Saturday, 31 December 2016

A plan for 2017

Hello. Does anyone remember this book, for a while it was my bible, I studied it often, trying to absorb as much information as I could. It came out in 1982, I had been trucking for six years and I did have it all.   
Love, success, sex, yes, but money, not so sure. Yes, I had enough money, but not loads of it. I had enough to get on the housing ladder, but it was a struggle in the beginning when every penny I had went into the house. I thought I was the bees knees, the dream job, own house and car, plenty of opportunity to meet boyfriends, oh yes, life was good. 
It was quite early on that I realized that there was a difference between what I needed and what I wanted. I needed to have a roof over my head, but it didn't need to be modern and fashionable. I needed a car to get to work, but it didn't need to be flashy or new, anything with four wheels and an engine was ok. I needed clothes, some of them were new, but I made them last a long time, I didn't need to replace them until they wore out. I needed food to keep me alive and to nourish my body. I didn't need to buy expensive food, my mum taught me how to cook the basics. And so it went on, I was categorizing everything that came into my life, putting things into boxes, do I need it or want it? 
I have noticed from reading forums and suchlike that everyone's needs and wants are different. All well and good if you have the money to pay for it all. But if you have to make your money last from one pay check to the next, then it would be beneficial to constantly review your needs and wants list, because it changes over time. 
Some of my needs and wants are still the same, I still need a car because I value the freedom it gives me. So, for peace of mind I prefer not to drive an old banger which might break down. My car is now changed every so often and I save up for it. I still don't need a fancy house, new clothes and expensive food, so I decorate my house with second hand, and shop in charity shops and bargain hunt my food. 
I definitely have everything I need, and I seem to have pretty much what I want, or do I? Well, it's nice to have dreams isn't it. We can all aspire to a better lifestyle, to bigger treats, and a few luxuries. But what if we don't have the money to pay for it? This is where the needs and the wants come into play, not losing track and getting carried away by all the nice things around us which we see and want
For instance, I would like a campervan, wouldn't that be great, take off anywhere with my bed just behind the seat. The adventures I could have, wouldn't it be marvelous. But hang on a minute, have you seen how much they cost? Mega amounts of money which I haven't got. Spose I could save up for it, but it's going to take a long time. Spose I could sell my house and buy one, have thought about it, but what happens next. Time is getting on and I don't want to spend the rest of my life in a campervan, and once I have sold my house I will never get on the housing ladder again, it will have to be renting, and have you seen how much rents are these days? I did live in a small caravan for about a year and it wasn't very nice in the winter. No, my campervan will have to stay in the wants for now, and may never be bought.  
So, it is the end of the year, the point of this post is to encourage you to sort out your needs and wants for 2017. Make a list, you will find over time that your priorities will change. If you have money to spare each month you might find that you can afford some of those wants, but if money is tight, you might only be able to buy the needs. If you are always skint you should look at your lists and move things around. The wants will have to stay where they are for the time being until your financial position improves. If there are needs which you can't afford they will have to be parked in the wants for the time being. 
If you are living beyond your means you need to stop buying wants, you can't afford them, unless you do something to increase your income, take on extra work or change your job. Of course if you can write a book like Helen Gurley Brown, then you will be quids in. 
That's it folks, the end of the year. 2016 has been pretty good for me, I have no regrets. Let's all try and make 2017 the year we take control of our lives. Tomorrow we start afresh, what's gone is gone. We start  walking, we start looking after our bodies, we start prioritizing, we start enjoying the rest of our lives. This isn't a rehearsal, this is it. 

My very best wishes to you. Happy New Year.

72 comments:

  1. I love this post, it's so inspirational as usual. Your blog is my go to. Happy New Year Ilona.

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  2. Inspirational as always. Happy 2017 to you, Ilona. Slainte. Catriona

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  3. I actually had this book!!!. A very happy New Year to you and all the little critters. You do a wonderful job.
    Kind regards for 2017 for us all!!!:)

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  4. Happy new year Ilona. God bless you. I am going to focus on healthy food this year and also avoiding unnecessary spending. Here's to a Happy 2017 for everyone!

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  5. Happy new year to you! All the best!

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  6. As always, a great post. So many people can't separate their needs from their wants. They can't seem to tell the difference.

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  7. A really important message here, thank you so much, Ilona.
    A happy and very satisfying new year to you.
    J x

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  8. Very sensible advice. Happy New Year Ilona. Sue M

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  9. Thank you - after 2016 being such a "year" and I "tryed" to decorate for Christmas - I came to some similar ideas but you have written them out neater than I could have so thank you again

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  10. Happy New Year Ilona! Of now to Asda car park to see if I can find any receipts thrown away then I can see if I can claim some money back using the Asda Guarantee promise. Have you tried it? All the best!

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    1. Can someone please explain this, it sounds a bit odd?

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    2. What is this?

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    3. It's called wombling I believe. You scour Asda Car park for discarded receipts. You then go to the web site and enter the bar code numbers which will check if those items on the receipt can be bought for more than 10% less at other stores. If there are some Asda will refund the difference in the form of a voucher to be spent at their store.

      https://www.asdapriceguarantee.co.uk/

      Some changes have been made to the terms and conditions, you now have to have a Home Shopping Account to claim the vouchers.

      I don't do it because Asda is my furthest away from home supermarket. It wouldn't be worth me driving there on a regular basis. The people who live opposite might want to take a stroll across the road every night though.

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  11. Ilona, you've said what I've been doing between Christmas and new year: sorting out financial stuff of what I can alter this year. I need a mobile so I've negotiated a contract with free calls; I've also managed to get the internet provider to give me free internet access instead of a limited amount for the same money. I cook from scratch and bulk freeze instead of wasting good food for us. It's been enlightening with your humorous and sensible posts this year how much we have realised we don't actually need things that are constantly pushed at us and we refuse the merchandise. All very empowering. Happy new year and look forward to your posts this year. Amanda

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  12. I'm totally with you here, I have a few 'wants' but concentrate mostly on what I need at the mo. Money is tight but having known what it is to be poor a few times, I love to budget and spend wisely. Circumstances have meant we can only rent but we have a 5 year plan to move to an area better for our stress levels & pockets, and as of tomorrow it's only 2 years away. A very happy & healthy 2017 to you & your family of furry creatures !!

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  13. and a very happy new year to you too , Ilona. We had a small campervan in the past - self made - but it sat unused quite a bit of the time and eventually it went the way. We have though about replacing it, but like you don't think it will happen. I think it is possible we may choose to hire when we can no longer cycle camp.

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  14. Happy. 2017 to you Ilona and thank you so much for all the inspiration and help you have given me and others thru your blog. My wants are nil at the moment and my needs are not great, just give me my health to get thru the year and enjoy all my hobbies.
    Hazel c uk

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  15. Really beyond food, shelter, clothing everything else is a want. But a life with no wants included, even if modest, I don't want to imagine. No education. No art. No social connectedness. Finding a minimal balance is a need though.

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  16. Good post on wants and needs. When we made the decision for me to stop working people asking how or said it must be nice to be able to. A lot of it was decision making. What did we need? What did we want? It doesn't bother us if we don't have a flashy car or designer clothes. We wanted more time together. We wanted to see places together. We took up camping - not something I'd dreamed of doing - but hubby wanted to and it was a lot cheaper to stay in tent than hotel and (gasp!) it was actually quite fun! We still have a lot of things to cut down on (things we won't really miss but seem a little tough to give up) but we're looking forward to doing it!

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  17. A very Happy New Year, Ilona! Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. Love your beach hut picture too, best wishes, Annie(Glos.)

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  18. happy new year to you and yours ilona keep up the good work next year
    tessa

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  19. Love your blog Ilona. It is top of my blog list. Excellent post as usual. Hope you have all you need and a few wants for 2017.
    Tricia and Lucy x

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  20. Happy New Year to you Ilona. My ears pricked up when you mentioned Camper Van! Yes they are very expensive if you are looking at a new or nearly new. Is it a camper van you mean or a motor home as there's a world of difference. We have had camper vans for 25 years and believe me none were over expensive or new but the fun we have had is well worth it. We are now on our fourth van, a VW T5, 9 years old and we bought it two years ago as 6 seat van with side windows and a low mileage. The camper conversion was fitted later with the basic camper layout and a pop-top roof. We use it as our daily driver and camp with it during the summer. You don't even need a proper camper as lots of the VW people (and others) get their van and kit it out with the very basic of camping gear. A comfy bed, something to cook on, cool box and a couple of plastic storage boxes for your stuff you're ready to give it a go. The tents even have hook up these days so all you need is basic hook up cable. It's amazing how little you need to have a fun trip. Let others buy all the posh & expensive fancy stuff you get with the new vans or motor homes, I cannot justify the cost of buying one...crazy money. Rae x P.s roll on the spring.

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  21. Excellent post to end the year on. I've really enjoyed reading your blog throughout this year so thank you for sharing. Best wishes for 2017.

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  22. Happy New Year! Hope it's a great one. Thanks for all the great posts all year and keeping us thinking straight! Whenever I am tempted to buy something I don't really need, I think "what would Ilona do?" She'd say no, I don't need this and can live without it. The advice you give is priceless! Arlene from NJ (USA)

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  23. An oasis of sensibility and grounded no nonsense, in a world where abundance and spending are a very fragile security; I love this blog, here's hoping you have a happy new year and achieve all the things you set out to do.

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  24. Excellent post Ilona!! My husband and I have already made out our Wants & Needs list for 2017 with a MAJOR downsizing of our home, which is paid for, as #1.

    Happy New Year!

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  25. Google up microcampers, specifically the ones based on a car like the Berlingo multispace. I can't afford a campervan either but when I last changed cars I bought a second hand Berlingo and I'm going to make a DIY removable conversion for it next year. Something to think about!

    Happy New Year, and thanks for all the thought provoking reads. :)

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  26. What was the author of that books advice on how to have it all Ilona? I'm curious to know if she said the same as you!
    It's been a busy year for me, mostly positive. I'm glad it's been a good one for you too. Wishing you and everybody reading a happy and healthy 2017,xxxxx

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    1. Helen Gurley Brown. It's a long time since I read it, so I can't remember much about it. It did have an influence on me though.

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    2. The author's name is printed right on the front of the book which Ilona shows!!!

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  27. Thank you for all the sensible advice through the year Ilona. I've been reassessing my Needs vs. Wants and hope to do a better job of separating them this year. A Very Happy New Year to you and to all your followers.

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  28. Great post, food for thought as always. I would like to wish you 2017 to be a happy year. To enjoy every moment of it and to continue to inspire and motivate people.
    Happy New Year to you and to all!
    P.S. December's final counting is 92 km.

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  29. Hello Ilona, just to update you on my final walking total - 1210 miles. I am well chuffed with this result!!! I won't be joining in again officially, but I am going to continue with my static bike exercise. Happy New Year to you and all your animal pals, best wishes - Jill:)

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  30. Happy New Year yo you, too. I'm going to walk more! Can't promise to do nearly as much as your other readers, but will definitely walk.

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  31. Happy New Year
    from Sweden
    X

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  32. I had that book too. Like you can't remember it but was interested in it enough to buy it. At the time thought it great.

    Happy new year to you so pleased I read the teabag story on mail online and joined your blog. Thinking about more good ways to spend less in 2017. Regards fran

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  33. You are so inspirational as usual.
    Happy & healthy New Year from us,
    Wendy (Wales)

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  34. Woman in a Cupboard31 December 2016 at 19:25

    Happy New Year, Ilona, and keep up your inspirational blog.
    Amanda

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  35. I'm with you, Ilona. Good luck to you in 2017. Good luck to everyone reading. The best is yet to come and we CAN get our lives in order. We have more power than we think :)

    All the best for 2017.
    Quest

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  36. I WANT to say and I NEED to say A Very Happy New Year to you.
    xx

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  37. Happy New Year, Ilona. Thank you for your inspiring and interesting blog. Susan (wife of Edward, aka Spreckly)

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  38. Happy New Year - you are truly a role model to me . Thank you for all the inspiration over the past few (tough) years !

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  39. I would like a motorhome, have you heard of Romahomes. they are cheaper.

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  40. Best wishes for a great 2017. I have all I need, am content with my lot and am very appreciative of your honest, sensible, down to earth and candid voice of reason. We do not have to be influenced by the rampant consumerism that has invaded! Thank-you for all the hard work you put into your blog. Your attitude is inspiring. Cheers from Australia! Jo

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  41. Keep on keeping on. Happy New Year

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  42. Happy New Year Ilona. A great post to end with but all your posts are inspirational and uplifting. I've learnt a lot from your blog particularly where wants and needs are concerned.
    As others have said I'm sure you could get a van and kit it out yourself. Have a look at Citoen Dispatch vans as I'm sure there would be enough space for one person. All the best for 2017. Kristel

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  43. I never did read Helen Gurley Brown's book but I used to read Cosmo which espoused many of her ideas. I don't think I took most of them to heart since the lifestyle was vastly different from mine even as a much younger woman.

    Your discipline is much better than the average person so good on you. I find its a constant challenge to put my wants aside and I'm better at it than many. My weakness is when I see something on fantastic sales, lol. But it is always good to do a cost analysis first of the real cost. I wonder how any of us do that?

    I'm looking forward to 2017. A new year is always a great thing. Best wishes to you and continue giving us great inspiration.

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  44. Have a very happy New Year Ilona.
    I am looking forward to more of your down to earth blogs sprinkled with your unique comments and humour.
    I will be joining the walking group again and have underlined 1st of every month to remind me to log in.
    I have kept a daily walking diary of this year noting down the routes and miles walked.
    My total this year is 1008 miles. I have to confess that we slackened of towards the end of December! Now back into harness. My doctor is very impressed with the walking group idea. Thanks and all the very best to everyone reading this for next year. Sue

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  45. Happy New Year. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017. Xx

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  46. Wise words. Happy New Year! :) XX

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  47. Happy New Year Ilona. I'm walking partly inspired by you - doing 2-4 miles a day. Aiming for 3-4 a day from tomorrow plus planning on buying a similar exercise machine to you - I think you have a step machine (vaguely remember one of your posts)? Between the walking and a bit of exercise at home I'm hoping to improve my fitness. Hope 2017 is a good year for you. Ruth (Wales)

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  48. I had that book, too! I don't remember her advice. Helen Gurley Brown died a few years ago but in the past year the New York Times had a feature on her apartment which her estate was just getting around to selling. It was pink throughout which I actually love.

    Happy New Year to you Ilona and to your furry family.

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  49. I think you could rent a camper van for a week or two--affordable, something to save up for? You could have an adventure of sorts? I enjoy your blog and admire your art. Happy New Year!

    lizzy

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  50. I'm popping in to give you my last mileage numbers; 42. It was a short month. Although i won't be joining in on the blog, i will still be walking from the cold upper peninsula in Michigan. Thank you for taking this on!
    Best to you in 2017! You are a treasure!!

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  51. Good thoughts shared on this post. I have enuf clothes to last me awhile. Still looking for a certain skirt but that's it. I shop sales and use coupons when I can. We buy used vehicles and fix them when we need to. I'm working on fitness and healthy eating as well! Happy New Year!!

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  52. Happy 2017 to you, Ilona. You have inspired me in so many ways. Of course, on of it is walking daily. I did 62 miles in December.

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  53. Happy New Year Ilona and furbabies, hope it's a wonderful year for you:) Linda xx

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  54. Wishing you health and happiness in 2017 Ilona and look forward to another year of your inspiring blog x

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  55. I've been thinking of Caravan/Campervan etc. Never heard of the Roma Homes until now - found one on AutoTrader here

    http://motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk/used-motorhomes/romahome/occama-demountable/1986-romahome-occama-demountable-honda-acty-bambi-petrol-richmond-mfpa-2c929b135920f73b015951cd34e90863/makemodel/make/romahome

    Quite cute really.

    Anyway a very Happy and Healthy to you Ilona. I loved the beach huts btw, I don't think I've seen a nicer stitched picture.

    Linda xx

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  56. Happy new year love your blog and will be joining in with the walking this year As for wanting and needing well when the kids were at home it was stricly need now as pensioners and better off than ever if i want it i have it because I can. All the best for. 2017 Kath

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  57. Happy New year Ilona. I didn't make my goal for the walking but wasn't too far off. I only did about 63 miles this past month. Currently sorting needs and want too. We are hoping to downsize and buy a cheap house in a less popular area. We don't need to be near a school and plan to retire so aren't looking for work. That does give us a bit of an advantage in the price range. Open to suggestions but at the moment a little miners cottage in Wales has caught our eye. Planning to go an house hunt in a fortnight... if you hear of anything cheap in a nice area I would appreciate it if you could let me know.

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  58. It's surprising how many people think they need the "New Year" to start afresh, prioritise etc., when this can happen any day of the year, any hour, any minute! We control what we do, why wait until a specific day in the year to gain control? It's such an odd thing, people follow each other like sheep - hey lets all make our resolutions because it's 1st January!

    Be present in every moment of every day, live your lives with compassion, appreciation and gratitude and you don't need to wait until New Years Day!

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  59. Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy 2017 Ilona.
    Thank you so much for all your blog posts, often thought provoking,inspiring and sometimes conscience pricking. I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them all.

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  60. Happy New Year! And it truly doesn't take a lot of money to be happy... Just an aside: re the camper van thing, if you ever really want to go for one, have a look at the Mazda Bongo/Ford Fredas. They cost a fraction of what a VW costs, they're a tad smaller, very reliable and easy to park, though multi-storeys are out of the question as the ones with lift-up roofs (AFTs) like mine are tall. I've been lucky enough to have one as my work van for the last 18 months and love it dearly, though I'll probably have to trade down to something smaller soon as our needs have changed & I need something my mother (now 90) can get into without mountaineering! But when our beloved Bongo goes, my daughters will grieve... I could easily have spent a lot more money on a very average car which wouldn't do half as much or be nearly as much fun. But it probably would do more miles per gallon...

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  61. This is such a great post for the new year. It's funny that book influenced you as from the title it sounds like it could lead to trouble. Realistically very few of us can have it all, as your excellent post shows so well. I look forward to more of your down to earth wisdom in 2027. You should write your own book! Jane

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  62. Hi Ilona, thanks for this post. I've been reading your blog for a while but this is my first time commenting. Happy New Year! Thanks for so many interesting and thought-provoking posts - I'm going to have a think about my Wants and Needs, it really puts things in perspective. Hope 2017 is a marvelously good year for you.

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  63. I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you and your furry family. xx

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