Gifts from Glastonbury for Yule 2020

Christmas Gifts Glastonbury 2020

Looking for the ideal gift for Christmas or Winter Solstice 2020? Lots of ideas here, plus links to Glastonbury shops who have a mail order service.

An Interview With Me

Normal for Glastonbury blogger Vicki Steward is interviewed by local writer and journalist Guy Kennaway over homemade pizza.

Dod Lane B&B, Glastonbury

One Dod Lane

Luxurious accommodation in a historical location. We’re in the heart of Glastonbury and on the edge of the glorious Somerset countryside. Styled by the creator of the Heart of the Tribe Art Gallery.

Dod Lane to the Tor Tree Walk by Matt Witt

Glastonbury Tor from the meadow

A guide to one of Glastonbury’s best country walks, from Dod Lane (only 5 minutes from the High Street), to the Tor and back with Matt Witt of ‘To the Trees’.

Glastonbury Shops & Shopkeepers

Midgard Craft Shop in Glastonbury

Here are some photographs of Glastonbury’s shopkeepers eagerly looking forward to the return of our visitors! With a particular focus on the fantastic shops at the top end of the High Street.

Normal In Glastonbury

Sew Over the Moon Shop in Glastonbury

Is it really true there are no ‘normal’ shops in Glastonbury? Nope – here’s the evidence! A photographic celebration of the more ordinary (but equally special) things you’ll find here,

No Glastonbury Festival 2020

Resist banner at Glastonbury Festival

Lockdown has shrunk our sensory experience, often to the size of a screen. No matter how big the screen, how good the sound system, a virtual festival will never capture the exhilarating sensory overload of the real thing, in all it’s glorious 3D, technicolor, surround-sound glory.

A Tribute to Denise Michell

Denny Michell Druid Mayor of Glastonbury

I was very sad to hear of Denise Michell’s recent passing, she was so much a part of Glastonbury for so many years, not least as Druid Mayor of Glastonbury (twice). I hope you enjoy remembering her through this selection of photos and a couple of videos in which she features.

Glastonbury Begins to Reopen After Lockdown

Social Distancing Glastonbury High Street

Glastonbury Town has started to emerge from the lockdown, with temporary pedestrianization of the town centre and some shops opening their doors. Here’s a short report and some photos.

Normal For Glastonbury – The eBook

Woman in Tower on Glastonbury Tor

Ever wanted to know what it’s really like to live in Glastonbury, England’s most magical, and oddest town? In my new eBook You’ll find humorous observations and funny maps, an illustrated ABC of Glastonbury, a timeline of significant events in Glastonbury’s history, essays on social issues and two pieces about Glastonbury Festival and its relationship to the Town.

Virtually Glastonbury

Glastonbury Tor May 2020 Lockdown

Explore Glastonbury from your armchair, wherever you are in the world, Here’s a selection of excellent websites, videos and other web based resources that I’ve handpicked for your enjoyment.

Music from Glastonbury Town Online

Violin Pixabay Image

I’ve hastily assembled some links to Glastonbury musicians for you, some of them were submitted by the artists, others are just my personal favourites. It’s by no means comprehensive and is reflective of my own musical taste, it’s also in no particular order. If you find something you like do search for more of their work, you are sure to find it, please support them by buying digital downloads when they are available.

Not Normal For Glastonbury

Glastonbury Town empty during virus lockdown

I’m so inextricably bound up with Glastonbury and its community. All of my work promotes the Town or is dependent on visitors. During the lockdown I’m feeling all adrift, but I’m coping.

We Can Get Through This Together

Visitors can still connect with Glastonbury Town during the health crisis – here’s how to bring some Glastonbury magic into your own home.

Includes a database of Glastonbury businesses and creative people that you can buy from online.

Glastonbury Town by Andy Brady

Glastonbury Town montage by Andy Brady

Origins Ask any resident of the English town of Glastonbury where they are most likely to be living, and many of them will quickly tell you that Glastonbury is very high on their list of number one answers. What is it about this particular town that draws so many of its citizens to count themselves … Read more

Un-Avalon – Crap Postcards of Glastonbury

Glastonbury Tor in the Mist from the Industrial estate

Many moons ago I spotted Glastonbury Tor from the Levels out towards Shapwick. What would have been a picture postcard perfect scene was ruined by a large and unsightly, rusting piece of peat processing machinery. I took a photo anyway. Since then I’ve got into the perverse habit of deliberately taking the kind of photos that would never make it into a Glastonbury tourist guide.

A Shed of My Own

Traveller Site in the Snow

What’s life like living in a shed? I’ve lived in several. Here’s my very personal perspective on homelessness in Glastonbury.

Haruka in Glastonbury – Clothes with Soul

Amanda from Haruka in Glastonbury

Talking to Clothes Designer Amanda of Haruka, I found myself enthralled by her accounts of textile production around the world and her enthusiasm for the people she works with at every stage of the process – from design, to dying and weaving, pattern cutting, sewing, the models she chooses and ultimately the women who leave her shop feeling special and beautiful. Meanwhile it was gratifying to learn how her business and environmental ethics are woven into everything she does.

Glastonbury Fantasy Artist Linda Ravenscroft

Linda Ravenscroft in her shop The Mystic Garden in Glastonbury Town

Glastonbury based artist Linda Ravenscroft is well known in the fantasy art world for her beautifully detailed watercolours, featuring characters from her rich imagination and the natural world. With her husband John she runs the Mystic Garden Gallery at the bottom of the High Street, where they sell not only Linda’s work, but also beautiful creations from some of the world’s most talented fantasy artists and craftspeople.

Glastonbury Memories from the Seventies

Wendy Tong from Glastonbury in the Seventies

What did Glastonbury locals think of the arrival of hippies in the town? Wendy Tong shows us a glimpse of her Seventies childhood in the Town.

Halloween in Glastonbury

Glastoween by Andy Brady

Another in Andy Brady’s uselessly informative posts. This one is all about Halloween, when the veil between the worlds is thin and the squirrels are ferocious.

Keeping Yoga Real in Glastonbury

Andrew and Francesca of Pure Yoga South West

Andrew and Francesca have a lot to thank yoga for. It brought them together, cured Andrew’s asthma and now they are running classes in Glastonbury. Their ethos is all about sharing, so they’ll stretch your body, but not your bank balance. I enjoyed hanging out with them, I hope you will too.

New Light on Glastonbury Tor

A Guest Post by Andy Brady that brings new light to the Glastonbury Tor story, it’s history, geology and mythology. Origins Originally built during the last ice age, Glastonbury Tor has long since been guiding Somerset’s farm ships around the dangerous, craggy buildings of the nearby town of Glastonbury where, even today, the local inhabitants … Read more

Free Glastonbury

Loads of things you can do for free, in and around Glastonbury Town in Somerset. Includes a handy map showing recommended cycle and walking routes around the Tor and onto the Somerset Levels.

Where are Glastonbury’s New Avalonians?

Alice Buckton at Chalice Well Glastonbury by Wellesley Tudor Pole

Nowadays I don’t hear many people asking what they can do for Glastonbury, it seems we are rather more concerned with what Glastonbury can do for us. With the town’s growth as a spiritual centre it has become a brand in its own right.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 – Rubbish and 5G

Nigel May at Glasto Latino, Glastonbury Festival 2019

Some people in Glastonbury Town like to bash the Glastonbury Festival. This year’s complaints were over 5G phone technology being trialed at the event and the rubbish left by festival goers.

Glastonbury in Fiction

Glastonbury Fiction Illustration

Nothing transports you to Glastonbury like a good book, here’s a list of all the fiction set in Glastonbury Town that I could find.

Glastonbury’s Rogues Gallery

There is a grass-roots led cultural rebirth going on in Glastonbury, encompassing events, public murals and music. At the forefront of this movement is the collective of artists and creatives who exhibit and sell their work at Rogues Gallery in the High Street.

Here Come Glastonbury’s Dragon Drummers

Glastonbury's Dragon Drummers

I meet up with the Dragon Drummers to talk about Glastonbury, community and keeping to the beat. It’s one of those wonderful warm Avalonian evenings in early May. I’ve got an interview with the Dragon Drummers at 7pm but I’m feeling quite stressed and in need of quiet and calm first, so I suggest to The … Read more

Glastonbury’s May Day Celebrations 2019

May Day in Glastonbury 2019

May Day fun with the Green Men of Glastonbury, videos and photographs of the May Pole procession through town, the gathering at Bushy Combe and the Avalonian Free State Choir

Cannabis Pops Up in Glastonbury

Free Cannabis on the Market Place in Glastonbury Town

What happens when someone gives out free cannabis cake in Glastonbury Town, on one of the busiest days of the year?

The Return of the Wand Seller

Greens handmade wands

You Really Can Wish the World Better – Green’s Glastonbury Story has a Happy Ending Back in February I published a guest post by Glastonbury bard and reallywannago.com blogger Lisa Goodwin about Green the Wand Seller, who was kicked out of town without warning by Mendip Council and so disappeared from Glastonbury streets. The response … Read more

Kev Pearson on Capturing Glastonbury’s Divine Light in Photographs

Impressions by Kev Pearson. Glastonbury Tor reflected in water.

Kev Pearson has photographed Glastonbury Tor basking in the Summer sun and covered in a blanket of snow, he’s captured it in the dawn light and at twilight, with the sun shining through the archway of the tower or with the full moon peeking out behind clouds. His pictures show Tor Hill obscured by Autumn mists from the wetlands of the Somerset Levels, or the view from the top. His photographs are a wonderful celebration of this iconic landmark, looking at them you are immediately transported to Avalon.

Beckery Village, a Creative Hub on the Edge of Glastonbury

Beckery Village Garden Glastonbury, Somerset by Vicki Steward

Beckery Village is a creative community hub emerging from emptiness and dereliction, on the Western fringes of Glastonbury Town. Only a few years ago, in the early 1990’s, there was an empty industrial wasteland on the edge of Glastonbury. Buildings which had once been home to the town’s thriving sheepskin industry stood derelict, vandalised and … Read more

Spreading Kindness in Glastonbury Town

Green was so charming and charismatic. We loved chatting to him… hearing about how his wands were made and learning about the Wishing the World Better Club. After Green had welcomed Zane to the Club and explained that his first wish with the wand should be to wish something good for somebody else, he then gave Zane his own wand and hat to practice making a wish.

Keep Glastonbury Colourful

Fairyland Aromatics Glastonbury

The story of Glastonbury shop Fairyland Aromatics and their battle with Mendip District Council to keep Glastonbury Colourful.

What’s It Like to Live in Glastonbury?

Lots of people ask “What’s it like to live in Glastonbury?”. My afternoon stroll through town today wasn’t untypical, so I thought I’d share it in the hope it goes some way to answering the question. Sunny Suitcase Saturday The weather today was glorious, despite it being only the 23rd of February. The sun was … Read more

Whatever Happened to the Wand Seller?

Green by Deborah Richards

You may have noticed a friendly character trading at the bottom of Glastonbury High Street. Often dressed in green and sitting over a tiny portable stall adorned with beautiful handmade wands. His tall frame was accentuated by a green top hat sprouting long feathers, locals know him as Green, the Wand Seller. One day, Green vanished.

How CBD Helped Me Stop!

How CBD helped me give up tobacco smoking, virtually painlessly. Plus, my musings on the surprising lack of actual miracles in Glastonbury Town.

Glastonbury Through the Year

When we lived in simpler times, we observed the turning of the seasons – the great wheel of the year. Until quite recently in human history our survival depended on being prepared for Spring’s new growth, Summer’s sun, Autumn’s harvest and Winter’s cold and dark. In many places these seasonal celebrations have been forgotten. Even now, … Read more

Heart Land Tattoo Studio

Man being tattooed in Glastonbury

The Heart Land Tattoo Temple didn‘t arrive quietly in town. They commissioned a bright and bold mural to cover the walls and windows of their shop at the top of the High Street. Back in 1969 the building had been the first in town to be painted, with brightly coloured flowers, yet the new mural … Read more

Fabulous Furry Folk Goes Further

Besides being home to a great number of extraordinarily talented musicians, Glastonbury Town also attracts well known performers from around the world. It helps that Europe’s biggest performing arts festival happens only 7 miles away, which has put the town on the map for touring musicians. Those for whom appearing on the Pyramid Stage is … Read more

Starlings at dusk, RSPB Ham Wall

Starlings at Dusk

Occasional contributor to Normal For Glastonbury, David Taplin, has written this wonderfully lyrical description of the Starlings coming into roost at dusk on the Avalon Marshes, I hope you enjoy it. “The land here is already soft and floating, the horizons low, and perspectives hard to judge as shadows start to creep.  Both the reeds … Read more

Glastonbury Town Christmas 2018

Glastonbury High St Christmas 2018

When you are choosing Christmas gifts, please buy from small local suppliers and support Glastonbury’s independent shops. We are lucky to be able to buy directly from artists, craftspeople, musicians, designers, writers, knitters, potters, jewellers, candle makers and other creative people. When we buy from the maker we are supporting a family, not a corporation, and bringing more art, beauty and creativity into the world.

Glastonbury Frost Fayre 2018

The Melodrome Stage at Glastonbury Frost Fayre 2018

The most wonderful time of the year…. What is it that makes Glastonbury’s annual Frost Fayre so special? It’s certainly my favourite event of the year and it seems to be popular with everyone – locals, visitors and shopkeepers. I think the answer lies in community. Glastonbury is remarkable for having so many different faiths … Read more

Glastonbury’s Smallest Department Store

Steve Belton Glastonbury

Even Glastonbury can seem dull and grey on a cold November morning when the Winter light bleaches all the colour from the Town. On days like these, we need reminders of sunshine. As I pass through the narrow alleyway of the Gauntlet, the rainbow colours of the crockery in Steve and Jan’s shop always catch … Read more

Free Cannabis in Glastonbury

Free Cannabis outside Hemp in Avalon Glastonbury

Free Cannabis, proprietor of Glastonbury’s ‘Hemp In Avalon’ shop, is a man on a mission: to raise awareness of the many benefits of cannabis.

A Moving Tale

David and Fran Taplin

A guest post from David Taplin. “Just as the people we have been in our past are still alive within us, the Glastonbury I first knew and loved 45 or more years ago seems to me very much still alive within the current town; it’s like having a foot in two worlds simultaneously (rather appropriate for this place, perhaps)”.

How to Annoy a Glastonbury Shop Keeper

Mark from the Sonus Magus Music Shop in Glastonbury Town

I went to visit Mark from Glastonbury’s ‘Sonus Magus’ Music Shop, he was in an uncharacteristically bad mood, and decided to share with me some of the annoying things customers do in his shop. 

Death and Dying in Glastonbury

Samhain 2017 Glastonbury. Photo copyright Vicki Steward

Glastonbury, the ‘Isle of the Dead’, shows the country how to embrace death while celebrating life. This year sees the launch of a ‘Festival of Death and Dying’, alongside the town’s traditional Samhain celebrations.

Our Furry and Feathered Glastonbury Community

Much as dog lovers might try and deny it, other animals exist too. I recently wrote a post on visiting Glastonbury with canine companions, so I thought I better write about our other furry and feathered visitors too.

Anti-Social Behaviour In Glastonbury Town

Glastonbury High Street after the snow

Many residents and visitors are fed up with some of the behaviour on Glastonbury’s streets. Why is there a problem and what can be done?

Glastonbury Town for Dog Lovers

Does Glastonbury Town welcome doggie visitors? I attempt to answer the question and provide some ideas of where you might want to visit with your canine companion.

Shepton Mallet – Less Rubbish, More Art

Every so often it’s nice to get out of Glastonbury and explore. I can’t quite believe I’m suggesting this, but Shepton Mallet is really worth a visit. I popped over there last week to visit my friends Dimitris and James who are running the pop-up ‘Art Bank Cafe’ in the old HSBC bank, which also houses the ‘Rubbish Art Project’

Who Stole Glastonbury Co-op’s Giant Magnet?

Glastonbury Co-op by Vicki Steward

The Co-op has always exerted a strange and inexorable pull on my solar plexus, as if a huge and powerful magnet lurked behind the shelves. Lately it’s as if the magnet has been tuned off. What’s happened? I investigate!

Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park

Old Oaks Touring Site near Glastonbury

A Tranquil Oasis in the Heart of the Somerset Countryside. James and Tara White got in touch to ask me to write about  Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park. I was curious, although the Park is at the foot of the Tor and less than 2.5 miles from Glastonbury Town centre, I had never visited. While … Read more

Glastonbury Town Fairies in a Flap

Glastonbury Fairy Community in Shock over New Legislation Fairies were known to the Victorians as elusive creatures, rapidly retreating to their home under Glastonbury Tor when spied by the curious. Apart from abducting the occasional sleeping swain or newborn babe, they shunned human company altogether. In recent years, the fey folk have abandoned their reclusive … Read more

How a Glastonbury Childhood Inspired Author Isabella May

Book Fairy with Isabella May's book on Glastonbury Tor. Photo by Paige Davis

Glastonbury High Street has a Magical Cocktail Bar – in Isabella May’s Foodie Fiction Writer Isabella May was brought up in Glastonbury, she now lives in Spain but sets some of her fiction in her old Somerset hometown. I came across her novels ‘The Cocktail Bar’ and ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’ whilst browsing Glastonbury authors … Read more

Glastonbury Town In the Seventies

Glastonbury in the 1970's. Photograph by  Michael Lidgley.

I recently received an email from Normal For Glastonbury reader David Taplin, he’s been visiting the town since he was a young hippy in the seventies. He’ll shortly be moving back this way – to Street this time. He sent me a fascinating and funny account of his time here and agreed to me sharing it with you, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

May Day 2018 in Glastonbury

I thought you’d enjoy a video and some photos of the magnificent May Day 2018 Celebrations in Glastonbury Town. The sun shone, there was ceremony, music and dancing, hugs and a picnic. Please share! Click on the photos to see larger versions.

Mediums on Honeymoon in Glastonbury’s Pagan Bed & Breakfast

I’m sat in bed with my morning coffee trying to think what to write about next for the blog, I’m about to go off on holiday for a week so I really want to get a post out beforehand. The pressure isn’t helping me to get inspired. I’d like an outside perspective on the town, … Read more

Glastonbury Snow

I love snow. We hardly ever seem to get it in Glastonbury, so when we do it’s even more special. I think the snow clouds tend to dump their load over the Mendips before they rarely get here. No matter how old I am I still get that ‘No School Today!’ elation when I open … Read more

Children’s World, Clowning Around in Glastonbury since 1981

Photo copyright Children's World

Glastonbury based charity Children’s World has been bringing fun into the lives of children of all abilities since 1981. Virtually anyone who has grown up in the town since then will tell you how much they loved their yearly festivals and workshops. Children’s World is like the whole town’s wacky but kindly uncle. The sort … Read more

St Agnes Well of Well-Being in the Quantocks

St Agnes Well Cothelstone

In this post I’d like to take you a little farther afield than Glastonbury (25.4 miles away to be exact), to a holy well in the Quantocks and the story of its restoration. It’s a tale of one woman’s passion, of romance and community. Glastonbury seems to attract people who are passionate about things. One such … Read more

Major Road Building Plan for Glastonbury?

Mendip Expressway Glastonbury Bypass Possible Route

In November 2017 Bruce Garrard from Unique Publications posted a piece on his blog about a proposed plan to build a major road, a Glastonbury Bypass, ruining forever the view from Glastonbury Tor. I would like to quote the points Bruce made which I feel are most revealing of the likely impact this would have … Read more

Glastonbury Body Art Event 2018

Alice photograph by Mark Pickthall www.markpickthall.co.uk

Saturday 13th January saw the launch of Glastonbury’s first Body Art event in the Assembly Rooms. Organised by The Facepainting Company’s Mel Broom and Glastonbury local Stephen Duross, the event was a fantastic success in every sense of the word. The theme ‘Myths, Legends and Mythical Creatures’ is perfect for a town which frequently hosts … Read more

Christmas in Glastonbury 2017

Snow no Show Most of England woke up to a Winter Wonderland today – carpeted in a blanket of snow and ground to a halt. Glastonbury saw strong wind, torrential rain, and then some wet stuff that was not really rain, hail or snow but came down as a sort of drizzly slush and melted immediately upon landing. … Read more

Glastonbury Frost Fayre 2017 – Photos and Videos

Frost Fayre is advertised as being when “Glastonbury’s Community comes together to Celebrate Peace and Goodwill to All at this Festive Time of the Year”. I’d say the organizers achieved this aim admirably this year, with sleigh bells on in fact. There is such a lovely, friendly atmosphere in town, so many visitors and so … Read more

Celebrating Samhain 2017 in Glastonbury with the Wild Hunt

Samhain 2017 Glastonbury. Photo copyright Vicki Steward

Samhain, the Celtic New Year, when the veil between the Worlds is thin, in Glastonbury it is the time for honouring our departed ancestors and loved ones. This is achieved through a public ritual of dressing up, dancing, drumming, and processing from Glastonbury’s Market Cross led by two huge dragons, one red one white, all … Read more

Local Media in Glastonbury – popular, but not with everybody

Glastonbury Town Market Day

I recently published a post on the Normal For Glastonbury Facebook page about two Somerset Live articles on Glastonbury Market. The first on June 14th was titled “This is what is wrong with the Tuesday market in Glastonbury”, it appears to have since been deleted, the next (see it here), only  a month later on … Read more

The Glastonbury Festival Dream

The Fool’s Journey At least once a year I have the ‘Glastonbury Festival Dream’. It’s always incredibly vivid and I can generally recall it in detail after I wake up. Although the dream takes many forms it always has the same theme – I either can’t get to, or can’t get into, the festival. I’ve dreamt that I … Read more

Glastonbury Style

Glastonbury Style Icons

If you were young in the 1980’s, you might remember articles in teen magazines where they came across people in the street, who had their own unique style, photographed them and asked where they got their clothes. I had a secret dream that I would be spotted in my dull Midlands hometown, recognised as an obvious … Read more

Real Faeries, some Goths, and a Bloke in Armour

If this was a stage production I imagine it would be a pantomime loosely based on the Matrix and Lord of the Rings with a smattering of My Little Pony and an unlimited glitter budget.

Glastonbury – Utterly Ridiculous and Hugely Important

Hippies outside St John's Church in Glastonbury High St

My thoughts after chatting to Morgana I was feeling a bit overwhelmed after launching this blog – within 24 hours my first post ‘What’s Normal for Glastonbury?’ had been viewed by over a 1000 people, and reached 2000 within 48 hours. I was getting incredibly enthusiastic feedback on Facebook, friends were sharing it with their friends and … Read more

Glastonbury – the Perfect Place to Reinvent Yourself?

Man promoting Glastonbury Medieval Fair in full armour with a takeaway cup of coffee in Glastonbury Town

What Glastonbury offers those who move here, or visit at length or frequently, from more anonymous towns all over the UK (and increasingly from all over the world), is an opportunity for reinvention. While ordinariness seems to be something to be striven for in other places here it is scorned. I don’t think there are many here who would describe themselves as say “Just a housewife”, here they become witches, artists, mystics, workshop leaders, Reiki masters, poets, permaculture gardeners, teachers, even bloggers. A hobby or a passion becomes a vocation.

Glastonbury Festival – It’s Not In Glastonbury

Some people get confused when I say I live in Glastonbury, they associate the name purely with the Glastonbury Festival and don’t know that the town exists. Sometimes they ask ˜But I thought the festival wasn’t on yet? This is particularly odd when you are talking to them in December. They assume we all live … Read more

Glastonbury – The Spiritual Supermarket

It’s an oft heard complaint that you can’t buy anything useful in Glastonbury. This is of course nonsense. What could be more functional than a mirror ball Ganesha? Who needs underwear when you can simply don a very long cloak? As Kim said to me earlier “I don’t actually want a cauldron, but it’s nice to know I could just pop into the High St and buy one if I did”.

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Glastonbury Town Map

Glastonbury Town Map

A useful and fairly comprehensive map showing the kind of things you are likely to find in the centre of the small but remarkable town of Glastonbury, in Somerset, England.

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What’s Normal for Glastonbury?

Glastonbury High St Broomsticks

I love Glastonbury, I’ve been visiting since the 8th of August 1988 (8/8/88 of course) and have lived here since July 1993. I’ve tried moving away, even emigrating, but I’ve been pulled back repeatedly – by the Glastonbury rubber band effect as it’s locally known. Glastonbury is an endlessly fascinating parade of engaging characters, mythology and history, interesting shops, and great musicians. Except on my less positive days when it’s shabby, shambolic and full of nutters trying to blag a quid.

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