaving behind a notice detailing their return for more in a few days, Laurence sat Leslie down. He had no choice but to come clean to her. He explained what had happened. The drunk driving, the accident with Collette, the deal with Winslow, all of it.

“Oh poor Loo Loo!” She sobbed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“How could I?” He asked in the first honest statement he had made in weeks. “I was so ashamed and I thought I could solve it.”

“Should I call my sister?”

Leslie was one of four DOYLE sisters. Her eldest was KARYN, a HIGH COURT JUDGE who was not exactly known for her leniency.

“No,” stated Laurence. “Whatever you do, do not tell your sister!”

“Just how much trouble are we in?” Leslie asked.

Good question. With the repo men returning and no doubt more of them at their heel it was going to take more than a kidney to get Laurence out of this mess.

He should have just donated Collette.

Enjoy this?

check out the story so far:

March of Our Times (Opening night)

March of Our Times (Intermission)

March of our Times (Curtain Call)

Check out some of Vivika Widow’s thrilling novels.

Click HERE to read MUSE and join David as he tries to salvage his reputation in the art community

To Hate is Exhausting

In a world where our media is so saturated with hatred it isn’t surprising that we – the general public – are starting to lose our sense of humanity. We have entered an age of real dirty politics and with social media allowing us to share across a global audience there is very little left to uncover.

Is it that this particular generation of public figures are less worthy of the title than their predecessors or is it that the populous are becoming more politically aware? I follow political feeds and general opinions quite closely and it is worrying that there is no room for mature discussion on the topic. I am yet to find a political thread that doesn’t erupt into name calling, violent threats and insults. Is that what we have come to? I realise even as I write this, the heckles of some readers are going to stand on end even though I haven’t paid homage to any particular political affiliation.

That isn’t even the problem. The issue we really face is that the hatred that is constantly being placed on our televisions, computers, tablets and phones.

With the constant barrage of who is more despicable it is very easy to forget that there is a lot of good out there in the world. I like to take some time each day and track down stories of a more inspiring nature. I like to read of those who do good and do well. The idea of living in a world where we are so consumed with contempt for each other there is no going back is worrying. We are all on this planet together and rather than fighting over our differences lets take some time to join hands in our similarities. Teach our children that it isn’t okay to discriminate. Let go of that anger and start looking towards building a future. It seems like a simplified solution to a large problem but these problems are only difficult if we make them so. Only then will we have a truly neutral society in terms of gender, race and sexual orientation.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little grumpy today. What do you think? Is the world losing it’s sense of love? Comment below with your thoughts.

Enjoy this? Check out some of Vivika Widow’s thrilling novels.

Click HERE to read MUSE and join David as he tries to salvage his reputation in the art community.

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Loud, proud and drawing a crowd!

So this all began when I got a call from ma wee mam. Settle in because this is a long one …

“Are you around?” She says on the voice mail. “Can you phone me back?”

So I do … and this is what had transpired:

My mam had been visiting a friend and my young nephew was enjoying the responsibility of being home alone and (dare I say it) peace and quiet.

Anyway, like most young teens he blocked the world out with headphones, YouTube and the silly bam fell fast asleep.

Mum returns home a short time later and can’t get in the door. Yes the dizzy little B locked the door and left the key in.

Now, anyone who knows my mam knows she ain’t quiet. Her fog horn scream through the letter box can’t stir him, neighbours banging on ceilings and floors can’t stir him.

“I have a ladder!” A helpful neighbour suggests. Perhaps going in through the balcony? They return with a two tier step ladder. What in the Hell are they supposed to do with that? Pile on shoulders like circus performers?

So the police are informed. There comes Glasgow’s finest tearing round the corner but of course there’s nothing they can do. Now a fire engine dingalinging, making even more of a scene than my mother already was because did I mention she had hair dye in that needed rinsing?

The fire men manage to get in through the balcony and open up. The police follow in to make sure everything is in fact okay.

“Thank you officers. Thank you ever so much,” mum says in her most queenly voice.

The door of the nephew’s bedroom is kicked open like the terminator. Aaron sits up in bed, sleep dazed and wondering what the Hell is going on.

Queenly voice lost immediately. East end Glasgow takes over.

“You ya stupid looking (enter string of expletives)! Did ye no hear me shouting!”

All I can think to myself is the little man needs to tell me what kind of headphones he’s using. I could use that kind of noise cancelling power. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Enjoy this? Check out some of Vivika Widow’s thrilling novels.

Click HERE to read MAESTRO and book your music lesson with Mr Baines.

Click HERE to read MUSE and join David as he tries to salvage his reputation in the art community.

Punchline Penn vs The Bournton Blizzard

The lights were glaring down on them, beaming rays of intense heat. Blood stained the ring. Screaming and frightened calls rang out.

“Get a medic!” Someone was shouting but the crowd that had flooded into the ring to separate PUNCHLINE PENN from his opponent The BOURNTON Blizzard were stopping the medical staff from getting through.

“Move out of the way!” The Blizzard’s daughter, KIM was saying to them. “Let them through!”

The Blizzard’s leg was still kicking in convulsions. Blood leaked from his mouth. His eyes were fixed in a death stare.

Kim was frightened and her fear translated into anger. “Get out of the fucking way!” She barked as she shoved two men aside. They had had good intentions when they entered the ring to help but were now standing idly by, watching with morbid curiosity, stopping the ambulance team from getting through. An announcer came over the tannoid calling for order but no one was listening. Instead they were screaming, advising on things to help. Kim was only concerned with letting the ambulance team through.

Above all the rabble was a cry of, “Champion! He’s the champion.”

The Punchline’s coach was holding his arm in the air, pointing to his client with pride. SIMON PENN – the middle Penn triplet from the AUCTION HOUSE in City Main – was soaked in blood. Most it belonged to Sonny Adams better known as the BOURNTON BLIZZARD. Simon’s expression was intense. Even then, even as the Blizzard lay clinging to life he remained fixed on his opponent. The triplets were fair of colour but there was a darkness cast across Simon’s eyes that day that was inhuman, unnatural.

Only when the ambulance team entered the ring did they manage to start dispersing the crowd. Simon Penn was ushered away to the City General. COLDFORD CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT would no doubt follow him with questions as to what went wrong. Kim could tell them. She saw it beginning months before when they first announced the fight. Simon had been on the amateur boxing scene since he was a boy but his promoters started talking him big on the professional stage and what better way to introduce him than with a challenge to the three times reigning City middle weight champion. Sonny Adams accepted the challenge with good grace. He was known for bringing good sportsmanship to the ring and always treated his opponents with respect. The COLDFORD CITY crowd were intrigued. Of course the triplets were already famous in their own right. Everyone knew of the PENN family of the AUCTION HOUSE so when one of them teased a show down with the Hail from the North it turned heads. Simon himself said little. The talk before hand bored him. It suited his purposes more to get in the ring and fight it out but his promoters were insistent on creating a rivalry when he and Sonny Adams had barely even met.

“Your reign as Champion is over,” they said. “Punchline Penn is going to tear you down.”

The public lapped it up. Tickets to the event sold out within minutes. They boasted how Punchline Penn was going to tear through the Bournton Blizzard. The public wanted that until that was exactly what they got.

The promoters wanted the best out of their fighter. They had made such a big deal about him after all and they needed Simon’s killer instinct. Clive Doran – boxing promoter and close personal friend to the father of the triplets, Reginald – had seen that instinct in Simon before. Despite sharing a birthdate with his brothers Simon was essentially a middle child. MARCUS was the eldest and as such was Crown Prince of the Auction House. REGGIE, as the youngest, was given leave to be care free. Where did that leave Simon?

“Your job is to not make your family name a fucking laughing stock,” Clive barked at his fighter, slapping him across the head. Simon frowned severely. Clive knew Simon could react to him and he wouldn’t be much use in defending himself if he did but Reginald was insistent he got the best out of the boy so strike him he did. Simon didn’t react though. He knew what it was going to take to beat the Blizzard and he stored his rage. If he lost, then he could take it out on Clive.

“Do you hear that audience cheer?” Clive pointed out. Simon had been so fixed on the task at hand he hadn’t paid any attention to the crowd. “They ain’t cheering for you. They are cheering for him because they want him to make you look like a punk,” spat the promoter.

Simon growled but this time he fixed his stare on the door he was to enter through. He was focussed and determined but that wasn’t going to win the fight against the Blizzard. That wasn’t going to put the name PUNCHLINE PENN in lights. Clive needed to bring out the killer instinct in him. He needed to bring to the surface that same rage he had seen when Reggie was rushed to General with multiple fractures, concussion, broken ribs and stitches.

Clive had just arrived on scene that day to find Rita Penn cradling young Reggie, covered in blood as though someone had thrown a bucket of red paint over her.

“It’s okay baby! It’s okay!” She’s was sobbing, rocking her boy in her arms.

Simon stood by watching. Marcus had his hand on his brother’s shoulder holding him back. Did Simon regret hospitalising his little brother? No he didn’t and they were as close as brothers could be, a little too close sometimes Clive observed. He certainly wouldn’t regret what he did to Sonny Adams.

“The city is watching and they want to see what you can do,” Clive said as a parting shot. “They want to see him humiliate you.” He slapped him again. “Now tear him the fuck apart.”

Eleven rounds. The Blizzard still stood strong. His young opponent was a stubborn one.

The break into the final round pulled Simon back to his corner.

“You have one last round to finish this.” Clive hissed in his ear. “Don’t fuck this up.” He slapped him one last time.

The bell rang. Rage took over. No longer Simon but pure PUNCHLINE. He charged, raining blows into the mid riff. The Blizzard was withstanding them but Punchline was relentless. The audience cheer became a wave of unsettled horror as Simon roared and delivered a heavy blow to the solar plexus causing Sonny to fall against the ropes. Sonny’s own team were calling something to the referee as Simon leapt on top of him. He hit him again. He kept hitting him. Sonny’s nose burst. The bell began to ring. The ref snatched Simon’s shoulder but he was thrown back. It ceased being a boxing match and became grievous assault.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

The bell did no good.

Sonny Adams was paralysed that day because of damage caused to the brain. He survived but he was never the same. The reigning champion had been knocked down. The promoters had their way. Punchline Penn was a name firmly in lights that no one would forget anytime soon. He would be remembered for breaking a champion in a match that went down in history as the shame of Coldford boxing.

Simon Penn

Complete season 1 of the Knock Knock graphic novel series is free to read HERE.

Or click HERE to download for Kindle.

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Little Acts of Kindness

Last Wednesday I was having lunch with a colleague when I was given the opportunity to witness an extraordinary interaction. At the table across from me sat an older man and his granddaughter who seemed about school age. There’s nothing unusual in this. I’m sure there are lots of Grandads out there who spend time with their grandchildren. What was particularly noticeable about this pair was how willing they both were to use that quality time they had.

“Mum might get back tonight,” he said to her. “That’ll be nice, won’t it?”

The little girl smiled. Her eyes were filled with adoration for him. “It will,” she agreed.

As they ate their meal they discussed their days. She was telling him what she learned in school. He told her what he had been doing in the garden and what activities he had planned for them when they got home. Again, I know many of you are reading this thinking, ‘that’s nice Alison but what’s so unusual about it?’ Well the minute they sat down the Grandad stuffed his phone away in his pocket and it was never removed again throughout the duration. Not once did his interest wane in what the child was telling him.

In a world where the use of social media is making us more and more distant from real life connections it was nice to see that there are still some people who make a point of spending time

with loved ones. It’s too simple nowadays to pick up the phone and check Facebook or Twitter to see what’s happening, even when you have real life people in front of you. I am quite a frequent people spotter as I’m sure you can gather from this little anecdote but nowadays people spend such a great deal of time in a virtual world, no one seems to take time to view what’s around them. I’m guilty of it myself. Travelling from Edinburgh to Inverness via train gives you a lot of chances to see some of the beauty that Scotland has to offer but the entire journey all I am likely to see is my news feed or emails.

That man and his grandchild gave me some food for thought. Spend some ‘real’ time with your family and friends. Enjoy the wonders that your surrounding have to behold. Social Media is a marvel in making the world such a connected place but remember that nothing can ever replace the true interactions with your loved ones.

Vivika is author of thriller novels and graphic novels. She is also founder of the RAGDOLLS UK FOUNDATION  which supports girls and women with TURNERS SYNDROME.

To check out titles in the Shady City series click below:

Click HERE to join music teacher, Vincent, as he takes on his most difficult pupil yet in MAESTRO. 

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Click HERE to join artist, David, as he tries to salvage his fading reputation in the community with a new MUSE.

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