Friday, 2 November 2018

This Week in Charity Shopping - just What The Doc Ordered


It's been a pretty good few days in the wonderful world of charity shopping this week. I couldn't believe my eyes yesterday when I spotted a Dr Martens box on the shelf of the first chazza we visited and discovered these Royal Blue patent boots tucked away inside. They were my size, they'd never been worn and were less than a quarter of the original £90 asking price (the shop label was still stuck on the soles).


Funnily enough, only a couple of months ago, I'd treated myself to my first pair of Docs since the 1980s in their half price sale after falling in love with them all over again after wearing a fake yellow pair I found in a chazza shop. I wore them during the festival season and, what with my hip misbehaving since I got back from Greece, they've been an absolute godsend. If you look closely at my feet in my End of the Road photos you'll spot a hint of lavender.


The Docs I'm wearing here are called Pascal and they're made from exceptionally supple leather. I was a bit worried about these Lamper boots as patent isn't the easier leather finish to wear but I've had them on since 9am this morning, I've walked around the supermarket, Ikea (I know, don't die of shock) and B&Q and eight hours later there's not a blister to be seen!


My other favourite finds this week are the 1970s fringed suede skirt and the soft-as-butter vintage Shelly's, London tan leather knee high boots. The silk Kate Moss at Topshop blouse was a £2.50 chazza shop bargain a month or so ago.


Although I share my vintage finds regularly on the blog there's a lot of stuff I buy in charity shops each week that never get a mention. For me, the real joy about charity shopping isn't just about the glamorous pieces, it's finding the ordinary, often mundane, things that I resent paying full price for. Whenever I need something I ALWAYS search for it secondhand before I buy new. Society is shockingly wasteful, spend a bit of time trawling your local charity shops (or those further afield if the ones near you aren't up to much) and I can almost guarantee that you'll find what you need for a fraction of the original price and without costing any more of our earth's precious resources. Take this black top I wore with one of my most recent acquisitions, a 1970s Indian block printed wraparound skirt. I'd never dream of going out and buying a black top from a proper shop (how boring!) but it's been a staple item in my wardrobe ever since I bought it secondhand last Autumn.


 People often recoil in horror at the thought of buying secondhand underwear but things don't need to be worn to end up in a charity shop like, for instance, this Marks and Spencer bra with the tags still attached and mine for the princely sum of 50p.
 There was a box of these TopShop socks in my local hospice shop the other day, marked up at 3 pairs for £1. I've no idea how much they were in store (Walsall's high street Topshop, like our Marks and Spencer, shut down a few years ago) but I can guarantee it was more than 33p so I bought the lot. These are remaining pairs that I haven't yet worn.


As you know, unless I'm in India, I always paint my nails. I was thrilled to find three discontinued Barry M nail paints which the chazza manager kindly gave me for nothing as I'd already spent quite a bit in her shop. The Nails Inc (£1) is a gorgeous shade of green and it shares its name with my namesake, Queen Victoria.


I'm not a brooch wearer generally but this one is bastard massive - just the way I like my jewellery. The cuff with semi-precious stones had a price tag of £40 attached - but cost me £2.95. I'm sure I don't need to explain the Indian bracelet except to say it was £1.50!


I love a vintage Indian silk scarf and always snap them up when I find them. The brilliant thing about living in a multicultural area like mine is the wealth of Asian and textiles readily available in our charity shops.


Jon and I are voracious readers and these paperbacks will be donated back to the charity shop when we've finished with them.


I can't resist retro kitchenalia. The red saucepan was made in Czechoslovakia, the orange pan is by an posh Swiss company called Spring, who are still going today, and the '70s tea service is by Staffordshire Potteries.


I left home almost 35 years ago and have yet to buy a new tea towel,  why would I when there's a wealth of fabulous vintage ones in charity shops? I'm reluctant to use the Ulster Weavers' lobster or the Welsh dragon with the Design Centre, London sticker on so I'll probably frame them instead.


Remember these Moroccan leather belts being the in thing back in the early 2000s? I loved them but could never justify spending £35+ on a belt but, as I'm always saying, if you wait long enough the thing you want will always turn up in a charity shop.


Hardly the most glamorous thing in the world but a pack-a-mac is always useful to keep in the van just in case and although camo isn't really my thing, at 50p I couldn't leave it behind.


Doing my research for our next Indian adventure I've been advised to pack a hat as it can get quite chilly in North India in January especially if you're travelling about in a tuk tuk. I'm not generally a woolly hat wearer but this slouchy River Island number with a pleasing metallic thread running through is perfect.


I love it when the clearance charity shop has a £1 day, it makes you reconsider things you wouldn't normally buy like these two Indian-made pieces, neither are wildly exciting but I loved the colours. Despite the odd shape, the burnt orange dress looks surprisingly good on and both are now possible contenders for the travelling wardrobe.


I loved the cape sleeves on this gauzy cotton blouse but loathed the wishy-washy blue colour, so I dyed it with Dylon's Espresso Brown (£3 in Wilko). It fits into the rest of my wardrobe perfectly now.


And if your charity shops really are rubbish then search eBay. I honestly do believe that there's nothing you can't find on there, it just takes dedicated searching and lots of patience. Recently Jon and I have been discussing getting a new armchair for me as the seat pitch on our Egg chairs (see below) are just too low for my troublesome hip. I'd found the chair of my dreams on a super cool website but managed to find the same one, which had been used for an hour on a photo shoot, for a third of the price on eBay - it should be delivered next week.

My beloved Egg chairs - found at a car boot sale.

Our weekend off will mostly be spent shifting furniture.

See you soon!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

55 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about our wasteful society. I'm also trying very hard to get bits from the charity shops. I absolutely love them, I have done ever since I was a child. I have found some truly amazing things. It has also fueled my obsession of vintage fabric finds, I've made so many dresses from curtains and bed linen found in the charities. I'm an advocate for sustainable fashion and reloving items! Great blog :)

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    1. Hello Caroline. I absolutely love them, too - "proper" shops hold no interest at all, all those racks of the same old stuff. I much prefer a treasure hunt.
      You can't beat making something from a vintage pattern and charity shop fabric, even my thread, zips and needles are secondhand! xxx

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  2. My thoughts exactly , I always wait for something i need to come along , It always surprises me what you can find , Love the kitchenalia, I have a massive indian piece that is to big for an ankle bracelet but too small for a necklace , unless its a choker , Love the boots and the skirt , wish i could deal with suede , Today on the market somebody gave me a hat to sell , Its crocheted and has a flower on the side , Looks a bit like a 1930s hat , Needles to say it didn't get on the stall , it suits me a treat , i had so many compliments today wearing it for the morning , Its a keeper xxx

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    1. Could be a headpiece for a wedding?
      I remember you admiring a crochet hat of mine a few years ago, glad you've finally got one. xxx

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  3. Hah! Chazzing is what the doctor ordered! There is nothing more blissful than mindlessly combing through racks of thrift store goodies with ear phones on. The thrill of the unexpected finds...like your beautiful Doc Marten’s and other goods!! Huzzah!!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Too true - no headphones for me though, our chazzas have music! xxx

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  4. I can only agree with you, but you know that already! There's hardly anything which cannot be found in a charity shop, if you are prepared to shop around and have a bit of patience. It's not about instant gratification, in fact I find it much more enjoyable to finally stumble upon the exact thing you have been looking for, and love the odd serendipitous find as well. I'm drooling over those Dr.Martens, the Shelly's boots and the fringed suede skirt. As a fellow kitchenalia lover, I love that '70s tea service. I only buy books at the chazzas, and almost all my belts and scarves are charity shopped. Can't wait to see your new chair ... xxx

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    1. I love finding something I wanted years ago and still buy it - a sure sign that I really liked it in the first place and wasn't getting carried away with a fad.
      I'm dying to get my paws on the new chair. We ought to redecorate the lounge before it gets here! xxx

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  5. I'm completely with you. I love finding a new to me bargain and it gives me such pleasure that I'm not contributing to the throw away mentality that prevails...although I sense a slight change in many people's attitudes. I think the world needs pioneers like you, and Ann above.
    I love those blue Docs, the lavender ones even more, what a beautiful colour. xxx

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    1. I'd love for people's attitudes towards secondhand stuff to change, something's gotta give although there will be less for us if they all cotton on.
      Those lavender boots are still on sale on the DM website - not that I'm trying to lead you astray! xxx

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  6. Completely agree! So much can be purchased second-hand - why buy new?? We just bought a sofa for a fraction of what it would have cost new.

    I'm a huge fan of Docs - they are awesome in the rain and snow! I wear them nearly every day.

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    1. Your sofa was a prime example of what a fabulous home you can have without buying new!
      I don't know why I stopped wearing my Docs, I'm definitely loving them all over again. I love how fellow Doc Marten wearers speak to you when you're wearing them, a bit like when we drive around in Gilbert, it's like being part of a club. xxx

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  7. I want some DMs. Not seen any in my size in the chazzas round here yet. I spent £50 on a pair of second hand DM shoes to dance in and it's been the best £50 I've ever spent. They were second hand but in near perfect condition and are so comfy yet they absorb the shock when I'm doing my mad Mythago morris dancing! Arilx

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    1. Keep your eyes on the website - they have some cracking sales on there - often cheaper than the secondhand eBay listings. xxx

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  8. The banded agate brooch is beautiful. If it is old and has a c clasp on the back you can get some real money for it.
    The second hand shops are good enough for most things, and I agree that with patience, eventually what you want turns up.
    I hope you find the new chair more comfortable. I just discovered sitting on our staircase is the most comfortable spot for watching TV whicxh is probably a sign we need a new sofa :(
    Have a great weekend.

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    1. The Brooch's setting is quite attractive but the clasp is distinctly wonky - sadly!
      Oh dear, sitting on the stairs isn't a great option. At the moment I'm like the Princess and the Pea, I'm sitting on so many cushions! x

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  9. I do believe that orange pan is a fondue pot. I love fondue and have three vintage pots. Love the jewelry.

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    1. Looks exactly like a fondue pot to me. They were very popular in the early 70's. We had two as Wedding gifts! JanF

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    2. Yes, Jan and Thorne - it is a fondue pot - not that I'm using it for the original purpose! xxx

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  10. I love this post, I so live my life the way you do in the thrift stores (wish I had the style and pizzaz you do). I buy almost everything there and am constantly shocked at the great deals. Hubby wouldn't be caught dead in one when I met him but now goes regularly with me lol. Why pay more when you don't have to! That dye job on that blouse was a real saver, it sure looks so much better now. Sorry about your hip, perhaps just temporarily retire the egg chair until you have surgery?

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    1. It is unbelievable what you can find. So many things we get are too boring to photograph - brand new car seat covers in the original packing for £1 for instance or the new sheepskin slippers I got today for £3 - dull but essential things save a small fortune! xxx

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  11. I totally agree, the selection of items to be found at thrift shops is astounding. I furnished half of my house from estate sales and some thrift store buys.

    I don't buy underwear there but I would if it still had the tags on and was my size.

    I used to love my Docs in the 80s but my feet don't like them anymore. I always pick them up when I'm thrifting though as they sell immediately.

    Have fun moving furniture!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. You've created an amazingly stylish and unique home from your thrifty finds - just like your wardrobe. There really is nothing you can't find, you just need to go regularly and leave no basket or rail unturned.
      Docs sell really well - I was very touched when a Spanish guy who bought a pair off of at a festival five years ago came into our shop over the Summer and was still wearing them! xxx

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  12. I agree, charity shopping rocks! It's amazing what you can find, often at great prices too. I love that you wore your lavendar docs with a dress. I always feel that I should wear my fake ones with pants but I might try them with a dress or skirt one day. Xxx

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    1. Docs look wonderful with dresses - I like the juxtaposition of super girly and downright practical! xxx

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  13. I <3 Block-print!
    We had some wonderful chazzas in my native California- nothing here in Nepal.
    Gave away all my Docs in the US - their tread collects too much mud here. O who am I kidding, I wear sandals every day.
    That Shelly's suede skirt with the funky fringe is fab!
    xox

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    1. I've been searching for vintage shops in Delhi - I found an amazing shop selling vintage sarees but it looked hideously expensive!
      I'd happily swap my Docs for year round sandals! xxx

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  14. Those Docs are the most marvelous colour! I can't wear the patent Lamper ones because I can never break them in. They have to be a soft leather to begin with, otherwise my bunions complain. I had the best pair of dark blue fake ones, bought in a charity shop in New York about 6 years ago, and they finally split apart this past year. So sad to let them go.

    Yes, you can pretty much find anything secondhand if you have the patience. I have found things with the tags still on them. I'm most entertained by the possibilities - you never know what you're going to find.

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    1. Give the Pascals a try - they're like glove leather, no wearing in required!
      It amazes me when I find stuff with the tags still on, surely people would try selling somthing on Ebay before just giving it away? More money than sense. xxxx

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  15. Sooo true about charity shops! I met Sophie and Hazel today and had a lovely Chazza crawl round Ipswich! We ended up with lots of things! I picked up a gorgeous Alice Temperley dress for £7 or £8 that retailed at £160- so lovely! x

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    1. Wow! That was a find. I hope there's a blog post coming up! xxx

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  16. P.S. I LOVE your finds! I would love to find Dms in my size in a chazza but my beloved Joylyn ones aren't made my Dr Martens now so I would need to find them in a chazza. I got my last pair on ebay for £32!

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    1. £32 was a great price. Jon's got a pair of those Joylyns - he got them for £2 from a chazza and was very happy with them. xxx

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  17. I got the same lavender Docs in the half price sale! I'd had my eye on them for ages, they're my first ever pair. I love your outfit with the suede fringed skirt.
    I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about a wasteful society, it shocks me what people throw away. Even worse when they just dump perfectly usable things in the bin, it drives me mad.

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    1. We're boot twins! I liked that lavender colour on the website and absolutely loved them when they arrived. The patent ones are fine on the feet but very tough on the shins, they'll need a few more wearings in the house before I can walk for mile sin them.
      I'm continually appalled by how wasteful we are as a society. xxx

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  18. 85% of our household are 2.hand - chazzas are not common here so from flea markets, thrift shops, inherited or found on the streets......
    and i had some smiles - although i will never find a bra (me is a complicated size) but i have the brother of that cuff - bought in india for cents, and of the moroccan belt - a hand me down. and my collection of 2.hand indian silkies wears the BW - he always needs a scarf in his shirt collar :-D
    but i would never find such pretty docs 2.hand - because no one here would buy such flamboyant color the 1.way around - black with tiny flowers is the most.... zzzz****
    love the coral dress and the over-dyed blouse - the still blue piping and buttons make it even more interesting!
    xxxxx

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    1. Fancy you and I having the same cuff and Moroccan belt! I bet now I've mentioned always finding those scarves in chazzas I won't find another for months!
      Those black Docs with the tiny flowers seem to be the thing here - they do some wild colours and extravagant floral ones, it seems daft to choose something so ...ordinary!
      I was going to change the buttons and over stitch the thread on the blouse but like the blue effect, I'm happy you do too! xxx

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  19. Your house is a treasure trove and as for those doc martens. What a find. Hope your doctor can give you some strong pain killers when you go away. Nothing worse than pain to spoil things. Xxx

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    1. I have a stupidly high pain barrier, it's got to be bad for me to take anything and Indian pharmacies are utterly brilliant for both medical advice and drugs! xxx

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  20. You are so right - there's nothing more soothing and energizing at the same time, as thrift shopping. You've found some true wonders here - the Docs stopped me right in my tracks! And I love picking up items that are still tagged as new. Always love seeing a shot of your charming home, xox.

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  21. I agree wholeheartedly with your buy secondhand mantra. I try to practice it as much as I possibly can. I've only once struck lucky with a bra in my size - they're either too big or too small!

    What wonderful finds you've picked up. Brand new Doc Martins! Amazing. The frilly, glittery socks were such a bargain, too, no wonder you snapped them up. Loved the long boots and the fringed suede skirt and the two wonderful maxi skirts in the photos. I loved the 1.00 Indian style dress - I bet it will look gorgeous on you. I haven't noticed any block printed scarves but I'll be looking out for them now.

    Kitchenalia is hard to resist, I agree. I have less space in my kitchen now since the revamp so that stops me buying anymore but I do have to argue with myself when I see some fab kitchen bit n'bobs!

    I thought I'd read all of Henning Mankell's books but 'Daniel' is a new one to me.

    Have a lovely week.
    xxxx

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    1. I know you're a great secondhand shopper!
      A couple of years ago I'd expanded into an odd bra size, now I'm back to my fighting weight I'm a more common size and bras are a lot easier to find - strange how so many end up donated with the tags still attached though.
      Keep your eyes peeled for those Indian scarves - I always take a few away with me as they fold up into practically nothing. xxx

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    2. PS Daniel was a new one on me as well. I've just started The Troubled Man, that episode made me cry. xxx

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  22. Love the Docs and that 70's tea service is stunning.
    Hugs-x-

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  23. Doc Marten WIN.

    I do buy some things new, but also get a fair bit from the chazzas. Getting some things secondhand - got a fab teal mac recently - frees up money so when I do buy new, it's really good quality and something I really want, I don't make do with fast fashion. (There's less choice at plus size in my local ones; I think we larger ladies come across stuff we love less often, so when we do find it we wear it to death.)

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    1. You always buy in a careful and considered way, Mim, with no impulse fast fashion purchases - when you splurge it's for top quality pieces like the Mod Shoes and your lovely black dress! xxx

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  24. I totally agree! I love my local charity shops. I'm a bit backwards to you though. I often buy staples new, like my lightweight navy jumpers. I know I'll wear them a lot so I can justify buying new. All the more unusual bits and pieces come from charity shops. If it's something I wouldn't normally wear I'll take a chance on it for a few quid. Turns out that most of my favourite wardrobe items are pre-loved - a fact I'll tell anyone who'll listen! I looked and looked for a pair of heeled balck leather boots last year, but I didn't find any I liked. At the weekend I found a new charity shops in town and found the perfect pair! All good things ... :)
    xx

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    1. It makes good sense to invest in staples that you're going to wear a lot and good quality basics are a bit like hen's teeth in chazzas - they're things that people don't tend to get rid of.
      How exciting to find the boots you wanted in a chazza this weekend, it sounded like the three of you had a most successful day. xxx

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  25. I re-discovered my docs (blue/gren tartan & black/white paisley) when I was sorting out my wardrobe and weirdly they now rub my heels to buggery and yet I used to wear them all the time when I first bought them. I was gutted and just could not bring myself to sell them so as a last punt I bought some gel heel grips and they work a treat.Huzzah!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you were able to come up with a solution to make the Docs wearable again! x

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  26. I recognize the Golden Hands binder. My mother collected the publications for a year--mid-seventies, I think. I still have it. Tried to teach myself to crochet from it--unsuccessfully--about five years ago. Finally managed a fairly even single crochet, but could not progress beyond that. Since it was about my tenth attempt over the years (including my mother and a class), I admit defeat. May try again some day when I retire. Eventually!


    Taja

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    1. Hi Taja! My Mum collected them in the late 1960s/early 1970s but sadly Dad binned them all after she died! I found an entire back catalogue in their binders the other day in a charity shop but I was having a day out with friends and was parked miles away so had to leave them behind. They're amazing aren't they - but a lot of the instructions are beyond me! xxx
      PS I can crochet now - it only took me 51 years!

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  27. I'm loving your blue martens! I think they're the best purchase I've ever seen, as DrMartens are highly prized here. I also love the Indian block printed maxi skirt and those tan boots! so many amazing pieces!, the blue tea service is my favorite.
    I've been always a huge fan of second hand books and furniture. Every flat I've lived in was furnished with hand-me-downs, charity shop purchases or pieces rescued from the rubbish. I still have many of these pieces, which have survived some moves!
    besos

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