The Gift of Friendship

If you have been tagging along with this blog for a while you will have read on many occasions of my appreciation for the delightful people that blogging has introduced into my life.   I love how certain folks circle around different bloggers, how we introduce each other to new and exciting blogs – how we click with new people.  I sometimes forget how I stumbled across someone and then will see another name in the comments and remember that I gatecrashed their party a year ago and have been having a growing relationship ever since …..   I’ve made some really good friends while blogging.  And never actually met a single one of them!

But that is all about to change!

Recently some of these friends put their heads together and decided to make something happen.  They invited me to come stay for a few days.  A week of chatting and outings and chatting and touristing and chatting and just getting to be in the same space in real time – to look, to touch to hug!  To chat.  To just be together.

How cool is this?  How wonderful?  How amazing, how generous!  I have been completely overwhelmed about the whole idea, completely blown away by their kindness and generosity and sometimes stunned to a standstill with excitement.  The adventure of a life time!  An unexpected joy!  A dream come true, a true ‘blogger friendship’ story!

Unexpected gifts!  It’s so amazing to me, how does such an event occur – what serendipitous movement of planets caused this little miracle to take place?

Are you interested yet, do you want to know more?

The plan is for four of the five to travel to the home of the fifth.  There we will be hosted and have a wonderful opportunity to relax and  have fun just spending time together.  Only two of these bloggers have met before, though we have all spent time on Skype together and separately.  We email, message via facebook, communicate through our blogs and have shared aspects of our lives and feelings and have quite simply developed a rapport that is multi-layered and the stuff of real friendship.

So at Easter time I shall find myself wandering among the cherry blossoms of Washington DC

cherry blossom 2

cherryblossom1

Isn’t that just so pretty!  Of course, I am full of hope that the weather gods will be kind and turn on just exactly that kind of early spring vista for us……..

I did some reading and found the history of the cherry trees fascinating:

http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-history.htm

As the days go by and I look at these pictures, I constantly catch myself thinking – Ah! Washington DC – in the springtime.  Look how pretty – how I should love to wander among all those blossom laden trees  …….  You may notice I have some difficulty with the fact that this is really happening, even though the plane tickets are booked – the passport is being renewed ……. the plans are at ‘GO’………  And then, in a  ‘But you shall go to the ball Cinderella!’ moment, I remember yet again and with a surge of excitement, I shall be there, I shall see this, I will wander along beneath those cherry trees!

And I shall not wander alone.

Laurie of Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things will be driving in her truck from Virginia

Kelly from Boomdeeadda will fly in from Alberta

Alys from Gardening Nirvana will jet in from California

And I, having completely given up on being Contented and become instead Wildly Excited, shall hop, skip and jump all the way from New Zealand

And our generous hostess Julia from Defeat Despair will do the airport runs ………..

High five girls!

puppy high 5

I wish you could all be there with us – what a party we would have!

But if, by some serendipitous placement of plans and or living location, you are in the DC area over Easter, let me know and come on by and say hello – we would all love the opportunity to meet you!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

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127 thoughts on “The Gift of Friendship

  1. Can you believe that I am just now catching this post? Even though it was re-blogged on three of my favorite blogs? That gives you an idea of how out of the loop I have been lately, but I have definitely NOT forgotten about the upcoming BIG EVENT! I can’t wait!!!

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  2. This is proof- if it were needed- that friendships forged via the internet are just as real and important as those made with people around you. For me, this helps foster a wider more caring community. I hope you all have a wonderful time.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  3. Pauline, How wonderful! I would tell you to have a wonderful time, but I know you will. How I wish I could come down and meet you.

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  4. Pingback: In Search of a Break | insearchofitall

  5. I do hope the cherry trees are blooming for your visit, Pauline! I’m only a little over two hours from D.C. I’m going to do what I can to try to be there at some point during your visit so we can at least say hello to each other in person. I think you’re going to have a fabulous time. I’ve met a few of my blogmates in the past and it was so much fun. 🙂

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    • I am beyond ecstatic that we might get to take tea together! I will be first few days in Alexandria and last 2 – 3 days in York – if that helps your planning in any way. 🙂
      My email is on my ‘contact me’ page.
      I shall keep everything crossed in the hope you can make something happen!

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  6. How absolutely wonderful! You will all have an amazing time, I am certain. I am a Maryland girl by birth so I can assure you the area and the beauty will be well worth the trip (that and having a visit with such lovely friends). Can’t wait to hear about your plans and eventually your trip itself. 💖

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    • I replied to you earlier, but I see it is not here – I wonder what I did… 🙂 Plans are being made at the moment – it is very exciting! I will see a very small section of the U>S. but a very beautiful one I am sure!

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  7. Oh Pauline, how amazing is this? You will have the most wonderful time, how utterly exciting. I would love to visit Washington D.C. in the spring and see those blossoms. I was there some 30 years ago in the summer (way too hot and humid then) and not for happy reasons sadly, but hope to go back one of these days. Now I know what time of year is the best! As for meeting up with other bloggers, I know you’ll have the best time. I have met one blogger so far (it was great) and have plans to meet another in the spring which I’m really looking forward to. But I admit, one of the things that makes me a little sad is that I have made some really close friendships through blogging but I wonder if I will ever meet any of them. Your post has inspired me and given me hope that perhaps it is possible to meet up in a group such as this, given the right time and careful planning. I shall hold that thought close… 🙂

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    • I felt the same way as you Sherri. I have made so many wonderful friends all over the globe. Some of them are real friends of the heart, you know you have so much in common and you know you would walk into a room and start talking and never stop and you know they feel the same way – and there is no chance of the two of you ever being in the same room together………. Distance, life circumstances, age, all conspire to say ‘Nice thought but it won’t happen!’

      If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my years it’s that John Lennon was right when he wrote ‘life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. Oh, and this one ‘never say never’. 🙂 Miracles happen! xoxo

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  8. You will have the most marvellous time connecting with everyone. On our last trip to England and Germany I met up with three bloggers along the way and it was like we’d all known each other for ages. And next January I am meeting up with two others for a week in Hawaii! So I can fully understand your wild excitement. I’m looking forward to reading all about your wonderful adventure.

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  9. I am super excited for you all, as though I’ll be there myself. The rest of us bloggers will live vicariously through your brilliant plan. I hope the climate cooperates and you all get to experience the cherries blossoming.

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    • It is a brilliant plan isn’t it! I also hope the climate behaves nicely for us – but if it decides not to, we will enjoy that too I am sure. Thank you for coming by, and for the follow too – lovely to have a new friend on board 🙂

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      • Pauline, I simply can’t understand why I haven’t followed earlier. I’ve been reading your comments for over a year now, ha ha! Well, now that we’re properly and formally connected, the friendship can only grow.

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  10. Fantastic! I think we’re as excited as you, Pauline…for you 🙂 ..and if you ever have the chance to come to the Netherlands, you’ll be welcome here too 🙂 Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend 🙂 ❤

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  11. Oh my gosh! This is very exciting and nice for you. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, walking under them feels like a snowstorm (visually, of course; it’s usually not too cold then). AND you have the opportunity to see Dumbarton Oaks, not to mention lots of Virginia wineries or whatever you all cook up. If there’s room for one more on one of your excursions, get in touch.

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    • We’d love to have you included in at least one adventure! If you go to my ‘Contact Me’ page you will find my email – send me your contact details.and I’ll get Julia to send you any excursion plans.

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  12. I am so happy for you getting to make that trip and meet everyone. You will have so much to write about when you get back home. We are all envious but our turns will come someday. 😉 Hugs.

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  13. Oh, my goodness! This is what happens when I get slack and don’t make Skype calls to you lovely ladies. I so wish I could come, too, but there’s a small matter of twins needing taken care of! Perhaps you will make an annual event of it and I can come in ten year’s time?!?! What a fantastic an amazing adventure you will all have! Can’t wait to hear all about it! xoxoxoxox

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    • I am the recipient of the most amazing gift ever Dani – there is a part of me that still doesn’t quite understand what has happened. But I am going with it – it will be wonderful and exciting and just plain lovely. It is also a beginning, not an ending 🙂 xoxo

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  14. shoot-in a few years, how about my place a get together???? I would be happy to host one! I live midway and we have an international airport where I live-my life will be a bit slower then-lol-keep it in mind! I am in smack dab in the middle:-) LOL…do have a blast + take LOTS OF PICTURES!!!

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  15. Well, now everyone can talk about this trip:-) The word is out! I was careful not to slip up and mention it in my comments. Now we can all BLAB about your COOL trip:-) Do take many pictures. I wish, I could be there but you know why:-) If it was a bit longer or in the summer-FOR SURE:-) I can hardly believe only 10 weeks away. If you ever make it to the middle of this country and you are not 14 hours away, I would be there,too:-)
    You have a wonderful time + good thing spring is beautiful there at this time of year-been many years since I have been there but it is a great place to be in spring!
    Shoot- you might like it soooo much you may ship siddy + orlando and the girls all here!LOL

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    • This is the problem with the good old U.S of A it’s too darn big! I will be travelling some 36 hours to get from here to DC and for many of my other friends the journey within their country would take just as long! My mind gets boggled with the vastness of the country 🙂

      And yes, spring is your very busy time – I do understand and I am still sorry! xoxo

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      • My daughter’s twins are due that week:-) I feel she will go a bit earlier-I sure hope so, for darn I only carried one baby—I can’t imagine how difficult that must be to sleep and eat for 3!

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        • Me neither Robbie – I remember being SO uncomfortable with just one 10 lb’er curled up inside of me! Thank heaven it is just for a short time. I wish you all, all the best with the babies ❤

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  16. This would definitely make for a grand movie or a fabulous women’s fiction book. I hope every moment is filled with scandalous adventure and laughter that makes your bellies ache and your eyes weep. Please, please, photo and journal and post all about it. It truly sounds like a marvelous time is about to unfold, Pauline. Wahoo!!

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    • I’m sure there will be some more as we lead in, and more after – but ‘during’ will be an issue for me as I am not taking my lap top and my phone is for emergencies as you all have a different three point plug system, maybe someone else of the group will post something 🙂 It is a huge adventure though huh! Yay for blogging!!

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  17. I am jumping here with happiness for you, Pauline! How wonderful that your blogging friends arranged this exciting trip for you. I know you would love the cherry blossoms. I also know that if by some miracle I happen to be there, I will recognize you. You will be the lady hopping and skipping with joy alongside your warm and beautiful friends.

    Kudos to the ladies who are making the trip possible!!
    Keep us posted with all the wonderful plans😄

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    • It is really isn’t it – we make so many little groups of friends as we move through the great www net. A bit like real life I suppose. To put some of us into a real space-time venue is quite extraordinary. These four fab beauties lead very busy lives and they have moved mountains to make this happen – it has quite blown my head to smithereens!

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  18. SPLENDIFEROUS! Yup, I yelled that! :). What an awesome planet spanning event and how could any of us be jealous when you completely and UTTERLY deserve this Ms Pauline? :). Can’t wait to read about your adventures (and apparently watch the movie although I think you are WAY too young for Judi Dench to play your character!) and I just know that you are going to come back with an accent! That wasn’t Siddy? Well you fooled Earl! 😉

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    • Ah, yes I heard that – a wafting, echo, salt-laden hail drifting down to us …… It is sooooooo exciting! See now I’ve gone and gotten all hyped up and I’m trying to keep my feet on the ground for another ten weeks. There are paintings to be done and stuff to sort out still. Like passports!

      I just saw Esio Trot with Judy Dench and Dustin Hoffman. It is the most lovely movie I have seen in ages. See it, you might change your mind.

      When that photo came up in my search I thought it was Siddy and had one of those moments of ‘Whaaaa?’ and where did that come from? and I haven’t seen that one before – until eventually I realised it wasn’t him – but it could be. He has a stunt double out there and that dog, whoever he is, should play Siddy in the movie!

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  19. Oh wow – this is AMAZING!! I bet you are already counting down the days. I can just imagine you all walking under the cherry blossom trees, swapping stories and creating lots of happy memories. I agree that this adventure could totally be a movie plot in the making! x

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  20. Pauline, tell the truth–are you excited? Just a little? Hahaha–you communicate such joy and anticipation in this post–I am so thrilled that you all are getting the opportunity to meet up and in such an amazing city! I can’t remember–have you been to the US before? It’s a long trip for you but I’m sure the gathering will be ever so memorable! But, okay–what will happen with Siddy and Orlando while you’re away?

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    • My experience of the US is limited to two or three hour lay-overs on my various trips home from Europe. The last one coincided with the LA riots of infamy.

      And I never dreamed a trip like this would ever be in the realm of possibilities for me. Never say never! 🙂

      I am excited, but trying to keep my focus on life s it is with this just percolating quietly in the background. Publishing this post has made it more difficult to keep my equilibrium 🙂

      Thank you for asking about my wee fellas. They are well cared for – that had to be sorted before I could begin to consider the offer to travel. I’ll write a post for their fans before I go.

      I’m sorry you are not closer to Washington DC!

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  21. As I read the opening, I got the impression the post was going to be about me. Once I figured out it wasn’t, I shifted to imagining a group of Kiwi and Aussie women getting together for a gab fest. After shedding that idea, an Oh Crap Moment occurred when I discovered the many miles that are involved in this version of Gab Fest. Wow … cheers to the groups efforts! … Too bad I’m still 10 hours away .. oh well. But poor Siddy will be lonely without Mom!!!!

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    • Oh dear – ten hours still! Your durned country is just way too big! I was hoping you and Mrs Right Angle might pop in for a drink and a chat and a small dancing demo!

      I’ll be away from home for eleven days. I’ll be on the ground for seven of them. I’ll arrive in the US a day younger which is good for any woman!

      Poor Siddy [and poor Orlando] will be just fine. They have their next favourite person in the whole world moving in and when she is at work Siddy will have doggie day care with his next-favourite-friend / dispenser of treats after that. I will hardly be missed!

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      • Dog treats are such easy forms of bribery.

        I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time in DC … it’s a wonderful city with lots to see … and much is free! But I haven’t been there for the cherry blossoms.

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  22. Wildly, wildly exciting. And to be in Washington amongst all those flowering cherries will be beyond wonderful. I hope there will be a quilt or collage or some crafty project you will work on together to celebrate this great adventure. You give me hope that trips I would like to do will happen when the time is right. 🙂

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    • It is indeed the adventure of a life time and something I never dreamed could ever happen to me. There will be no time for any crafting projects, I only have seven days with my feet on the ground, the other four are spent flying. Everything happens when the time is right 🙂

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  23. Reblogged this on Gardening Nirvana and commented:
    My word of the year is connections.

    The first thing I read this morning was Pauline’s post The Gift of Friendship which illustrates the extraordinary connections to be had through blogging. In early April, five bloggers from around the world will converge on Washington, D.C. Only two of us have met in person, but we all found each other through blogging.

    Please come read about our plans.

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  24. Reblogged this on Boomdeeadda and commented:
    I’ve been holding onto a lovely secret, some really big news. Now, the guest of honour has spilled the beans. Dear Pauline, The Contented Crafter, will travel from her home in New Zealand, around the other side of the world to meet up with four woman she’s never met before. In fact, only Alys and I have met before. Doesn’t it sound like an adventure only in the movies? It’s going to be epic, the things dreams are made of. We’re now counting the days. Read on to join in the excitement and fun xoxox

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  25. Good for you Pauline sounds like you gals are going to have a great time. Just a word of advice don’t tell me the exact days or my wife and I might have to crash the party 😃

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  26. With a big smile on my face, I’ve read every single message here Pauline. It still does seem somewhat surreal, even though I too have reserved a flight. I learned from Alys that you two will also enjoy each others company flying across America on the way home. That’s almost epic in of itself ! How fantastic. I’m reblogging to share the big announcement. I’ve been holding my breath and only shared it with a couple of favourite friends at WP. I can’t believe that isn’t Siddy, what a good resemblance. He could be Siddy’s stunt double 😀 Laurie B reminded me this morning it’s 10 weeks away. Ack! we are going to have a ball. Dame Judy can play you and I’d like Amy Poehler please, LOL…she makes me laugh. xoxox Count down to ‘once in a lifetime’ begins ❤ ❤ ❤

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  27. How exciting! So much hugging, tears, talking and my those cherry blossoms. How fantastic for you, it must be agonising to have to wait. I bet you have packed and unpacked your bag, in your head, so many times lol. The only down side is missing your pets. I know I miss my babies when I go away. But I’m sure they will be in good hands 🙂

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    • Do you know Kym, it isn’t hard to wait at all. I am getting on with my life, busy with my painting course, quietly organising passport photos [my passport expired last year and I never thought to renew it] and visa waivers and making sure the boys will be well cared for and quietly anticipating a momentous event in the not too far future. The ‘Wildly Excited’ bit will kick in a little closer to the time I think. Then it will be like a rocket to Mars! 🙂 It is simply fab-u-lous – though part of me still doesn’t quite believe it.

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  28. This is the stuff of stories, of films …. what a lot of material you will have between you for so many posts. Oh Pauline, have a truly wonderful time. And keep us posted!

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  29. Siddy and Orlando will have a babysitter, I presume? I am smiling since there are a few of us who would ‘fight’ over the special assignment.
    Pauline, I am so happy that you will be gathering a group and especially at a beautiful time of year, crossing my fingers for warmer weather, since this is still a ‘dicey’ time of year, even there!
    Friendships are such wonderful gifts we receive from blogging. I would cherish the chance if anyone were to come over to Ohio, meeting in Cleveland or Columbus area, especially a ‘cinch’ since I have my own place in the latter, and my Mom’s place to stay in the former… Best wishes and we shall enjoy your homecoming, in April when you have your trip.

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    • It’s a wonderful and unique opportunity for me and I am so grateful for it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world was just a little smaller, or the Star Trek ‘Beam me up Scottie’ thing was actually viable – we would all zoom around visiting each other. 🙂

      Siddy and Orlando will have their own live in puppy/kitty sitter in the form of their very favourite person in the whole world after their mumma. All will be well here while I am away..

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  30. Have a wonderful time. I have been to Washington DC several times but last April was the first time I was there while the cherry blossoms were in bloom. It is beautiful.

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  31. What a fantastic idea! I’m doing something similar this Saturday with subscribers to Pretty Nostalgic magazine – we’ve not met before either:)

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  32. That sounds like so much fun! I have often thought about trying to do a blog get together, kind of a free for all, but am too introverted to begin to make it happen. Bravo to you 5!

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  33. Oh Washington!! How splendiferous! I was waiting for you to say Auckland or somewhere else in NZ. But then…Washington! And Easter is not too far away. What a wonderful time you’ll have.

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  34. How exciting, Pauline! I’m so happy for you and your buddies! Having lived for forty years outside of the DC area, I know you’re going to love it and the Cherry Blossoms, well they are magnificent! If you need someone to sit with Siddy…ship him on over! That photo is ADORABLE! xo

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    • I know there will be several offers to puppy sit my little fellow, but his favourite Aunty Dan is moving in for the interim to keep both my boys happy while I am away. I know the boys will be fine, I’m just not sure how she will cope 🙂

      Now I have to fess up. That is not Siddy. I found the image when I was looking for a suitable ‘High 5’ pic for this post. It OUGHT to be Siddy, as it looks exactly like him but I could never be quick enough with the camera to catch him doing his ‘High 5’

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  35. Oh my gosh Pauline! That is so exciting and a lovely bunch of ladies too.- what a wonderful thing to look forward to!!!!!!!!!!! A trip of a lifetime indeed, I feel so excited for you!! xx

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