Tag Archives: environment

Watery writer

I’m going to throw caution to the wind and publicly admit via this blog, that I am not a confident person and I feign intelligence. 

I am a writer but I am uneducated, everything about me is self-taught and I am not a good teacher. 

I blunder my way through life, please take that seriously, because I really do!  Blunder Woman was a character that was in Russ Abbot’s show, but I am pretty sure someone saw into a crystal ball and knew that Blunder Woman might someday be a real person… me!  I think I might look like her when I am eighty; actually, we’re kind of alike!

But anyway, I digress!  So easily distracted like a dog with a… SQUIRREL! 

Right so, now that’s out of the way, I think it has something to do with my Chinese astrological sign – I am a water dog, a poodle or a Labrador I am not sure which, but a water dog nonetheless! 

Water goes with the flow, I always go with the flow, I am always flowing somewhere and even I never know where I end up or what I am about to do; I am true to my element, I am spontaneous, usually best at peace and generally calm but occasionally turbulent and rarely tempestuous!

But generally I am like any water, that if I am not in the right environment I go stagnant – and who wants stagnant water around them?  It’s quite easy for me to flow into stagnation, I am very much affected by those around me and if I choose the wrong sort of people to flow with, I do generally stagnate a lot or become tempestuous.

I am very self-aware, I know it’s my nature to be like this because my astrological element is water and this has helped me a lot to understand myself.  I love Chinese astrology and since I found it, I have found my life has been working more towards what I want from it, rather than just having life happen to me outside of my control.  But as a water element, I don’t like to control too much as I love going with the flow and I am easily dejected when the people I choose to flow to, aren’t good for a water spirit like me!

It’s easy to get me flowing into the right things, with gentle persuasion, love, conversation, I am easily motivated to flow anywhere and that does mean I am occasionally prone to finding manipulators that like to take advantage of my nature.

My main life partner Paul is a fire elemental (fire monkey), you are right to think that this sounds like chaos waiting to happen, because there are many times where I feel that I flow around him and dry up a bit.  Contrariwise he suffers as I can over suffocate him when I try to calm him down and he is easily exhausted by my high energy and my spontaneity.

My Henry, my son, is a metal tiger.  I consider him a huge support but I can’t help but think I am not good for him, as I sometimes feel I corrode him, like water does to metal over time.  Perhaps I am overthinking things, but this is how I feel!

Perhaps I should try and help balance him more by making lemon drizzle cakes and homemade lemonade to help maintain his metal spirit?  Lemons are good with corroding metal restoration!  Thing is, the boy hates lemons, so what is a water mother to do?

You may think I wrote this entry in jest, but it is my life, it is quite serious for me.  An insight to my brain like this can often terrify the sensitive, but at least I am honest!

I am drying up, or becoming stagnant, I am not quite sure which it is yet;

I say this because I am wanting to write more than ever these days and I am – but I am not focusing too much on novels anymore, because I can’t flow how I want to or how I used to, when being creative.

I used to brainstorm with a close circle of family or family friends, before I moved in with Paul and it would be good energy for me to make me want to write so I can tell them what I have done and what I might plan and to see what they have to say about it all!  But Paul just isn’t into my genres or my sense of corny humour.  I have no one where I can do this to, without the worry that they are going to steal my ideas and use them because I am too slow as I am a meticulous planner.

Because I have no one to share my thoughts with, I am being boiled within the inch of my life and becoming despondent with my storytelling, because, well, what’s the point?  If I don’t have someone who wants to share my creative journey with me on a personal level and talk about things as I do them, how else can I get the fuel to want to finish what I started?

I am easily downcast; I am easily demotivated by other people’s disinterest and I am a worry wart, who is fearful of anyone new who wants me to talk about my work – I have trust issues because I have been bitten a lot in the past.

I need a mentor or a friend I can trust, preferably a small group of them – but how can I find them?  I am at a loss… I had thought about joining a critique group, but there is a problem with that… I am a slow reader, I can’t read three or four extra novels in a week as well as my usual two books I need for research and my own pleasure reading, I just can’t read that fast!

So what is a water dog girl like me to do?

Flow into stagnant waters again I guess… I don’t like it there, it’s too murky and stinks and it’s a bit boring to be frank.

My confidence has taken a huge bashing recently; I feel lame in my sense of humour and I feel alone in my creativity because I am overly cautious and don’t trust the internet very much – sorry people!

But recently I am starting to feel a little bit ashamed of the comedy aspects of my work, because it’s too corny, stupid, over the top and it hurts!  It hurts a lot.

The only genre I can openly talk about without boring the only person who will listen to it, is dark humour in my horror or some dystopian works, outside of that, I don’t have any support.  I wrote a list last week of all of my current WIPs, there are nearly two hundred novels and eighty nine are fantasy mostly, half of which are comedy.  There are only thirty seven horrors that are not vampires or dystopian based.  I have to admit, this person is trying to make me refocus mostly on horror and I am more fantasy and family really.

My main project – the anthropomorphic dystopian is really loved by my listener and only one fantasy novel about dragons and magic is loved by them too – the rest gets a meh or a snore, if it’s not traditional horror.

I prefer fantasy because it heals me from remembering the crap in the world; horror was originally written because my life was horrible, I experience intense violence and been in survival situations that were horrid and I was excellent at writing nasty things like that because of experience.  But I don’t like reliving that kind of thing all the time, fantasy is more healing for me.

I need the pretence that life can be utopian and magical and miraculous and lovely, but I also know that leads to a boring story and I know there are always people out there who wants to destroy a perfect thing for someone else because they are jealous of it, so that is seen in my fantasy a lot, but it is more tame than my horror because my fantasy is written for a family audience.

I’ve personally had enough of pandering to ogres and monsters and being submissive to them and their demands – my horror stories have been developing more and more into revenge style plots, where nature gets its own back on humanity for tearing apart paradise bit by bit.

My reader has noticed and he misses the horror I used to do, the gore for the sake of gore, the horror where anything is possible just because it is meant to be horrible!  Although he likes my new take on horror, he doesn’t like it nearly as much as when I used to write descriptive body horror and taboo scenes.

At the moment I feel like my watery self is forming a whirlpool and it is getting scary, because I have never been a whirlpool before and I am not quite sure what’s going to happen if my instinct is right!

Thank you for reading and hopefully understanding *love you all*

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Filed under About Me, About my work

Technology and specie inclusivity

I like to read from time to time cyberpunk books, so how comes up until recently I have been a luddite?

Although I have read cyberpunk books, bio-punk books and such the likes, I read them with a dim view.  I enjoy those books, but I lived in fear of technology taking over, like it has in many of those books!

I saw those books as a warning sign!

A flag up for society a shout out of do and doom!

Dramatic I know!

But forearmed is forewarned, that was my philosophy anyhow!

You are beginning to see now that I am a frightened creature, a creature that is easily made tensed and living with a sense of perpetual panic… about mostly everything!

You’d be right in thinking I a prepper, because I was a girl guide “be prepared” was our motto too you know!

But just because I read books, doesn’t mean I am very smart in everything.  My intelligence lies with literature in general, languages, the environment, animal welfare and social sciences – not technology!

You can’t learn much from the average cyberpunk and bio-punk novel, other than developing a sense of fear or excitement over it.  It doesn’t tell you how to use twitter set up an YT channel and upload pictures on Instagram.  I wish it did, but there you go!

But I still stand with how deeply concerned I am that as society is progressing to becoming more and more cyber oriented, we are not increasing our understanding of nature and working designs out to be more wildlife inclusive.

Really, you’d think that as we’re now so technologically and scientifically advanced these days that we’d have developed cities akin to the Venus Project and that more cities, especially in the 2020’s would look like Singapore or better versions of it!

But lo and behold… no!

We’re still making concrete coffins to cover the land, it’s spreading like a virus and I don’t like it!  It’s not pretty and it’s certainly not healthy!

You know this technology is amazing and it really can be a much more amazing thing if we think outside the box and thought more inclusively about nature.  Never before has humanity bragged its sense of inclusiveness so dramatically as it has now, but failed to include other species within the spectrum of inclusivity.

Until we do so, maybe then, we will find alien life as they will know that humanity isn’t speciesist!  That should be a new word in the dictionary – speciesist, meaning disrespect of other species and anti-biomutualist. 

It’s something to consider.

It’s something also that is mentioned a lot in my books!

Specie inclusivity, bio-mutualism and so forth; why not?  Hardly anyone has touched on the subject to the degree I have.  Except of course, our precious David Attenborough, and to me he is a precious member of human society that if bio-technology needs to save one human in the world from death, it is him!  Forever may he live!

Thanks for reading!

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Truth of a luddite

Where the blazes have you been woman?  I suppose that is something you all have been thinking since learning about my forays into technology?

Truth is, I rebelled against my much older brother for years as he demanded that I learn everything about technology and be a techno-head like him.  I pushed against the idea that technology really will drown the old world out and replace it to such an extent that money will eventually become extinct for cyber points instead etc.

We’re close to that kind of society now and it is a sobering thought, because as much as I pushed against it, I am being dragged in by the tidal wave of millions of people who are going in for all of that!

I really believed that more and more people will think like me, drag themselves away from the zombie mind-sets of technology and run for the hills to save the environment from the onslaught of iron, plastic and wires and being pounded by invisible waves of energy because they’ll see the damage it is doing.

I’m sad to say they haven’t and it’s been a long time.

Where have I been indeed?

The honest answer is curled up with a book in the corner of a room, until the bad neighbour came, I would venture into my garden growing everything organically and in permaculture style and trying my best to stick to traditional life.

But I want a writing career and I am not going to be that successful in it, without all the technological stuff. 

Though learning it is fun, I still learn it with pangs of guilt that I am not being true to myself – my nature – my environment and beliefs.

I just wished that technological advancement was more environmentally friendly, healthy and inclusive with nature; instead of drowning out the sounds of nature to the extent the birds are going deaf to each other because of human noise and infrasound.

I want to be trendy like other people, knowing all the new gadgetry off by heart and going with the flow, but I also crave the old ways – the self-sufficiency, the living at one with nature, not fighting with it for space and resources.

This is what I have been struggling with for nearly two decades and I am giving in, I am giving in like all the other millions of people around the world have – but I hope that I still hold true to some traditional ways in spite of this.

I’m not an Amish, but for years I have come close to being like one.  Gardening in traditional ways, no electrical tools, no poisons like pesticides and herbicides, walking barefoot in the garden, knee deep in soil and eating fruit straight from the bushes and trees without thought;  I don’t really want to change that much and I am likely not to.

But I like having a social media presence.

I know I am quiet, but I am one of these strange people in the world who don’t like to talk unless I have something to say or that I feel the words that come out of my mouth have to have some kind of meaning… I don’t like engaging in very negative conversations or gossip, so this makes me an anomaly to many.

I don’t follow people just because they’ve followed me, I have to like what they have to say, I have to connect somehow – if I don’t, I won’t follow, because I don’t believe in boosting a person’s ego and presence, unless there is something about them I like. 

Why?  Because I am old fashioned, I believe your connections represent who you are as a person and if I connect with the wrong kind of person, because I don’t really know who they are, then that could be damaging to me.

I think this is something that is wrong with social media; people don’t understand that association can affect your own reputation.  It might not be like that these days, but to me it still stands.

These are what have made me hold back with technology a bit.

But I am open to change; I am not that stubborn or stupid.

But I do have a big hang up on my looks, I believe I am hideous and I struggle on an emotional level to share photographs of myself.

But I have to get used to it.

It’s the way of the world now.

I am not happy in my own skin and I would appreciate some love as I have had way too much abuse and negativity in my life, that it’s darkened me as a person, my light is almost going out – I need to regain my spark.  It went years ago.

I am very apprehensive online and I make loads of mistakes when trying to chat with people, by sending posts before they’ve finished etc.

Thanks for reading!

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Sunflower solution

Today Paul and I have thought about the sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin crisis that has hit the world, because last year was a very bad year in sunflower production due to climate and weather disturbances but now there is another factor that has affected sunflower oil production – the war on Ukraine; this war has contributed to the sunflower crisis because Ukraine produced 46% of the worlds sunflowers and safflowers.  This means that the sunflower oil crisis has certainly lengthened, but it also poses a threat to people who have food intolerances like me.

Without the use of sunflower lecithin in products they will now use soy or flax and I am sensitive to both of those things, which means it has affected me directly!  My diet is going to become further reduced as a result of it.

Paul and I are uncertain whether or not I will react to flax lecithin’s, because so far as we know, I am mostly affected if I eat whole flax seeds or linseeds, so whether or not I will be ok in other forms, time will tell!

We do know that I am no longer severely gluten and lactose intolerant, that it was products that contained soy, that didn’t make itself obvious until recently.

We know that gluten causes a slight rise in my blood pressure if I eat, say more than a sandwich worth of bread in a day of wheat, but that it does seem to be mostly a wheat rather than gluten problem potentially…

Lactose only really causes an issue with my digestive system if I eat too much fat in one day, but I can now drink a milkshake or have a chocolate bar with no ill effect, if I am easy on other fats throughout the day!

So this has helped improve my diet choices again and there is a noticeable increase in my health since going back to these foods.  But it is not anything to celebrate really, as the changes are still rather small, just a change in hair, nail and skin quality and deeper, longer sleep sessions.  I am more tired these days, but we’re not sure why.

Because of the sunflower crisis, I told Paul that when we get some money, it might be worth investing some of that money in sunflower farming?  But Paul feels that many other farmers are already on the ball with that and may neglect wheat farms to do so, meaning that he feels there could be a wheat shortage soon as people literally chase what they think is a golden opportunity.

I am not happy about doing wheat farming, I am not into grasses because of the lack of biodiversity and Paul failed to remember that my sunflower farm would not be a monoculture, because you can grow other things underneath the big blowsy heads of flowers!  Beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn and squash for example are excellent companion plants for this crop.

Because aphids are attracted to sunflowers on mass, ants will actually farm those aphids for their honeydew and therefore the crops underneath the sunflowers would not be affected by the aphids as much as they would have without them. 

Because ultimately any farming or self-sufficiency I do is 100% organic and polycultural.

Not only this but farming the sunflowers like this would also bring in the three sisters philosophy too, corn, squash and beans, corn in particular increase their yield when planted next to sunflowers it is just a matter of alternating plants, sunflower, with a block of corn, sunflower, block of corn, you get it?

So it would be a very productive system in my opinion, so I guess, in a manner, Paul gets his way when he suggests we really should consider a grain…

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Let’s get it on

The world is screaming in this heat

Life is on the verge

And it isn’t meat!

It’s all the toxins you consume!

All the chemicals are our doom!

Drown the world in oil plunder

Kill us all and all the wonder

Choke us with your smog and know

That we have no other place to go!

So think on that and change the world

A new mission for you has unfurled

We are super heroes you and I

And together the world will not die

One action and then another

We can save the world and build another

A newer greener happier place

On this same planet that we’ve disgraced

If we do it now it won’t be too late

So let’s get on cleaning up our mistakes!

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Concrete Box

Nothing screams disease like humans packed into a concrete box

Grey deserts confound even the most cunning fox

Read this and weep for the nature we have lost

Though humanities tears have turned cold like frost

Shall we remember the greener days where all life was one?

Shall we reverse time or is the world done?

You hold the key, yes you little one

One can save the world, even from the numb

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Our biggest mistake

The Millennia bought so much hope to all around the world

Life was changing for the good

Medicine at its finest, racism crushed underfoot

Then a decade in its all trashed

With plastic waste and a democratic slash

Democracy is bleeding to death

And my heart along with it too

Life was good, but nobody knew

Nobody knew that how they lived would make the world askew

A simple little plastic, a few chemicals here and there

A carefree attitude to living that is what has me in a scare

Things have to change quite soon, not soon in fact, right now

Because how we live today, is our sufferance in the future – WOW!

Yes profound, but true wise words

Don’t keep on with your ignorance and being backwards

It’s time to learn it’s time to change, for you and all your future kin

Because trashing this beautiful world has to stop, it is a sin!

Not being religious now, but Earth is our home

If we kill this planet off this century where do we have to roam?

Nowhere, that’s where, you can forget living on Mars!

Mars is a desert, cold and cruel it is not as nice as ours

You have to take care of our ancestral lands, for we are ancestors too

Stop thinking about yourselves for a change, you are not here for long that’s true!

You got to think about the kids, about the creatures we all subjugate

Because if we don’t take responsibility, all of us!  It will be our biggest mistake!

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Reading and writing past and present

I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old when Mr Alistair a therapist/teacher told me that I had a gory imagination and extraordinary talent; back then my specialism was horror and it has only been in the past seventeen years that my writing has moved onto fantasy, comedy and poetry.  I started writing stories about alien invasions, vampires and alarmist ideas about climate change, El Niño and the end of the world.   I have for most of my life been a dedicated environmentalist, but since I talked so much in a spiritual forum about my concerns I lost confidence to continue writing this journalistically (is that a word? if not why not?), because I was accused of being a doom-sayer and me being a very uplifting positive person this accusation hurt me enough to stop me.

My first ever short story of any real length was based on Persephone in the underworld that I wrote when I was eleven.  I imagined how life must have felt like living in the underworld and even when I was that young I had a good clear understanding that not everyone is 100% evil or good, so I wrote about Hades in a positive form and it was very much influenced by my passion for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  This is a theme that has followed me through my writing life; if there is a misunderstanding in something, I am always willing to show another side to it – determined to prove to everyone that nothing is just black or white; it is a multitude of colours.  I can do this to the most indigestible of subjects too, according to a few people who have seen my handwritten work – thus I am sometimes known as an excellent mediator and diplomat, as long as the subject doesn’t get me too personally hot under the collar. 

One friend recently told me that they see me as society’s apologist, whatever that means.  I looked it up and I am not really that religious enough to be considered an apologist, though I suppose if you were to watch me answering questions whilst I am watching many quiz shows on religion, you’d say I seem to know an awful lot about religion for someone who isn’t interested in being religious.  You see I think this is where people misunderstand me – it is not that I am not religious, I am more humanist because I think that religion by and by causes division and I am all for world unity.  However I am a deeply spiritual person who literally believes in anything until it is absolutely solidly proven not to exist – hence why I leave milk and honey next to the stove at night for the house spirit (Nisse/elf) and ask permission to the tree itself before I prune it and honestly believe in various ancient customs and ideas – though I am still soul searching, but I will make this abundantly clear now, this is not an invitation to be converted to anything.  My ancestry history is so mixed, whenever I feel I should dedicate myself one way or another, I feel like I am upsetting some ancestor on the other side, so I don’t bother myself with dedication of that sort.

Anyway, this post was going to be about how I started writing and what I started with and where I have ended up.  I have written a lot of comedy and comic themes recently that I have noticed I have more and more of the fantasy and sci-fi comedy genre, if that is a genre.  I told Paul the other day that I feel like I am being possessed by the spirits of the deceased members of the Monty Python gang and Terry Pratchett, I try and write serious high fantasy and I can’t help putting in some silliness into it and I am seeing corny puns in everything!  The more I fight it, the funnier I get.

Unfortunately the comedy themes are rarely if ever posted on here, because I have made this mostly into a life update and poetry blog, rather than the intended fantasy blog, because I worry that my worst writing might be my best and my best my worse in the eyes of the world.  So I never really know which short stories and snippets to risk posting here.

I have decided to make this blog more of a writing diary, but again I have fears that I might reveal too much of my plans.  Fear is a major factor for me not posting much lately.

I have a handwritten diary I update about once a week on average because I keep forgetting to add to it – this diary is purely about my writing, my plans and any strange themes I have noticed that day or week.  For example, I have noticed I get a story idea in my head, then a book falls off the shelf in the library of a similar theme I was thinking about – weird coincidences like this happen a lot to me.  Then whilst television flicking, subjects of things I have been thinking about or themes of the day seem to be found everywhere, even on my sons chocolate wrappers as adverts at times!

I was thinking about sharing these day to day themes and the weird occurrences they have been discovered as part of my day to day blogging, as these things often develop into story ideas for me as I sit back and wonder what the universe wants me to do with these supposed signs?  What story is she prodding me towards and I believe this is why I have more ideas than actual work – I am never without a new idea, the problem for me is writing them down fast enough and concentrating on less than three at a time.  This is extra difficult for me because I am an attention deficit sufferer, I get bored doing the same thing or thinking about the same thing for longer than twenty minute bursts – hence why my current reading list on Goodreads usually has around twelve current books on the go!  It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a book, it just means I really can’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes.

Thinking about my reading list on Goodreads has actually just reminded me to make a point here on a matter a friend recently said to me the other day – she noticed that I have all these books on Goodreads I am currently reading but I only manage to read between ten and forty pages a day of maybe two or three books and she said that as far as she understands I am always reading but the Goodreads activities doesn’t prove it.  I said it is simple really when you consider that Goodreads is not designed to update magazines and newspapers and out of print books that are not listed on their site at all as well as local pamphlets and guides, game back stories, research websites, other people’s blogs and so forth. 

Here is a list of my magazine subscriptions and I do mean, I read them every time they are published either weekly or monthly;

Writing Magazine

Garden News

Sci-Fi Now

Gardeners World

Tesco

Yours

Pets @ home

Total TV Guide

Amateur Garden

Kitchen Garden

Lego club magazine

WWF membership news and stuff

Bibliophile

BBC History

New Scientist

Focus

Classic Rock

When I pick up a new magazine, that is the only thing I can read from beginning to end and it takes me around an hour to two hours – the reason why I can do that with a magazine rather than a novel is simple, the subject changes every few minutes.

Honestly, I am addicted to reading, I am addicted to downloading new information into my mind on a constant basis and I am a person who doesn’t enjoy sleep – I see it as a waste of time, but being ill, I have to sleep more than most and it literally drives me crazy!  All I want to do is think learn and do.

So there you have it!

Hello, I am Tina Cousins and I am a reading and writing addict and I don’t intend to cure myself of it, goodbye.

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The Lorax

Not my artwork

I had never read nor watched The Lorax by Dr. Suess until last Sunday (I watched the movie first – shock horror and gasp) and I am surprised I’ve missed such a gem in my childhood.

To be honest, I would of hazard a guess that Dr. Suess had written only about ten stories, but that is not true; I am surprised to discover via goodreads.com that he wrote a great deal more than that and I endeavor to read all he has ever written.

Dr. Suess has the kind of personality that I love. His humor is strange, nonsensical with seemingly illogical plots, though to me they are very logical and has a great understanding of creative children and eccentricity.

I loved the Lorax movie because of the color and the deep meaning behind the plot. I love anything that tries to show humanity the errors of their ways, like Bee Movie; The Lorax has a message for humanity that shows you must never take your natural roots for granted and you must protect, nurture and above all respect nature and the environment for future generations.
I am passionate about the subject behind the movie and you can find out more of what I think about this by following this link.

http://fantasyfed.com/2015/07/22/living-responsibly-2/

Dr. Suess’s worlds are beyond fantasy, they are usually worlds based deep within our consciousness. Dr. Suess takes us behind the reality of humanity in many of his stories, The Lorax being an example of one of those tales.

The artwork within the movie as in the books, are very abstract and I like that.

When I first saw the advertisement of the movie, I was puzzled as to what the storyline could possibly be? When I saw the trees I thought it was something along the lines of a candy-man story, another Willy Wonka of sorts because the trees looked like candyfloss on candy-canes, but it wasn’t. It was an adorable world.

Funny in parts and irritating in others, only in that the irritations are my own personal views of humanity and seeing how The Lorax could someday possibly become a reality, particularly as I have known a child who lived in such a dense urban area, they never ever saw grass and when they were taken to a park they were terrified of the grass and refused to walk on it with their family.

Books and movies like this should be more widely available to the public and written in many different ways; because I think society needs to have it drummed into their minds about just how precious nature is and caring for the environment should be a necessity in everybody’s daily life.

Governments should forget trying to drum into their societies minds about individual peoples lifestyles regarding image and start concentrating on lifestyle issues that affect the world as a whole; Like recycling, sea/ocean clean ups, global warming, over population, city and town expansion etc.

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Filed under Reviews