Tag Archives: baking

The Fondant Five, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you characters from the books you love. Today might be one of the sweetest shows we’ve ever had, and I mean that literally. “Please give a warm welcome to my special guest, the fondant lion.”

“Thank you, Lisa, I am so happy to be here, I feel a roar coming on. RRRROOOOAAAARRRR!”

“I know you are famous for your thick mane. Is it thicker because you live in the zoo?”

“Yes, that is likely. I don’t live in just any zoo, I live in the Chocolate Land zoo and it is a special place. All the fondant animals that live here are very happy and we receive excellent care from Sir Chocolate and his helpers. One of our favourite meals is Sir Chocolate’s famous custard. He makes it for us in an enormous pot. I can assure you it does not last long once it is made.

“I have lots of friends in the zoo and they treat me with respect. I am the King of the Jungle in the wild and the animals here all recognize that and let me take the lead on decisions regarding the zoo. I am better off than my brother who lives in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He doesn’t always get as well fed as I do and sometimes, he has to fight other animals to defend his pride of fifteen other lions. It can be a hard life living in the wild especially when there are wild fires or droughts that destroy the vegetation. Finding food and water can be difficult at those times.

“The one thing I don’t have that my brother does is a wife. I have friends but I am lonely for female companionship of my own kind. I would like to have a family too. Lots so cute little fondant lion cubs running around would be wonderful.”

“Aww, poor guy. Maybe Sir Chocolate can find a wife to live with you.”

“It’s a good life here in the zoo. I get to meet lots of people and children. Sometimes we get to visit a school and that is great fun. During our school visits we teach parents, teachers and children about the benefits of creative art. Sir Chocolate brings fondant along for the children to play with and they learn how to make all sorts of fun figurines and other things out of it. Fondant is fabulous stuff, it is like play dough, but you can eat it. It is stretchy and elastic, and you can mould it easily into shapes. One of the children made a fondant hippo and she came to live with us in the zoo after the fruit drop fairies gave her life with their magic sugar dust.

“Our school visits are not always to demonstrate fondant art, sometimes we teach the children about baking. Sir Chocolate says that baking is very beneficial for children. It helps them develop hand-eye co-ordination, bilateral co-ordination, strengthens their little hands and helps them improve their planning and maths skills. As the King of the Jungle, I am proud of being part of something so useful to children and their teachers and parents.

“All of our books include five fun recipes for children to do with their teachers, parents or grandparents. The children love making the recipes and it is a nice way for parents and grandparents to bond with their children and occupy them doing something beneficial and entertaining. It is hard to complete with television and computers, but baking does. The kids love it!

“I do have one complaint, Lisa. I don’t have a recipe in Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five. There are five recipes. Sir Chocolate, Lady Sweet, buffalo and rhino all got a recipe, and even cheetah, and he isn’t even a big five animal. I didn’t get one and I think I should have but never mind. Perhaps I will get my own recipe in another book or on Robbie and Michael’s baking blog, Bake and Write.”

“Fondant sounds amazing.”

“You know what isn’t amazing? Royal icing. That stuff is like concrete.”

“Interesting. I would think the King of the Jungle would demand nothing less than the royal variety.”

“Well, Lisa, royal icing does taste rather amazing and it is very useful stuff. Sir Chocolate uses it to glue his chocolate and gingerbread houses together and, boy, does it stick. My friends and I had a bad experience with it in our book. We were kidnapped by the Wedding Cake Elves and taken to the home of the Chocolate Giant. His daughter was getting married and the giant had asked the elves to make her a wedding cake with an African theme. She specifically wanted the big five animals. They are lazy little fellows, so they decided to kidnap my friends and I rather than make their own fondant animals for the cake. Fortunately, they only took the fondant five, that is Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and me. A few of our friends were left behind in the zoo.

“We were dragged out of cages one night and made to march towards the Chocolate Chip Hills which is where the giant lives. When we arrived, the elves set about making a delicious tiered wedding cake and then …. [gulp] … they attached us to the cake with royal icing. It was a terrible feeling, Lisa, to be attached to a cake by your paws so that we couldn’t move about. Just thinking about it gives me the chills. The only redeeming factor is that the elves were smart enough to put me on the top of the cake. That is right for the King of the Jungle.”

“Kidnapping is bad. What did you do?”

“We couldn’t do anything, Lisa, glued to the cake with that terrible icing. Sir Chocolate saved us, he is a kind and generous man and would do anything for his friends. He discovered from the fondant giraffe and monkey what had happened during the night and he came to find us. Along the way he met up with the wily fondant cat who also wanted to help so the four of them arrived at the castle to implement a rescue.

“From our position on the cake on the table we could see Sir Chocolate’s rescue plan unfold, Lisa. It was really ingenious how he used each animals’ talents and special features, like the giraffe’s long neck, to rescue us. If I had a hat, I would take it off to Sir Chocolate.

“We all got away and went back to our lovely and peaceful life at the zoo. It turned out that Sir Chocolate knows the giant and he told him about those naughty elves and they were suitably punished for their laziness.

“Chocolate Land is an amazing place. Everything is edible from the trees to the houses and there are lots of amazing creatures and people who live here. I hope you will come and visit us at the Chocolate Land zoo and share our latest adventure. You will like it so much here that you will want to find out about all of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s other adventures too.”

“You can learn all about the Fondant Lion and the rest of the Fondant Five in the book Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five, by Robbie Cheadle and Michael Cheadle. This is a children’s book, and you get a bunch of extra stuff out of it too. There are recipes for children and their parents to make together. We should have made a fondant Lisa Burton and had me visit Chocolate Land. That would be fun one day. Anyhooo, this is an amazing series for children and their parents or grandparents. Any of the books are enjoyable, but the one on display today is Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five.

“We’ve presented Chocolate Land on this show before. Robbie and Sir Chocolate would hit those sharing buttons for you, so won’t you please give them a bit of love today? For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. 

Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Robbie has also recently published a poetry collection, Open a new door, together with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

You can find Robbie at her website: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

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A writer’s holiday

After the goof off weekend, I planned on one more day of writing. It turned out pretty well, but wasn’t a banner day. My iPad battery says it’s time to recharge, so I’m writing this while it’s on the wire.

I have two of three critiques back for Serang, and will wait for the remaining one. Maybe I can address all of them come Saturday.

Today I focused on the unnamed team-up adventure. I stopped doing word counts, but it feels like about 2000. Lizzie and the hat had a small spat, because they always do. They teamed up with Clovis to chase a red herring that revealed a big surprise. Of course he busted some heads along the way, because that’s what he does. He even got to kill a zombie using a sledge hammer. Fun, fun, fun.

Oh, and Lizzie and the hat stole a second upright bass. It was right there, what were they supposed to do?

Lisa and Jason got the last scene, so they faded into the background for this section. Jason is thinking about going home and cutting his losses. Gina and Gupta shared a new development that raised the stakes and anchored everyone until the end.

I have a conundrum with this one. I want it at novel length, but it’s looking like about 50,000 words will wrap it up. I’ve always said a story should be as long as it needs to be, no more – no less. I still believe that.

My problem is that I have enough 99¢ titles out there. If someone needs a stepping stone into my work, there are plenty of options, even a couple of free anthologies. I want to price this one at $2.99 like most of my recent work. I’d like some feedback here, but I won’t pad word count. I have several big scenes, and can’t be completely sure until I wrap it up. What’s your advice on pricing? Would you pay $2.99 for a short novel?

Keep in mind that my publishing desire is Serang before school lets out, then the un-named project around Halloween. I may park the unnamed one, finish Serang, then see if more ideas pop up for the unnamed one during the Spring.

In other news, the experimental bread rose well overnight. Sourdough is slow and you have to be patient. I punched it down before sunrise, but it’s taking its sweet time on the second rise. If I need to nudge it a bit, I’ll place it on a hot pad.

For the rest of the day, I’ll kick back and wait for the black helicopters to land. Why you ask? These are the windows I have open in my browser. It could give you some insight into both stories I’m working on right now.

  • My blog, Entertaining Stories.
  • Yin and Yang comparison.
  • Viral Hemorrhagic Fever.
  • Marburg Virus.
  • English to Chinese translator.
  • The Chinese Cobra.
  • Three different tabs for an online convention I’m interested in.
  • A chart about how fast Ebola spreads.
  • A map of the districts in Chicago.
  • Amazon for Voyage of the Lanternfish. (I was checking for new reviews. I need more.)

What’s your browsing history look like?

This afternoon, I have to get on with an interview for Lisa Burton Radio. Interest in these has tapered off, but I’m still doing them. I may use the online convention to push them a bit more.

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It’s a goof off weekend

Old What’s Her Face is off Saturday and Sunday. While this is great, it also prevents me from doing some things.

I sent off a big portion Serang to my critique partners. One has already trickled back, and I’m sure the others will in the next few days. It’s a good time to pause this one. She and her master wandered to the high desert, far from the Emperor’s focus. There are soldiers here, but the main focus is along the Northern Coast.

There is a thieves market here, and I want Serang to change her viewpoint toward them. Right now, she thinks they should all be hanged. If she’s going to become a pirate, this is where her attitude must change.

The vendors all have something similar to a Tibetan mastiff protecting their shops. This is a bit of scene setting for something I need to explain explain from Lanternfish.

I’ve come across several places like this in the story. Because it is a prequel, I have to live with everything that’s come before. I’m really enjoying the challenge. Right now, it’s a good time to pause and think.

I made a loaf of very good sourdough, but it’s gone now. Today I started a new batch of experimental bread. This time I added sesame seeds, sesame oil, and a big scoop of chili-garlic sauce. Might be a disaster, might be pretty good. I wish I had a scoop of leftover rice, but such is life.

We watched a bunch of movies, and with the crappy weather it’s a good plan. Watched Silverado. Odd cast for a cowboy movie, but it’s a great film. I actually based a character in Panama around Linda Hunt from this film.

Several Clint Eastwood films filled out the bulk of the day, plus Deadpool 2. Right now, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is on. I know everyone is down on Nicholas Cage, but I always liked him.

While the bread is rising, we’ll probably watch movies all day. That, and I need to sew a button on a favorite shirt. The damned thing broke in half. I’ve never seen that before.

I get the holiday off tomorrow. I need to read back a couple chapters, but I do that every writing day. If my luck holds, I’ll move the team-up project ahead. They’re getting closer to the paranormal bad guy, but not just yet. They have a red herring they need to chase, and might get to chase it tomorrow.

Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend. Tell me about it in the comments.

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About as predicted

I spent most of Saturday working my way through some critiques. Aside from spelling and punctuation, I didn’t change much. Little things to make one of my characters a bit more relatable.

There may be more to do, but I want some distance from that section before I look at it again. I managed about 500 new words, but nothing to brag about.

We did the PPV thing last night and watched Venom. It wasn’t really canon, but I still enjoyed it. Kind of sad seeing Stan Lee, but things like this happen.

I also started reading a book I’ve been waiting for. I’m not very deep into it, but enjoying it so far.

Oh, and I spent a day and a half getting to a lightbulb. The house is fully illuminated once more.

Aside from mailing out a couple of review copies of Lanternfish, that was my weekend.

I made some dinner rolls today, but I’m not impressed. I added a palmfull of salt, and they still need more. Salted butter makes a huge difference though. We’re going to be dipping them in potato soup, so the camouflage will help too.

The house is all mine tomorrow, aside from Bulldogs. Old What’s Her Face has to work. If the dogs can avoid chasing the squirrel every ten minutes, I might get some new words on the page.

Honestly, these guys are so funny, it’s impossible not to get up and let them chase one. The squirrel is on top of the fence, and bulldogs aren’t jumpers. They’re like two little fat rhinos charging across the lawn.

It may not sound like much, but I enjoyed my weekend. I hope all of you guys did too.

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Silly Willie, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that interviews the characters from books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today, my special guest is Cautious Craig, who recently took a vacation to Cape Town, South Africa. “Welcome to the show, Craig. You look so smart in your suit and tie but what is that funny noise and what are you sitting on?”

“Hi Lisa, thank you for having me over for a visit. I chose this tie myself. Dad said I shouldn’t get the one with aeroplanes all over it but I really like aeroplanes, especially after our holiday to Cape Town. Mom made me bring Willy with me for the interview. Willy is only three years old and he is very naughty and spoils everything. I am sitting on him and have my hand over his mouth so that he can’t spoil this interview.”

“Maybe you should let him sit up. Our listeners won’t like that funny snuffling noise and Willy might suffocate.”

“Oh, I didn’t think of that. Willy has asthma so I better let him up. Mom is waiting outside the door and I don’t want her to come in and shout at me.”

“BWAAAAAA! Craig sat on me. BWAAAAAA!”

“Please don’t cry Willy. It makes terrible feedback over my microphone. I’ll give you a sweet if you stop.”

“Okay fanks. I have my own biscuits. Can I eat one on your chair?”

“Sure. Okay guys, let’s get on with this interview, shall we? You said you went on a vacation to Cape Town, Craig? Tell me about it.”

“We went on a holiday to Cape Town and it was wonderful. Cape Town is in South Africa.”

“We went to another country.”

“No, Willy, Cape Town is in South Africa. We live in Johannesburg. It isn’t another country.”

“It is too. We went on an aeroplane. So it must be another country. BWAAAAAA! Craig kicked me!”

“Craig, please don’t kick your brother. Willy, have another biscuit. So, you went on an airplane. Was that fun?”

“Oh yes, it was great. Do you know they have funny toilets with no water on an aeroplane? There are also little tiny basins with taps that you press to make the water come. We went to the toilet five times and Willy made a big mess.”

“Did not. I was just washing my hands.”

“He did too. He used up all the soap and lots of it went on the floor and all over the basin. He also splashed water everywhere. Mom got so cross that she made Dad take us to the toilet the last time. We also had lunch on the aeroplane. It was disgusting.”

“Yucky! I didn’t eat mine. I put it in Mom’s handbag.”

“Um, yeah, how did your mother like that little surprise?”

“Mom was very cross. The sandwich was all squashy and butter went all over her keys, hairbrush and make-up. She is never going to let us have the aeroplane lunch again. Luckily, Mom had packed biltong and biscuits so we didn’t starve. Willy, spilled his juice all over the place. Willy is so silly. Mom made me give him some of mine. It is so unfair. I always have to share.”

“It’s good to share, Craig. Willy is just a baby.”

“BWAAAAAA!!!! Lisa called me a baby!”

“Um, I mean a big boy of three years old. Have another biscuit. Right, let’s move this interview along. Where did you stay in Cape Town, Craig?”

“We stayed in an apartment in Camps Bay. Dad loves it there. It is very windy. The wind almost knocked Willy and me off our feet. I didn’t like that. It whistles all around the windows and the trees in the garden are all bent over. Granddad says that when you go to Cape Town you have to put extra lead in the car’s tyres so it doesn’t blow away. I looked at the tyres but they looked the same as the ones on our Joburg car.”

“That sounds really nice. Did the apartment have a nice view?”

“Oh yes, the view was lovely. We could see the ocean stretching right out to the sky. Did you know there is a dark line where they meet? We saw lots of huge ships waiting to go into the harbour and also paragliders and surfers. It was very nice at the apartment even if the pictures were weird blue and silver blobs. Dad says we can never go there again.”

“Never! You just said it was a nice apartment. Why won’t you go there again?”

“Dad said Willy and I are hooligans. He said that we damaged stuff in the apartment. It is very unfair. I get blamed for everything. Willy pulled the curtains down by trying to climb up them like a monkey. I did burst the cushions in the bedroom, but jumping onto them from the top bunk bed was so much fun. Oh, and we also broke the string on the blinds and Willy sawed a hole in the balcony wall. That wasn’t my fault though. It was Mom’s.”

“Ummm, I can see why your Dad was a bit upset. Why was it your Mom’s fault that Willy sawed a hole in the balcony wall? Actually, how on earth did a three year old manage to do that?”

“It was Mom’s fault because she let Willy bring his tools. He has a whole collection of plastic tools.”

“I have a saw and a hammer.”

“It was the saw that caused the damage. While Mom was unpacking, Willy sat the whole time sawing at the same place in the wall with his plastic saw. I was really surprised when I saw he had made a hole and Mom was horrified.”

“Yeah, I can believe you two causing a little trouble. We’re running out of time and you haven’t told me anything about your vacation yet. What did you enjoy the most in Cape Town?”

“I like the beach. It was really awesome but the water at Camps Bay is really cold. It is the Atlantic Ocean. I learned that at school. I did get dumped by the sea and I nearly drowned but I liked everything else. The sea in Cape Town is very powerful. Mom also helped us to build a pirate island in the sand. It was very good and the other children on the beach all came to help. Mom also showed us how to make an aeroplane out of sand. It was so big we could sit in it and pretend to fly it.”

“I love aeroplanes. My ice cream fell in the sand and I cried.”

“You know, I can believe that. What did you like about Cape Town, Willy?”

“There was a fire on the mountain… and a helicopter came… it had a big bucket underneath it… it dumped sea water on the fire.”

“That was amazing! There were lots of firemen all trying to stop the fire from spreading. We were traveling in the car when we saw the fire. It was a big fire and it was jumping from tree to tree and all the small plants and grass were burning.”

“I want a fireman’s hat!”

“You always want everything, Willy. You are so spoilt!”

“BWAAAAA! Craig called me spoilt!”

“Okay boys, that about wraps it up. I’ll call in your Mom to take you both away. Thanks for listening folks. I’m just going to start wiping up these cookie crumbs and fingerprints.

“If you’d like to read more about Cautious Craig and Willie, check out the books by Robbie Cheadle. I’ll post all the details on the website. Don’t forget, the books have recipes in them too.

“Don’t forget to hit those sharing buttons on your way out. Robbie and Craig will both appreciate it, and they’d do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa burton Radio.”

***

Blurb: When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy.

 

Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

 

Silly Willy goes to Cape Town – available in early July 2017

 

***

 

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, will be available in early July 2017.

You can connect with Robbie at the following locations:

Blog

Goodreads

Google+

Facebook

Twitter

Purchase Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s Books from:

https://www.amazon.com/author/robbiecheadle

***

Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate land where you can eat absolutely everything. Join them on a fantastic adventure to find the amazing strawberry cream berry and learn how to make some of their scrumptious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook:

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

Purchase Link The first three Sir Chocolate Books are currently available at a discounted price in hard copy and as ebooks.

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Today’s word count = 0

I may dabble with a bit of micro-fiction after I post this. Today wasn't the productive day I had planned. There were a few commitments to some friends, and the old dog is fading. I spent some time just being his pal, like he has for me so many times.

Tomorrow isn't looking too good either. The mornings belong to my parents, and I won't sacrifice that. Weekends like this are why a bit of short form stuff is good for me. I get to keep writing, without having to worry about a giant character arc and three act structure. The format is just different, and I enjoy it as much as the long form.

We had date night tonight, finally. Two weeks ago I was sick, last week my wife went to Nevada. This weekend was our turn. It was nice to get away without dragging the kids along and just spend time together.

I may start drying out Tituba, the sourdough starter. I did less baking this winter than usual, but still made some fun things. My daughter isn't around much these days, and my wife is avoiding bread. Making loaves of fresh bread seems like a waste if I'm the only one eating it. I'll store Tituba in the refrigerator until it's time to wake her up next Fall.

Monday has something going for it. I'm off Monday, because it's a federal holiday. A quiet house may even let me work the next major arcana character into the Yak Guy Project. The next character is a few words away, but maybe I can get there.

We looked for tickets to see Deadpool, but they are sold out everywhere. If we get to go, it will be a different weekend. No big deal really, we still had date night.

Short post tonight. Maybe I'll have something to say before the weekend vanishes.

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All’s well that ends well

I had sourdough bread for breakfast this morning. It came out really good, and I even managed a great blister crust this time. I also gave the dog his medicine before tearing into my project list.

I managed the 20,000 words I wanted on The Yak Guy project. I may have forced it, but I wanted the word count. I managed names for the warring factions, but when I googled them I wanted to change them. I managed a letter or two of change and they work for now.

Yak guy is finished with the third character in the book, and it's time for him to join civilization once more. To do this he needs a name, but cannot remember his. Think of this like a portal fantasy. It isn't, but it gets the point across. He lost memories during the process.

The yak told him these people are named for their professions like Merchant, or Tanner. The rest have short simple names. Since yak guy doesn't have a profession, he decided his name would be Ted. It works for now, and everything is subject to change.

I managed to finish my critiques for tomorrow night's meeting. This will probably keep me from posting tomorrow, since our meetings usually run late.

The short story isn't finished either, but it's very close. I never got to that final character pass on The Playground. Quite frankly, I ran out of creative fuel.

There will be other characters in the Yak Guy project, but the next main one is The Empress in the tarot deck. In my deck she is The Lady, and that's what I'm going with. This means I have research ahead of me. This character is going to be important, and I need to have her lessons in place along with her use in the story.

My wife is home now, and it's time to think about the work week ahead. It was a great weekend of writing, but the real world beckons.

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