Welcome to The Fast Diet › The official Fast forums › Mind › Cognitive impact › what r we reading/listening on fastdays or nonfastdays?
This topic contains 251 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by mulville 3 years, 7 months ago.
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16 Dec 13
toms, I can’t really comment on our local bookshops because, in a word, there ain’t none. I confess that I and others like me are partly to blame, because we tend to look online in the knowledge that the price will be considerably lower. That said, I did use our late lamented shop, if I wanted something in a hurry. In central Londond there is at list one large bookshop with reading spaces, rather than reading rooms.
My main reason for posting is to share your delight in the fact that your grandson is an avid reader. Both my great-nephews fall into that category, although the 4-year-old can’t read yet but loves handling books and being read to. The younger of the two was born when his elder brother, already a keen reader,was 10. It was uncertain how he would react on the arrival of the new baby, having been king of the castle for 10 years. After a quick and trouble-free birth, their mum was home within 48 hours. Far from throwing a hissy fit, on that first morning and on many subsequent ones, to give his mum some extra time in bed, the elder boy quietly planted himself beside the wee one’s cot and started to read to him. The family, including me, are sure that it was this that has made the 4-year-old a trainee bookworm. Now he has started school we are also sure it won’t be too long before he can read for himself.
Hermaj, because I’m a soft old sod, I had a tear in my eye on reading about the older brother! Well, yes, there are no local book shops, we have to go into town and pay exorbitant parking fees or bus fare. Having said that I do bus in from time to time especially if I need other stuff, whenever I have time to wait years for a bus!
In that case, toms, I am also a soft old sod. I fill up every time I think of it. It’s happening right now. To change the subject a bit, I’ve just skimmed through this thread and I don’t know why I haven’t posted on it more often. Much of my reading has been the result of recommendations from friends, so it will be fun to follow up the suggestions of fellow members the 5:2 brigade.
At the moment I’m having to read stuff relevant to the MA History of Art I’m doing as an essay is looming. However I’ll get back some time soon with books and authors I’ve enjoyed. And maybe a few I wish hadn’t bothered!
Good luck with your essay and your MA. I am art mad and dabble a bit, but not very good! Just enjoy doing it. More than anything I like being awestruck when I see the work of very talented artists. Is your MA for your own intellectual satisfaction, or is there an ulterior motive? Am planning to re-read Wuthering Heights once War of the Worlds is finished. Have a few swaps coming up with a friend so don’t want to buy any at the mo. My daughter in law reads so we swap too.
toms – The MA is purely for my own intellectual satisfaction and to some extent it’s an attempt to keep the ageing brain in gear. Even so it has had a very positive effect on the day job – freelance translator specialising in arts and media. I started three years ago doing a Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture, a conversion course for people with degrees in other disciplines – mine was in Modern Langages – which was pretty hairy as it took you to first degree level in a single academic year. Despite an iffy start I finished with a Merit (good 2.1 equivalent) which qualified me for the MA. Then I took a year out and started the post-grad degree in October 2012.
It is gratifying to find that despite the bar being set considerably higher than for the Grad Cert I’m still getting some pretty good grades – not to mention being encouraged by a very kind supervisor to rework my research project on the Glasgow Tenement House and turn it into a book.
I love the fine and applied arts, and can be reduced to tears by a beautiful painting, object, interior or building. Sadly, though, I was born with ten thumbs and am totally useless at any kind of art or craft. My mum was pretty skilled at several crafts but all I inherited from her was bad hair and a weight problem.
To my shame I haven’t read Wuthering Heights or War of the Worlds although they are both on the shelf with a number of other English and European classics some of which are still unread. One of these days I must stop buying more books and stay away from the library until I have made some in-roads into the couple of thousand books currently sharing our home with us.
Poor mum! Very exciting about the book, obviously you’re going to do it, aren’t you? Both WH and W of the W are very readable, some of their contemporaries are very hard going. Was never very academic, but had always sewn so took a tailoring apprenticeship after school, then went to uni as an adult with a job and two kids. Very hard I can tell you! Did English, history and politics. Wanted to do art, but that’s another story. Wouldn’t want to do take on such commitment again, but keep my interest going with night classes every now and then. Then there’s my allotment………
Of course I’ll do the book. To make sure I do, I’m telling everyone who will listen and have already told all the lovely people in Glasgow who made the research process so rewarding that I’ll be back bothering them in about 18 months time.
I was academic but hated school. I dropped out and got a job one half term during the first year in the sixth form. The school dissowned me and refused me a reference, although one very wise teacher told me I had the makings of a first class linguist. Years later that proved to be (almost) right. I’m pretty damned good, but not first class.
Following this I had a very interesting life, journalism, bumming around on the continent doing various jobs including teaching English as a foreign language. Then returning to the UK I went into banking where I worked for a total of seven years, during which time I got fed up with being overqualified for the jobs I was asked to do and underqualified for those I really wanted to take on.
To cut a long story short, like you I went to uni as a mature student, married without kids. I found I loved studying and researching which I turned out to be rather good at. Took a post-grad teaching qualification and stuck at teaching for about five years then took the plunge and did what I really wanted to do, become a translator, which I’ve now been doing for 24 years and still love it. The only problem is it’s a case of feast or famine (sounds like the Fast Diet!) either you are working flat out 7 days a week or there’s zilch. Sometimes you might earn £1,000 in a week, but then nothing for the next four or five. Sometimes, though, there’s a steady flow, when you’re earning money but also have the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours.
Some good news today. Him Indoors has been accepted on a course leading to a formal qualification to teach Tai Chi and Qigong (a somewhat gentler version of Tai Chi) to lifelong learners. So we’ll be studying side by side.
That’s a book I will definitely look forward to hermaj.
I too I have a house full of books and a kindle full of books with probably at least 50% waiting to be read. My kindle will be coming with me when we go away for the New Year week. There is no internet at the cottage and it really racks up the mobile bill if we use them for t’internet as we are on the west coast of the island and the mobile network mast we connect to from there is in Donegal,ROI.
Good luck with the essay and well done to your other ‘alf!!!
sylvestra:As and when the book comes out (I was about to say IF and when, but it’s definitely going to happen once the MA is out of the way) I think it will have more success in Scotland than south of the border, although it does tell several intertwined human stories that can be appreciated anywhere. Like you, as well as the house full of books we both have Kindles loaded with yet more books with, in my case, at least two-thirds still to be read. Thanks for your good wishes. No doubt we’ll each post again before you go away for your New Year week.
17 Dec 13
sylvestra- I was never in doubt about your posting name-see ‘The White Heron’.
hermaj- I want to read that book…but, when it’s ready, I’ll need to know how…
toms- you totally stole my thunder. I love little readers and I have several. I wanted to tell about them, but was holding back. Really enjoyed your post. Made me smile.
there is a small one no chairs to sit and browse either
the big ones went bankrupt or closed many stores
remember when they had sofas comfy chairs coffee tea
& could read 4 hours even meet interesting people
when i used 2 have blind dates i always chose the place 2 meet @ a bookstore might as well get their hours earlier & read
gave them 15 min grace period if they were tardy if tardier no way jose
they were beautiful reading rooms weren’t they?
it is so nice 2 c a young person that luvs 2 read
my niece hates 2 read but her parents do not read 2 her ugh very sad
Oh no! Hate to think of kids growing up without having their imagination stretched in that way. USA, I don’t remember a bookshop here having somewhere you could sit and read, not where I was raised anyway. But was happy just to stand about. Glad you decided to draw the line with the latecomers! Can do without them.
Piper, tell all about the reading youngsters. We like our army to grow. Our 4 year old is having a high old time teaching himself to read. They have a limited time with the television, computer etc, and their mum plays an active role in their education, which is led by the kids, she doesn’t push them, but he watches a programme which teaches them their letters. He just picked up a pen one day and started to write – I was amazed! Ok, his spelling is very much phonetic but he is 4! Something tells me he won’t be a reader though, think you can tell.
piper: I’m flattered. We’re talking at least 2 years ahead, but as and when… It would be lovely if fellow Fast Dieters were able to read hermaj’s literary efforts but advertising on the forum might be seen as trollish behaviour. However, I’m sure when the time comes a link would do not harm…
toms: It’s heartening to hear more about your 4-year-old. Our wee fella is at a similar stage as he comes to the end of his first term at primary school. The last time I saw him a few weeks back he was recognising letters and managing to write his name – exotically but recognisably. Like your grandkids, he and his brother are allowed limited time with the telly and the computer. For the eldest one, computer games are a reward rather than a replacement for completing his homework.
We are now seeing the results of this style of upbringing. Our 14-year-old – the one who read to his baby brother – is fairly academic, although just like great-aunt hermaj was, I bit too laid back when it comes to subjects he finds relatively easy. He’s also good at sport and is doing GCSE music, in other words a good all-rounder. He’s also a very nice young guy and if I were a 14-year-old girl I’d fancy him rotten!
Last year, I took him to the theatre as a birthday treat. We travelled most of the way by tube, which is far too noisy for conversation, so I read my kindle and he took out his book. I was reading William Boyd’s Waiting for Sunrise – highly recommended by the way – whose hero is called Lysander. Suddenly, young sir leaned over and looked at my “book” asking: “Are you reading Shakespeare?” I explained that I wasn’t, it was just the name of the guy in the book, whose parents were actors and so decided to give their son a theatrical name. Then I thought to myself a) he knows the name of a Shakespearian character and b) he saw nothing strange in his old auntie reading Shakespeare on the London Undergound. Having taught 14-year-olds who wouldn’t know Shakespeare from a hole in the ground, I was impressed.
Hermaj……”fairly academic, although just like great-aunt hermaj was, a bit too laid back when it comes to subjects he finds relatively easy.” That’s sounds just too familiar. Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth?? 😀
“Academically excellent – when she can be bothered” – the usual note on my school report!!
It does sound like we were, doesn’t it! My French teacher got particularly annoyed with me. A for achievement, B for effort. I had the good fortune to take to French like a duck to water, largely thanks to my mum who as a teenager had spent holidays with extended family in France – her aunt, my great-aunt, had eloped with a Frenchman, but that’s another story – and taught me as much as she knew when I was still quite small.
that was the best bookstore w/ all that comfy stuff
they had over 15000 locations in usa & internationally even more
they went bankrupt in 2011 🙁
it was our faults
ordering used books from amazon due 2 pricing then the ereader ebooks audiobooks
i have always been a frugal person like most
the most value/quality 4 the money
so appreciative of our public libraries
downloading free audiobooks & ebooks!
very surprised about ur 4 yr old picking up a pen &
u must b so proud!!!!!!!
has anybody read
just put a hold on it @ public library
4th in line 😀 on hold
it is in the 2013 best book of the year in many list
18 Dec 13
Not read that one USA, will look out for it. Finally finished war of the worlds, starting on Wuthering heights again to kick off possibly my last fasting day before Christmas tomorrow. Going to Halifax Monday to a bleak but beautiful spot where there is a farm shop to stock up on the makings of Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas lunch. We do not buy loads and loads of food, but just enough and a few extras for treats if we have unexpected visitors. Not cos I’m mean, but because there’s always such a lot of waste when people do that. Put up the tree last night, we say it’s for the grandchildren, but really it’s for my OH who’s the biggest kid of the lot. USA, I really do hope you are well now, and have a restful and happy holiday.
19 Dec 13
“Pride and Prejudice was only half the story”
can’t wait 4 it someone told me they r also waiting for it
u 2 have a happy healthy safe holiday
still have a slight cold
however no longer feel like a slug 😀
4 Jan 14
USA, by ‘eck , it’s taking a while to read Wuthering Hieghts! Forgotten it was so long. Hope you’re well and have a great 2014 – and the same to others! Longbourne on order at the library. Haven’t fasted for 2 weeks, so it will be Monday when I restart. Do feel really sluggish, but know that will improve. Stay happy.
5 Jan 14
Never let me go Kazuo Ishiguro. Wow.
8 Jan 14
“USA, by ‘eck” ?????? do not understand???????????
yay yay found it @ my public library an audiobook yay
You are user 1 out of 1 on the waiting list.
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.Awards-
American Library Association
Man Booker Prize for Fiction Nominee
The Booker Prize Foundation
mayb i should look @ a list of books that one the booker
have u red all the authors that have won the nobel?
thanks i red remains of the day
i think i red the orphan 1 not sure will look 4 that 2
Hi fellow readers, hi usa
I read Never Let Me Go a few years ago. Definitely, how shall I put it, haunting.I am now reading current Booker prize
winner The Luminaries, set in New Zealand in the mid 1800s. I’m halfway through the 800+ pages, and find it a
real page turner, and first I have read about New Zealand. Since there are are number of New Zealanders on the forum:
it’s giving me a new appreciation of your country’s history.
I have yet to complete a fast day in 2014, but my weight is down 3 pounds due to a nasty stomach virus or food poisoning.
All better now, though.
Happy belated New Year and many fasts to look forward to.
oooh current Booker prize
winner The Luminaries, set in New Zealand in the mid 1800s.
that really sounds good
will look 4 it @ my public library
it’s nice 2 have readers
there r not many
USA, Well, I could have said ‘my goodness it’s taking a while…’ But by ‘eck is a colloquialism, or dialect term I chose to use instead, as it’s from the north as am I. Live in Manchester, where are you? Restarted fasting Monday after holiday break, it felt good.
Mulville, hello. Thought Never Let Me Go was a the most depressing book since 1984. Sorry to hear you were ill, hope you’re now well and strong. Not read The Luminaries, but it would have to be some book to keep me tied to it for 800 pages! Good luck with it and let us know how it is. Happy fasting.
USA, forgot to say, hope you are not caught up in the awful weather over there at the moment.
‘Eck means Hell in Yorkshire dialect USA. Just checked to make sure was giving the correct info.
10 Jan 14
toms, Remember our conversation about my 4-year-old bookworm of a great nephew? Not having seen him for a few weeks, I’m not sure how he is getting on with his reading, but I DO know he’s starting to write. I’ve just received a thank you letter for his Christmas pressies and, no doubt with his mum’s or his big brother’s help, he’s managed “thank you”, “love” and his name.
Did someone mention Kazuo Ishiguro? I love his stuff, apart from The Unconsoled which for some reason I couldn’t get my head around. When I start reading one of his books I feel like I’m settling into a big, comfy armchair by a roaring fire in a dimly lit room, knowing that my charming companion is about to tell me a great story. I thought Never Let Me Go was brilliant and very, very disturbing.
when u wrote “Thought Never Let Me Go was a the most depressing book since 1984″
wrote”very, very disturbing.”
i cancelled my hold don’t feel like reading the most depressing book 😀
u like depressing books?
the luminaries is my next hold it is 25 of 25 that
recommended long wait but i read every night
& listen 2 books every available moment even while brushing teeth it is the first thing i turn on in the morning
life is good 😀 YAY
I would say Never Let Me Go was not so much depressing as scary. I don’t think it does any harm to scare ourselves silly now and then. Especially as a result of reading about something that could happen in the kind of dystopia it often the world is heading for – the subject in this case cloning.
Haven’t read much of the thread on here but just have to say Wuthering heights seemed the least appealing book before i read it, but it is currently my favorite ever book EVER!
I read continually too. can get through one book in 24 hours so partner bought me kindle this xmas and this has helped the reading addiction. Just read 20 years a slave – felt it was an important voice coming to me from a long time ago and I felt honoured I could hear his words travelling to us through time, telling us how it was ( beyond awful in a word);
Then read sebastian faults “a possible life” which had me in tears at the last page, and i cannot recall crying over a book before, then a non stop thriller which was the last book my dad was reading before he died a month ago, and so is precious to me – he got me into crime novels when I was a kid. so what to read next? any suggestions? x
hello to all you readers/fasters
I’m trying again to successfully complete a fast day, I really got corrupted over the holidays, and was doing so well before. A lot of stress, including my adorable cat Jack being kidnapped. He’s home now. I have read many of the books mentioned above, as I said Never Let me go is haunting, and unforgettably sad. The other saddest that come to mind are the Cormac McCarthy trilogy including “All the Pretty Horses”. I am now on page 631 of The Luminaries, which I am annoyed at having to put down to take care of work and other intrusive aspects of life. A great intrigue I highly recommend. I think you’ll really enjoy it USA.
11 Jan 14
USA, never let me go – a brilliant book, please do read it. I don’t necessarily like depressing books, but they have to make me think really and that one did. Have you read Orwells 1984?
I loved it, but really it is depressing. Anyway, went to the theatre last night to see War Horse. The cleverest theatre production I have seen. Brilliant! Fasting Monday, OH away for work, really he has lost the 4 lbs he gained over Christmas break. I have not. It’s not fair!!
Hermaj, brilliant about your great nephew! Our youngest, who will be 5 next week, has been writing for quite a few months now. His spelling is usually correct, but sometimes phonetic. Don’t you just love the way they come on? I said to my daughter in law that when you’re a parent and are working and trying to get everything done that needs doing, then things can pas you by, but you can appreciate the way kids develop more when watched from the vantage point of a nana. I love it. Don’t think he’ll ever be a reader though, unlike his brother.
Kateis48, Wuthering Heights, how did a chaste clergy mans daughter ever learn to write with the passion expressed in that book. I had forgotten how good it was. Am on Jane Eyre now, want to re read a few at the moment. Will try a possible life next. Have you read Birdsong by him? Excellent.
Mulville, who on earth would want to kidnap your cat? How odd. Hope all is now well. We had a fasting break over Christmas, but now are back into the swing. Hope you are now, too. Good luck with your book, haven’t read Luminaries yet but will at some point. So sad that life has to get in The way of our reading.
toms mantis-yes, I am back in fasting mode, I completed yesterday on 500 cals. and feeling so much more clear headed. As for my cat, he disappeared last Sunday, some kind neighbors put up pictures and posters, and we were afraid he was
trapped or worse (we’ve had coyote sightings) Days past, then I got a call: “I have Jack only I call him —-?, ” I couldn’t
understand the name, but said I’m so happy he’s safe. Then she proceeded to tell me she’d decided he should stay in her house, he had his own room, she was taking him to the vets, and maybe he could come for a supervised visit in 2 months.
I nearly fell over when she said that, Jack is my dearest non-human pal. I was advised to go to the police, but after some less hostile negotiations she agreed to “release him”. Husband and I went over, got a tour of his elegant quarters and shook hands. Anyway Jack has been sticking close to home. So that’s the saga of Jack.
Good grief! Poor cat and Indeed poor you. So glad it all ended happily for all concerned. Strange people about though.
katie, I’m a big Sebastian Faulks fan and have “A Possible Life” on the shelf waiting to be read. I share you and your dad’s love of detective fiction. I have favourites among British, American and European writers. Which authors did each of you enjoy most?
And seeing your review of “Wuthering Heights”, I guess it’s about time I read it. I’m an avid reader but I’m ashamed to say too many English and European classics are sitting there as yet unread.
12 Jan 14
i did a bad thing
i can not repeat I CAN NOT READ
HE IS WAY 2 GOOOOOD can’t go 2 sleep when reading him. the whole world goes away. food goes away time friends family everything (great fastday book)
i have another one of his 2 read WILL NOT!!!
4 a long while ugh
Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1) could not put it down or really stop listening stayed up way 2 2 late
he is such a good writer i think he is across the pond a uk person
i remember his other books eye of something also his series 2 The Pillars of the Earth
i have now
Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)
REPEAT WILL NOT START IT maybe 6 months from now 😀
everyone please stop me from reading him
when u say theater production u mean the movie war horse?
i enjoyed 1984 it was depressing. i cancelled my hold @ the library will keep it mind in the future as u said it is brilliant
as u can c have been busy w/ a ur fellow author above in this thread he again is way 2 good
men!!! it is so eaaaaaaaaaasy 4 them ugh
i have been @ a plateau 4 such a looooooooooooooong time ugh
USA haven’t read Ken Follet as yet. War Horse is a live theatre production here and is the cleverest thing I have ever seen. If it ever makes it over there, please go and see it. Haven’t seen the film version, don’t often go to the cinema. Love the theatre though. How about you. Thing is it’s a bit pricey so have to choose carefully which productions I go to see. When you say “been at a plateau for such a long time” is that In general, or just in your reading? Think that when you’ve been poorly for a while it takes a lot of getting over. Be happy.
Kateis48, crime authors – Henning Mankell, Linda la Plant, Ian Rankin are my favourites. Read some other Scandinavian authors, but sometimes seems like they are just trying to outdo each other with more and more horrible ways to die!! Too much gore for my taste.
toms, Henning Mankell and Ian Rankin are among my favourites, as are PD James, Peter Robinson, Peter May and Mark Billingham (especially as he sets a lot of his stuff in my part of North London). Also interesting are “period pieces” set in the past, e.g. C J Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series set in Tudor times, and Frank Tallis’s Liebermann Papers series set in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century.
I must give Linda la Plante a go. And I agree about Birdsong, which I’ve already read twice. I’d go so far as to say, much as I like Sebastian Faulks, he has never equalled it, although I’ve still to read A Possible Life.
Like you, I love theatre, from both sides of the footlights. I did a lot of acting at uni and for a while was part of a semi-pro fringe theatre company but after a while I had to get a proper job rather than starving.
The most recent theatre trip was to the National to see the lovely Adrian Lester as Othello in a really awesome production. I’m planning to take elder great-nephew to see War Horse as his birthday treat. Last year’s outing to see Billy Elliot was a great success and when I asked him if he would like to escort me to the theatre again he simply said “Yes, please”, with an ear-to-ear grin. BTW, well done your wee man, being such a competent writer at not quite five.
Hermaj, not read some of your authors. Tried PD James, wasn’t that enamoured really. So many books to read, so little time! Thanks for your kind words re my grandson. Your great nephew will love War Horse and so, I think, will you. Can’t shut up about it really. A lot of people think of a pantomime horse when you mention puppet. Nothing could be further from the truth. You do need to remember that it is a children’s story though.
Peter May, Ian Rankin and PD James are among my favourites in the ‘fiction’ category too. I also like Elly Griffiths, whose books are based around archaeology, Simon Beckett and Patricia Cornwell
I knew of Peter May as a script writer for a Gaelic ‘soap’ we used to get called ‘Machair’ and started with his ‘Lewis Trilogy’ because I knew the area and the places where it is set. I then read his newest ‘Entry Island’ and have now gone on to the series set in China. I’ve read all of Ian Rankin’s ‘Rebus’ books. Just finished ‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ – have you read the ones with his new ‘hero’?
I ‘found’ Tim Severin a few years ago via his ‘Viking’ trilogy and have a read a few of Bernard Cornwell’s books set around the Arthurian legends.
13 Jan 14
I’m working late tonight, partly because I’ve got a lot of work to do for the day job, but mainly to take my mind off the fact I’m so expletive deleted hungry. Many fast days pass almost unnoticed but occasionally you get one like this!
Peter May’s “Lewis Trilogy” was one of my major discoveries last year. I read all three in a row and loved them, especially the way the crime investigation seemed to take second place to the relationships between people on and off the island. “Saints of the Shadow Bible” is on my Kindle waiting to be read. I haven’t read any of the ones with the new “hero”, Malcolm Fox, but didn’t he turn up in “Standing in Another Man’s Grave”? I seem to remember he and dear old Rebus did NOT get on. According to Ian Rankin in an interview with the Scotsman online today he is going to give them equal billing in his next book. Should be fun! http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/rankin-to-rehabilitate-malcolm-fox-rebus-character-1-3120037
BTW, I’m so enjoying wearing the lovely earrings you created and my OH bought me for Christmas. Every pair’s a winner.
So glad your liking your earrings. It’s lovely to have satisfied customers 😀
Yes Fox does turn up in ‘Standing in….’ and I’m not giving anything away by saying he creeps in again at the side in ‘Saints…’ I think Ian Rankin is getting us used to having him around! I have converted my OH to the Rankin books, albeit the audio versions, he has appropriated my original Kindle – maybe that’s why he bought me a Kindle Fire last year – and is currently listening to ‘The Complaints’, the first Fox book.
I have managed to shift the 4lb that crept on over the holidays. It sneaked on because I ate too much – Hey ho! Anyway it’s gone along with another 1lb so 2014 has started well.
Despite having a fairly filling dinner, I am still ‘rumbling’ so I think bed, with Peter May and book 1 of the China series, is a good idea.
Don’t work too hard x
I have fast days that just pass and others where I prowl around like a tiger on the hunt!!
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