Review 2018: TNT Family Fitness

Thank you very much to “L” for today’s NHM Secret Review!

Review 2018: TNT Family Fitness

My 2 and a half year old daughter and I recently attended the first TNT Family Fitness (http://tntfamilyfitness.co.uk/) session at Viables Community Centre.

The TNT Family Fitness moto is ‘making family’s fit’. Their classes cater for all the family by using activities that are fun and engaging for children but in a way that means adults can exercise.

By joining the fun and fitness together it means you can be doing something beneficial whilst having great quality family time!

I was a bit nervous about attending the class as I’ve not done loads in the way of exercise since having my second baby and my eldest always takes a little while to warm up to classes and start to join in. I had no need to be worried! The first thing Andy did was throw a load of football’s out for the children to play with while parents filled out their registration forms, that was it my little girl was straight off running around and playing with the other children!

We started off doing a warm up but this was no ordinary warm up, it was ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ complete with lots of lunges, stretches and running! After that we played a game that involved running to different colour cones and doing various movements including star jumps, high knees and stretches.

My daughter’s favourite activity was tidying the balls away. It wasn’t just tidying balls away though, there were football’s and tennis balls everywhere! We had to run to them and parents had the option of lunging, squatting or doing a press up to pick up the ball and then run and place it in the right coloured hoop. Great activity for the parents as it really got us moving and great for the children as it got them moving and thinking about colours!

Other activities involved an egg and spoon race (my daughter was better than me!!!) And capture the flag (the tent was a big hit!). We finished off with a cool down.

We really enjoyed our session and it’s definitely something we’d do again!

There are still more sessions on this summer at a variety of locations in Basingstoke and it’s not too late to book.

14 August at Old Basing
21 August at Melrose Hall
28 August at Melrose Hall

The time of the session depends on the age of your child – there is one for under 5s and one for over 5s.

More information can be found over on the TNT Family Fitness Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/TNTFamilyFitnessUK/

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August 2018’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”: Aliceja Fisher

I stopped doing the “Inspirational Mum” programme because it felt like I was the one who was deciding who was inspirational and who wasn’t and that’s definitely not my decision to make.

But it looks like the universe is deciding for me on this one after my original “Inspirational Mum” post was automatically re-published on “NorthHantsMum FB Page” a few days ago and I realised that I’m just the “facilitator” for this.

YOU are the ones who nominate a Mum for this, I just have the AWESOME job of passing on the message :-D.

So, I think I’m going to try this one again. I will put out a request each month for nominations and whomever gets the most nominations will “win” for that month. Let’s see how this goes…

August 2018’s NorthHantsMum’s Inspirational Mum, with by far the most email nominations is: Aliceja Fisher!

Congratulations Aliceja! I know we’ve never met but it’s clear that you are an awesome Mum and person based on the number of emails that I received for your nomination!!

As Helen says below, make sure you print the comments out and use them to boost you on those wobbly days 😉 :-D.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 1

Helen: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher

Things changes a lot for her in the last 12 months and the game got a lot harder. She’s embraced it, fought the challenge, become stronger, more empowered and while she has wobbles of self doubt, which she really shouldn’t, she is a wonderful mum to her daughter.
She’s also a huge supporter of community projects, involved with social events for Mums to help their mental health and stop Mums feeling alone. She’s always seen to be pointing mums in the right direction of classes and support. My message to Aliceja would be, always believe in yourself and when this is published and you’re recognised as a Inspirational Mum, print it, keep it and use all the lovely comments to boost you on those wobbly days.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 2

Holly: I’ve seen your FB post and I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher as my local mum.

I’ve known Alice a number for years, we went to senior school together, she’s has always put others before herself, she has always be so kind and loved by all even through many trying times.

She truly is a wonderful person and now she’s a wonderful mother. She made my journey in to motherhood so much easier just by being there, our babies are a couple of months apart and they’ve brought her back in to my life and I’m so grateful to have her in it! I love you lots Aliceja!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 3

Lisa Marie: I would love to nominate my friend Aliceja Fisher.

Around a year ago her world was rocked and kind of crashed around her, she could have given up completely. However, she embraced the huge changes happening and became even stronger than she ever was.

As us mums do, she has days where she doubts everything she’s doing, but she’s the most amazing Mum and the best friend anyone could ask for! She helps everyone without any hesitation and she deserves to be recognised for everything she does!

She’s beautiful inside and out and such an inspiration! Aliceja, be proud of everything you’ve achieved!!! We love you loads!Xxx

Inspiration Mum Nomination 4

Jen: I would like to celebrate a local amazing Mum, Aliceja Fisher from Basingstoke. I met her at a Mummy social event which she organised, she has been through a lot this past year and becoming a new mum herself I think has bought out the best in her! She is an amazing inspiration to all Mums and personally has become a very close friend who supports me and everyone around her without even batting an eyelid.

She is an awesome person and one of the most hard working Mums I know always putting others before herself!

This would mean the world to her even though she would be completely overwhelmed and feel like she didn’t deserve it! She really does!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 5

Joanna: I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and nominate Aliceja Fisher as an inspirational Mum. I met her last summer when she set up regular coffee meet-ups using the Mummy Social App. I was a few months into maternity leave and these socials gave me the impetus and confidence to get out of the house with a young baby and meet new friends.

Aliceja has had a tough year but has remained a good friend as well as being active in community events.

Aliceja deserves recognition for her support to new mums and general awesomeness!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 6

Louisa: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher.

Aliceja and I have babies the same age, and without her creating social events when they were small I wouldn’t have a the great friend group I have now.

She always goes out of her way to help everyone and quite often forgets about herself in the process.

She is genuinely one of the most selfless people I have ever met and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this nomination.

A true awesome mummy!!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 7

Jenna: I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher!

I don’t even know where to begin with reasons as to why she’s awesome! She walked ( quite literally- at the HV walk) into my life last year as we were finding our feet as first time mums! She introduced me to other mums who now I call my closest friends! She keeps getting curve balls thrown at her but she gets back up and continues on! She is a credit to our mummy group and she needs to know that we are with her ever step of the way!!! She is the most kind person I know and deserves this!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 8

Gayle: Nominate Aliceja Fisher

Aliceja has been a great friend since we both became mums. She makes time to make sure we are ok regardless of what is going on in her own life. She keeps in contact with a large circle of friends and the list gets bigger and bigger as she picks up more and involves more as she goes.

She is truly an inspiration, being a single fantastic mum and now working full time, being open and honest to all she meets making sure no one feels alone, and sharing her feelings on Instagram/ Facebook – she says what we are all feeling.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 9

Odette: My nomination is for Aliceja Fisher, she is an amazing mum and friend! She is my sister in law and she is always willing to listen to everyone and try to help despite whatever happens in her life.

She is always willing to help, everyone specially new mums; giving them right advice or putting them in the right direction.

She also gets involved in social events to support new mums, helping them to meet new people. Always with a smile

She has a golden heart.

Thank you very much to everyone who nominated a Mum for this month’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”!

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Reasons to Be Active in Basingstoke this summer – Friday 17th August

Children of all ages from throughout Hampshire can put their best foot forward to try a new sport as free event, Be Active, will take over Basingstoke town centre on Friday 17 August from 11am until 5pm.

At Be Active, children of all ages from as young as two-years-old will have the opportunity to try their hand at a wide range of sports. The activities on offer will include a Rugby obstacle challenge from Basingstoke RFC, a penalty shootout with Basingstoke Town FC, a 20ft climbing wall, crazy golf and much more.

There will also be arts and crafts, face painting, soft play, inflatable games, roaming entertainers and a deck chair chill out zone, providing something for everyone whilst the children indulge their sporty sides.

The event is being run and organised by Basingstoke Together, which is the face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses.

Lucy Boazman, chief executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to make the most of the great outdoors by trying something new – Be Active is about just that. Children don’t need to have any experience with the sports on offer as the aim of the game is to just have fun and maybe find a hidden passion.

“It is so important for children to get regular exercise and taking part in a sport is a great way to do so. We hope to see lots of children of all ages joining in with Be Active and enjoying the variety of activities and entertainment which will be on offer.”

Be Active will take place throughout the top of town, including Winchester Road, London Street, Wote Street and into Festival Square.

For more information, visit  www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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‘My Journal – Summer 2018’

Kath (Relax Kids Basingstoke) and Becky (Movin Monkeez) are very excited to tell you about ‘My Journal – Summer 2018’ – a brand new concept! A chance for children to record their summer memories. Encouraging a little fitness, some relaxation, some healthy eating. Encouraging children to think about the things they’ve enjoyed doing, the things they are grateful for and more!

‘My Summer Journal’ is a downloadable printable – around 50 pages. You can print a day at a time, a week at a time or the whole journal.

Accompanied by a Facebook group for the grown ups to share the exercise videos and relaxation ideas so that children can choose what they do. We will also be posting healthy recipes as well.

Kath and Becky are offering NorthHantsMum fans £1 discount off the £7.50 price. So if you are interested in buying the journal for £6.50 please contact Kath Routledge for details – either through Facebook Messenger or rkbasingstoke@yahoo.co.uk

AND everyone who has bought/anyone who buys a copy will be entered into a prize draw to win either a Movin Monkeez cookbook OR a Relax Kids ‘Elevator of Happiness’ CD!

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Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Coffee, time away from the kids, it was already sounding like a dream before I stepped through the door! Being partial to a good coffee, I was seriously looking forward to Cupper Joe’s Coffee Brewing Workshop.

About

The workshop focuses on brewing speciality coffee at home using filter coffee methods covering:

  1. Coffee Beans – varietals, countries and characteristics
  2. Water
  3. The importance of coffee grinders and impact of grind size on a brew
  4. Coffee to water ratio and its impact on taste
  5. Brewing method, including Kalita and Aeropress

This included hands-on coffee brewing and lots of testing!

It’s safe to say I had no idea how much was involved in coffee making and how much control you can have on the finished product. From your choice of coffee and knowing what to look for, to how to brew with different methods right down to how much difference the water can make – we even did a little experiment on this with really interesting results! “Making coffee is part art and part science” as Joe states on his website, and this is definitely what we discovered.

Joe also managed to fit in some iced coffee making which was so appropriate given the weather we were having. I will definitely be putting that to good use!

The workshop itself was a really good mix of listening, group conversation, watching and group coffee making and testing. Not surprisingly we were all pretty buzzing by the end! I’m looking forward to using my new found knowledge in experimenting and finding the best coffee that suits me.

Rating out of 5

5/5 I had a great time, learnt loads, drank lots of awesome coffee. What’s not to love! It was also great to learn from someone who is so clearly passionate about what they do.

From complete beginner to the more experienced, if you are a coffee lover or just looking for something a little different to try, I would certainly recommend this workshop.

For more information on Cupper Joe’s workshops, or to try some of the amazing coffees and hot drinks at his pop up events, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cupperjoe/

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop. The workshop was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Juliet was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Secret Art Basingstoke is GO!

Something pretty amazing happened last Thursday in Basingstoke. Maybe you heard about it. Maybe you were there. Maybe you saw the Facebook Lives and thought “Man, I WISH I was there”. Well, yes, you should have been there. Because it was AWESOME!  

The Secret Art Basingstoke launch at Desklodge on Thursday night was epic, and you can check out all the gory details via the latest Secret Art Basingstoke blog. But in the meantime…

Today (Tuesday 24th) is the first opportunity for you to visit all four venues in our Secret Art Basingstoke trail. Grab the kids and head for Proteus Creation Space, The Discovery Centre, THAT Gallery and Willis Museum to see over 200 incredible pieces of artwork.

Each piece is the size of a postcard, and everything has been donated by artists, illustrators, tattooists and celebrities…even an MP! And if you grab one of our flyers (available at Proteus, Discovery Centre, Willis Museum and Festival Place Customer Lounge), you can also take part in The Junior Secret Art Basingstoke Scavenger Hunt; use the map to find the venues and tick off the eight hidden postcards as you find them.

Want more? Book onto one of our workshops being held over the next two weeks, designed to give your budding artists an introduction into a variety of art techniques.

Choose a 30 or 45 minute workshop in ceramics, illustration, collage, balloon manipulation or portraiture…or sign up for them all!

All workshops are Pay-What-You-Can, with a suggested donation of £3 per child. Head to the Secret Art Basingstoke website for details of all the workshops and how to book.

More? OK, how about our Junior Secret Art Basingstoke competition? Finding all our fantastic pieces of postcard sized art will hopefully get your little ones all fired up to create their own masterpieces, and we’d love to see them!

Let them loose on the blank space at the back of the Secret Art Basingstoke booklet, or use your own materials at home. There’s no brief in terms of subject or medium, so let their creativity go wild!

Upload to the Secret Art Basingstoke Facebook page with #secretartkids and they’ll be entered into the competition to win some beautiful books donated by Pan Macmillan Publishers.

Seriously? More? How about the culmination of all the canvassing, collating, fundraising, engaging, displaying, donating etc…Sale Day! If you’ve got your eye on one or more of our pictorial perfections, head to Proteus Creation Space on Saturday 4th August, when all postcards will be on sale for £20 each.

Not only will you be able to purchase a beautiful piece of original art, you’ll also finally find out who created it! The big secret behind Secret Art Basingstoke being, of course, the artists themselves.

All the artwork has been signed on the back, not the front, but when you purchase your piece you’ll be given the identity of your creator.

It could be a local artist (Hampshire is a goldmine of creativity), someone who hails from abroad (we’ve had submissions from as far away as Indonesia), a published illustrator, or perhaps a celebrity from TV and film. It really is anybody’s guess!

Doors will be opened at 10am at Proteus Creation Space by The Deputy Mayor, Cllr Diane Taylor. You might want to get there early, as it’s first come, first served; there’s even been talk of folks camping out the night before to grab a prime spot in the queue!

There will be no pre-selling of postcards, so if you’re unable to come on the day but still want a card, nominate yourself a proxy buyer (preferably one with sharp elbows).

Ok. I think that’s it. Phew.

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Summer Family Fitness Fun

Come and join us for some family time this Summer. Fitness classes for all ages and abilities. Plenty of exercise for adults and lots of games for the children. A winning combination to ensure everyone has a good time whilst keeping fit and spending time together.

Tuesday 31st July
Viables Community Centre, RG22 4BJ
10:15 – 10:55 am : Walkers to preschool age

11:00 – 11:45 am : 5 years plus

Tuesday 7th August
Viables Community Centre, RG22 4BJ
10:15 – 10:55 am : Walkers to preschool age

11:00 – 11:45 am : 5 years plus

Tuesday 14th August
Old Basing Village Hall, RG24 7DA
10:15 – 10:55 am : Walkers to preschool age

11:00 – 11:45 am : 5 years plus

Tuesday 21th August
Melrose Community Hall, RG24 9ES
10:15 – 10:55 am : Walkers to preschool age

11:00 – 11:45 am : 5 years plus

Tuesday 28th August
Melrose Community Hall, RG24 9ES
10:15 -10:55 am: Walkers to preschool age

11:00 -11:45 am: 5 years plus

Message for more information or to book your place. Mention the NHM post and enjoy £5 per session and £20 for all 5 sessions.

Link for Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1750761688354128/?ti=as

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New Kids Pilates and Yoga Class

  • Kids Pilates and Yoga @ the Osborne Room, Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke
  • Thursdays 16:30 – 17:15
  • Toddlers 3 – 7 year olds welcome – moms stay and watch or join in.
  • 4 class pass @ £18
  • Early bird special @ £12 if you book by 31 July
  • Drop in session @ £5
  • To book text “toddleryogapilates” to 07956528671
  • or mail anneke@perpetualenergy.org

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NHM Reader Comments: Homework in Infant and Junior School

Louise posted the following question on her Louise Nhm Smith profile “Good Afternoon Everyone. I’ve had a question from a NHM Reader that I’m intrigued to know the answer myself: “Has anyone advised their child’s school that their children won’t be doing homework in Infants school, and if yes, how did they go about doing this? My understanding is that homework isn’t mandatory until 8 years old…” TIA”

Thank you to all who contributed to this discussion, highlights are below and thank you to Juliet for putting this post together! 

NHM Readers comments on advising infant /junior schools their children wont be doing homework

Jaz said

“We’re clearly lucky as my school doesn’t believe in it so young. We just have to read each day- but I think that’s right! They do have a project over the summer which I think is fine. But also- if it’s making a project or something you don’t want them to be the only child that doesn’t do it and is left out…”

Mary said

“My son is y1 and his homework is a short writing exercise (often draw a picture and write a sentence); practice tricky words, read his book and number bonds. I let him chose to do it when he wants to. It takes no time at all. The teacher says it’s ok if not everything gets done. If I were you I would open the conversation with the school in an open and honest way. You might find they are open to your choice. Plus think about what aspects of homework you won’t do. Be prepared.”

Louise Nhm Smith said

“I have already had this response from a Primary school teacher who obviously wishes to remain anonymous: “I’m currently a Primary school teacher and when my little boy goes to school I will be doing the same and probably withdrawing him from KS1 SATs.

I would write a clear polite letter outlining why you do not want your child doing homework, inc references to official sources to support your view if you think the school will cause a fuss. I would also include what educational activities you will do i.e. read and discuss books, family meals, visits to places that engage your child (whatever is relevant to you). Speak to your child so they don’t rub it in to others and keep track that they are not doing it in break times.

I would however keep an eye on the projects because they can be fun for the family to share in and be aware they may miss out on rewards (merits, stickers). Good luck and I hope the school supports your plans.””

Louise Nhm Smith said

“Response from the same Primary school teacher: “After a very quick google search, there is no formal method to withdraw an able child from SATs that I can find. There is an option to simply not take them in during the week (and risk fines) or take them on an unauthorized holiday (less likely to get fines but as you will have seen in the press it is a hot topic).

From my personal perspective my boy is not due to take KS1 SATs until 2022 and a lot will change in that time. If they do not then I will have a conversation with my school about my concerns, and if not addressed, will consider not sending him in and taking the penalties/fines.

I have a lot of professional concerns about how schools are implementing the tests, especially at KS1 and the pressure that is put on very small minds, bodies and souls.

If you as a parent also have concerns your first port of call should be your child’s teacher. Understand how the school approaches the tests and discuss how your child can be supported so that they are not stressed. If this does not reassure you, I would go to the head as the ethos of a school can shape the exam experience. If you are still not happy you need to reflect on your options. The sad fact is that if you simply withdraw your child for the test week, they will still be taught as if they are sitting them and the stress that might bring. It’s a really hard thing to address and most schools have their hands tied and so (unfairly) pile the pressure on the children.

If you feel the pressure is affecting their mental health (scary at such a young age) or their love of learning/school, then I would bring that to the school’s attention asap. Always be polite and provide evidence: from language used at home (‘I hate school’, ‘I’m not doing well’, ‘I’m not good enough’), examples from work in school, sleep patterns etc. Explain that you are not happy that the year has become about a set of tests when they should be loving learning and see how the school respond.

If you have concerns you could always talk to the LEA to see what they’d expect in a year 2 class. Or consider changing school/home-schooling.

This is not in any way official, just the reflections of a mum who also teaches.””

Susan said

“My child is 5 (year 1) and has reading and maths and now spelling homework (10 words a week) and also “talking homework” but saying that the school is outstanding!!”

Emily said

“Yes. But it took my son’s paediatric consultant saying it three times before they listened…”

Louise Nhm Smith said

“A response from an assistant head at a local junior school who also wishes to remain anonymous: “Homework is not a statutory requirement in infant or junior schools in England. I am not sure it is statutory in KS3 but don’t quote me. However, parental involvement proven to be crucial in child development. There is no set definition of what parental involvement constitutes and it certainly isn’t restricted to ‘formalised homework’.

Many schools have project/topic related homework that is designed to encourage families to share in activities for those who wish to do it and many schools are more than happy to pinpoint parents to the right place to find suitable additional home learning tasks. However, this is again non-statutory.

Personally, as a teacher and a Mum, I do value reading at home (even if that comes in the simple form of a bedtime story). Spelling and multiplication tables/number facts are also areas that can make an impact.

The Sutton Trust report rated homework as having very little impact on children’s progress at school. However, parental involvement is paramount! Parents should feel confident in making a judgement about whether their child actually benefits from homework and schools will respect this if the child is generally supported by their parents in their learning.

By the way…homework is always a nightmare topic at parents evening because it generates such conflicting opinions. It’s very difficult for schools to please everyone on this one.””

Mata said

“Interesting it is not ‘statutory’ in Juniors. I wonder if that means the school does not have to set it or does it mean the child does not have to do it? My daughter’s school give them detention if it’s not done. Tried complaining but it’s hopeless.”

Karen said

“Only an education is statutory. How it is delivered is up to the parents. If you can’t find a school whose ethos you like or can negotiate with don’t forget home education is a perfectly allowable method of delivering education with no constraints on your curriculum or time.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: What to do when your child is frightened of dogs

An NHM Reader recently asked for advice regarding their son’s fear of dogs “He’s 6 and loves all other animals. Nothing has ever happened to make him scared and I don’t know how this has developed. I’m not a dog fan so tend to just ignore them, but he isn’t able to do that.

Obviously have asked him why he feels like this (he doesn’t know but I think it’s their energy and speed) and have explained again and again that most dogs are out to have fun and aren’t remotely interested in him.

We don’t know anyone who has a dog, no one we know well anyway, so aren’t able to help him by spending time with a dog in that way. So I was wondering if anyone had any helpful suggestions of what we could try?

Most mornings on the walk to school we see a dog or two so it’s affecting him pretty much daily.”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all your offers of help, listed below in no particular order are your suggestions:

NHM Readers recommend what to do when your child is frightened of dogs

Tracy said “Maybe borrow my doggy website may be helpful. If you can find someone with a very calm/older dog that he can get to know.”

Becky said “The library in town used to run dog awareness sessions for children frightened of dogs. Might be worth contacting them to see if they have any sessions running soon. This was last year’s session at the library so ignore the date but may do something similar in the future” https://www.facebook.com/events/120949278409726/

Becki said “I think Dogs trust do something about children and dogs. I’m sure I saw it on a poster once” Is your child frightened of dogs? Dogs Trust is here to help

Lisa said “I don’t have any suggestions but feel your pain, my six year old is similar. He’s got better from being around my friend’s dog who is the most placid dog in the world but dogs he doesn’t know he just gets really overwhelmed. Hope you find a solution”

Libby said “She could try her local facebook page and ask if any dog owners might like to help.”

Emily said “I would say that when he feels panicked by a dog to try to turn his back on it and fold his arms. be a tree. the dog will probably just have a sniff and move on.

Lowri said “I had this with my son and I asked about at school who had a dog. Found a family that were happy for us to join them on dog walks and go round to their house. Lots of reassurance and seeing the other children happily playing with the dog helped. I started this after my son ran off screaming when he had to walk past a lady with a dog on a lead that was smaller than a kitten…”

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