I choose life

There is so much to say

I can not hear your voice

Break your silence

Let us not whisper

There is no longer any choice

*

Can I be your voice

Share what’s in your heart

I speak, I shout, on your behalf

Lies and truths I shall impart

*

On your behalf

I set upon the world your

sad & unfair story

Leave your footprints on our souls

In future days I wish a wisp of glory

*

Those without a voice

Let us fight your war

We will not let you be forgotten

Even though we can’t hear you anymore

*

They prevail over you

they dominate

They take your choices

Give you cause to hate

*

Yet you don’t

*

We share your stories

In anticipation

Surround you with our love

Educate a nation

*

I make a wish

I could protect you

I will always be your voice

I pick you

I love you

I respect your choice

You choose life

I pray for you

#fowc

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5 days in Darwin

Lucky I am. Don’t I know it, cherish it, appreciate it.

I know some of you, in fact a lot of you have lost your mums.

My heart literally aches for you every time I read a post about your loss and sadness. I grieve for you, I grieve with you. Even though your grief is still incomprehensible to me

If you are a lucky ones like myself, do something special with your mums regularly. It may be something that may seem little to you, don’t underestimate that small stuff, it is huge to them.

My mum and I go to the Frankston food court for lunch, yes true! Why? Because she loves it. Fish and chips and a cup of tea. Then a little bit of shopping. We go to movies together, she falls asleep, I wake her up, she gets grumpy with me, we laugh, we have a ball. No matter what we do, where we go, when I take her home we have another cuppa together, if I’m not working, we will watch one of the quiz shows, we compete, we win and when I’m leaving, she cuddles me so hard. “Thank you, I’ve had a beautiful day” she will say with the biggest smile.

Those are the little things, the moments that are special to her and that I will always cherish.

I am thankful every single day that I still have my mum with me.

We aim to have a little holiday together every year. It has been a cruise for the last two years which works really well. They suit her mobility issues. She loves the food, the activities and the ease of the travel.

Boarding flights, going to tourist activities, boarding buses, boats. Then there is the places we just cannot go, bugger that we say, let’s go somewhere better! There are times when it can be really hard and tiring for her and me. But would either of us change a thing. No way!

So Darwin it was this year and we took Darwin on and we slayed it. We left no stone unturned, especially when I nearly toppled poor mum out her wheelchair. Yes seriously. We got stuck, my gaffe, she tipped, I held on tight, I saved the day. We laughed! Phew! Lucky I work out!

My mum is a trooper. I admire everything about her. The strongest, bravest women I know or have ever met.

We enjoyed a movie at the deck chair cinema, a lovely evening and yes I’m still scratching. Bugs just love me. I could be cheesy and say it’s because I’m sweet 😂

Enjoying dinners, ice creams, walks and enjoyed a beer or two.

The markets were fabulous. We hit more than one, of course, tell me a woman who doesn’t like to shop, just a little. Skinny aisles and wheelchairs make for a lot of work, the reward sitting at the end of one aisle within a smoothie and my arm around my mum. Just people watching. Isn’t watching and taking in the world, just the best!

Everywhere we park our bums my mum makes a friend. She is totally deaf in one ear and 80% deaf in the other, she has no voice, she can’t walk very far anymore and needs mobility aids, but people are drawn to her, want to be her friend and love her! With all her disabilities, I dare you to take her on… I just laugh to myself at the very thought. She is switched on, funny, doesn’t take herself or life seriously. A good role model, don’t you agree?

The markets, yes, yes, our firm favorite was Mindil sunset Market.

I was actually wondering where all the people and cars were. It was so quiet in Mitchell street (town centre) It was like a big old ghost town. Night two Mindil market was our night time entertainment. Darwin has a population of 120,000, well I found 90 % of them at Mindil Market. Luck was with us, we got a car park fairly close by.

It was colorful, food vans, every cuisine you can imagine, assorted delectable aromas wafting through the air, stalls selling their handicrafts and goods. I come from a land downunder bellowed through speakers. On the stage right at the markets edge, the band was playing, surrounded by people were sitting on the grass, fold up chairs, on benches, walls, anywhere they could, eating, drinking and socializing.

A balmy brilliant evening, where we watched the sunset over the water, made friends and chatted to locals.

Now where did we leave the car?

I am, I am, I am a museum girl, I could spend hours reading, taking in every detail, reliving the moments. Both, the War Museum and Cyclone Tracey museum affected me, bringing me to tears. There is a sound simulation room in the gallery, that is pitch black, the deafening roar that gives only a minute understanding of the experience that the people endured whilst cyclone Tracey flattened their homes. Darwin has survived some tragic hardships, they survive, they stand up again and rebuild. You have to admire the hard working Aussie. Mum enjoyed many moments, exhibits and endured some, just for me. Bless her patience.

If you love a museum, they are a must.

Being the ridiculous dog lover that I am, even though I had a brief liaison with Brutus, (not quite as cuddly as my four legged furry friends) where are all the dogs?

Brutus? Dominator? Open your mouths! Day 4 before we saw our first dog. Day 5 we headed to the botanical gardens for “ a walk-in the park” though it wasn’t it “ a walk-in the park” as there was bloody big hills and I was pushing 65kg in a wheelchair up steep hills. Exercise for the day ✅, resulting in 2 hill climbs when I say to mum “ do you think we should go for a cold drink somewhere”

The point of this conversation was to tell you I witnessed my next 4 dogs whilst puffing and sweating my guts out! 5 days,5 dogs.

I do miss my babies.

The waterfront and beach suburbs of Darwin are home to some of the most beautiful real estate I’ve seen around.

We drove around, daydreamed, talked about a fantasy life where we moved from brrrr freezing Melbourne to the tropical warmth Darwin. It really is a lovely city. Small, easy to get around. Lovely restaurants. Oh and cocktails. I made friends with Brutus the croc.. he did smile at me, he did! I’m sure of it.

We made another beautiful memory. My mum and I. We are lucky and we know it. Next trip, a cruise. ❤️

Thank you Darwin for your hospitality, I will definitely recommend a trip to Darwin. I’ll be back Brutus I promise. So much more to see and do!

So as we dropped her off at 1:30 in the morning, she cuddled me tight and said geez I love you & I love you back Mum. She thanked me for the most beautiful time. I responded, no thank you for sharing it with me!

Love you to the moon and back ❤️

#SoSC

Never smile at a crocodile?

I did and I survived

Day three of “chicks on holiday adventure in Darwin”

Wow what a day.

Adelaide river here we come. I loved the drive inland. Only a couple of hours. Great roads, easy driving. Peaceful! It was wakeful meditation.

Mum and I head out with to meet Captain Harry, a fervent conservationist on the Adelaide River to watch him feed the crocodiles, learn and just be in the croc moment.

I pre-warn them about my mums mobility problems. She was met and escorted onto a boat by Captain Harrys son Sean. I look at her with much love thinking jeez you’re a quick worker mum. “Look at you” I say to her, “you’ve got a man on your arm within five minutes of getting here.”

I’m about to meet mine, “the dominator”a 5 1/2 metre long 80 year old, more mums vintage but I was intrigued.

Harry told us “ we have to watch this one” he is an aggressive bugger, cranky, and will eat anyone or anything who comes into his patch.

Now Brutus, while still the old man at 100 years young, larger than the dominator, was reported to be gentle and beautiful, for a crocodile that was, he would reportedly pop his head up and look into the boat to see what was going on and if there was any food for him. Gentle and beautiful is more up my alley, At 100 he has barely any teeth left but could still crush you between his jaws mind you. I chose not to test out this theory! Who knows that song, “never smile at a crocodile? “

Well I did. I smiled at Brutus, I talked to Brutus. As I do, crazy animal lady, I talk to animals. I spoke to Brutus, I smiled at Brutus, I was enamoured by Brutus. I do believe Big old Brutus smiled back at me.

Or was that him sizing up his next meal?

Captain Harry did remind me, not to hang over the side of the boat as they may confuse me with food. Do I resemble a buffalo?

I was amazed by these creatures, there very size and magnificence. The dominator and Brutus were the stars of the day for me, We did meet a few others along our path, females only 2.5 metres, young males a mere 3.5 metres, tiny! A mother protecting her babies. She did at that. As we drifted into wards the bank, she flew through the water, up onto the bank and protected. A mother is a mother human or animal. The river calm, still and peaceful even in the moments as the croc approaches, silent, a splash as he erupts from the water and the smack of jaws slamming shut on a poor unsuspecting bird. They are quick!

Captain Harry shared his part of the river and it’s history, now in his 80s, he is still trying to protect crocodiles and their babies from the money makers exploiting these “protected” animals from government which allows egg collection and the use of their skins for the luxury goods industries.

In their efforts, they try to cover the nests of croc eggs so they are not in visible from overhead. The commissioned groups that fly overhead looking for nests. Crocodiles lay round 50 eggs, only once a year, these stealers of life, come in and take every single egg, not even even leaving a few for the poor mother. It’s heartbreaking what we do to animals. But you all know how I feel about that.

The day was fabulous backed up by a beer at the famous Humpty Doo Hotel. Most famous for its hamburgers, which I did not indulge in. Buffalo, Barramundi, and crocodile burgers were not for my palate. I scoured the menu for a vegan burger. Not one insight. But jeez that beer went down well.

Now I’m looking for Duncan, coz I need to have “a beer with Duncan me mate!”

Sue Vincent Thursday Photo Prompt – #writephoto

A seed is planted

A seed is planted

Growth begins

Healthy roots equals solid values

We grow our foundation,

spreading deep within

.

The trunk

Unwavering solidity

Withstanding storms

It sways, but it stands strong

Reflecting our enduring integrity

.

The branches

Different paths and lessons

in one lifetime

Diverse journeys,

various directions

.

The leaves

are cycles we experience on our way

Like the branches

Some stay

Some fly away

.

Others will fall

Some branches are very long

And outlast them all

.

.

Writephoto -Thursday photo prompt with Sue Vincent

Eclipse

Humans have defined wildlife. When did we become our worlds jury?

We declared them wild, a justifiable means to slaughter these gentle beings.

In fairness and compassion our planets wildlife eclipse that of humans.

The human race extinguish beauty.

Animals display beauty, kindness & empathy

They give human second chances. Do we deserve it?

Animals have an insight that surpasses humanities capabilities.

Animals hold an inner compass that shows a tender heart and soul.

We shade in comparison, we grow dim.

We show no remorse.

#fowc

Help save our world

With all the billions of dollars out there that we spend on nothing more than vanity, the money that seems to go everywhere else except for where it matters the most.

I find it incredibly sad that we as humans have been given this incredible gift that we continue to abuse and throw away.

I personally don’t understand.

Are we going to continue to be a throwaway, over consumption society?

Are we going to throw away our most cherished gift of all?

I feel the need to vent for those without a voice. While it may be difficult to fathom the fact that mankind has been responsible for the enormous amount of damage to our planet, it is the reality.

Some of the worlds most iconic animals, such as the rhinoceros, elephants and tigers are closer to extinction than we realise.

Elephants are being killed daily for their ivory, a rhino is killed every eight hours by poachers and it is appalling to hear and comprehend that people are using tigers as pets, that these magnificent animals are living in backyards instead of in their natural habitat, in the wild.

Peoples appetite for meat and dairy is destroying our rain forests.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/beef-production-is-killing-the-amazon-rainforest/

It Is also increasing the earths temperature due to the vast volume of greenhouse gases created by animal agriculture.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/serious-about-addressing-climate-change-your-diet/

Just today affect I read a fact that it was estimated the livestock industry alone could drive 175 different species into extinction.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/livestock-industry-could-drive-175-species-extinct/

Our world is all about money.

Where are we heading?

Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that. Is it lack of education? Or are people ignorant? Or as humans do we care too much about ourselves to care about other living beings?

To obviate these difficulties we need to educate future generations. Starting with our children. Could that be where the changes will begin? Or is it too late?

Can we save our world? Can we save our animals?

“Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.

The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe. It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.

“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”

“This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”

As reported by Damian Carrington October 2018

the Guardian’s Environment editor

What can we do to help Save our wildlife from extinction

Start with your plate

Appetite for meat, dairy and eggs is contributing to the worlds demise. If we were to choose more plant based foods we could cut our carbon footprint in half. Did you know livestock production is responsible for 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions?

Do you think it’s time for a change?

Not to mention the health risks of over consuming meat.

Avoid plastic

I have recently been posting some photos of the forever lasting impact that plastic has had on our marine life.

Our sea life is dying. On being opened up, we find their stomachs full of plastic.

A study by the world economic forum declared they will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050. Scary? Damn right it is! Join One Green planets Crush plastic campaign.

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/crushplastic/

Say no to palm oil.

Read your ingredients list before you purchase. I recently posted about the suffering of orangutans. The most common victim of palm oil. Over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation in the last 20 years. We do not need palm oil. There is kinder and healthier alternatives

https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/put-down-the-palm-oil-planet-friendly-alternatives-for-your-home/

Please do not support circuses, zoos, tourist attractions that use animals to entertain or that are held in captivity.

Please do support rescue an animal rights organisations

Use your voice, there is nothing more powerful than your voice. Di you use social media? Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for education not just selfie’s, please share articles that are informative and education on saving our wildlife. Educate on the mistreatment of animals.

If I educate one person and they make one change in their life, that is one more informed person in the world, who will share their knowledge again.

#fowc

Let it bleed

Weirdos walkabout

We experienced the sport of Rogaining today.

What’s that you ask?

That’s a great question!

The standard definition goes like this: –

Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five members visit as many checkpoints as possible in the specified time. Here in Victoria, Australia, rogaines are typically run over periods of 6, 12 or 24 hours. In a bush rogaine teams travel entirely on foot, navigating by map and compass between checkpoints in terrain that varies from open farmland to hilly forest.

How the weirdo walkabout in Inverloch definition went is like this

Our event was more of a community based, fun event, even though we had elite athletes enter, yes we had ironman team enter our event and consequently win.

Suggestions for things we needed to bring on our event day:

* mandatory: pen ✅

* recommended: rain jacket, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, $$ for coffees, suitable footwear ✅

* consider: card table for your map during route planning ❌ next time we will spend more time pre-planning. Well this was our first rogaine.

A few of our rules

➢ all team members must remain within speaking distance of each other throughout the event –

The urge was there for the experienced runners to charge ahead. No we must stay together. Of course then we would experience the middle age bladder, the need for one to go to the toilet, the others have to wait. Of course, not everyone needs to go at the same time, so 15 minutes later, patiently waiting again as another MA (middle ager) goes.

Missing an opportunity to gain further points we would watch dishearteningly as other teams would pass us… was that a smirk I just saw on that team leaders face? Come on hurry up hurry up.

➢ go to checkpoints in any order; go to as many as you can & want to in allotted time.

We worked out about halfway through that we should’ve gone to the outermost destinations on the map. They were worth higher points. Focus more on getting our bonus points, such as eating and drinking in designated cafes and photo opportunities with the multitude of peculiar and well known stuffed toys around the region.

➢ you must go to the checkpoint to get the answer – no guessing or using Internet, or submitting answers you have prior knowledge of.

I was tempted.

➢ Start event at or after 9am :- hooter to sound at 9am.

No problems there! We arrived at 8:15 am we were ready to roll at 9 am.

➢ return completed clue sheet by 1pm :- 10 point penalty for every 1 minute late.

We handed in our map and answered questions at 12:56 pm

➢ points are the checkpoint number rounded to 10s, eg for #83, 80 points, for #102, 100 points; wrong answer gets penalty of equivalent points.

Our last hour was spent on the outskirts of Inverloch, scoring ourselves hundreds of points.

➢ Bonus points: State names of soft toys when you locate them;  where photos required, tick box once photo taken, & show scorers photos at finish; bring receipts from designated cafes (1 receipt per team per cafe at which one or more team members ate or drank)

we did, we photographed, we laughed.

➢ call Weirdo’s Walkabouts if needing clarification regarding any checkpoints or clues:- 3 calls per team allowed (mobile numbers will be on notice board at event entry station)

No calls were made by us!

This fabulous event took a group of 8 women who represent the middle age / peri menopausal group being 45 plus, to the beautiful beachside hamlet of Inverloch that saw us navigate in bush, beach, up and down hills, into cafes, checking letter boxes, climbing trees, locating soft toys found by utilising some part of the middle age brain that no longer functions in peri menopausal women. Somehow we deciphered the cryptic clues, went on to produce some classic photos taken with, Shrek, pooh bear, Spiderman, a dodo bird and many others. Basically we were running / walking all across and around this lovely town. Finding shade amongst the lush green surroundings, enjoying a quiet moment, well, as quiet as eight women giggling together can be and whilst appreciating the protection from the wind and rain in a small cavern set inside the beach mountain.

Locating weird and wonderful destinations to find yet another answer to another crazy question. We delighted in some local artwork and sculptures, for a brief moment the sun shone upon us, enjoying the beautiful scenery and surroundings that our non competitive competition took us on.

No no, this is not competition, we are not being competitive, we are raising money for a charity, enjoying the day and spending time with each other.

We laughed at and with each other over 4 hours. Stopping for a short respite at the nominated cafes, “a long black coffee please”, “a latte”, “I’ll have that pie” another of our crew yelled, “please can we have a receipt with that”. Each purchase at a designated cafe earned us another 50 points. Yesss, we would scream as we ticked yet another box to earn another 150 points.

Pre Rogaine

The morning started something like this

Alarms going from 7 am. Eight women in one apartment, however, very thankful for the two bathrooms and toilets.

“Are you having breakfast”? “No I’m not hungry”. “You better eat, it’s gonna be hours before we can eat again”. “Okay I’ll have a coffee and some toast”. “I’m going to have some muesli”, “do you want some muesli”? “No I’m gonna have scrambled eggs, who wants scrambled eggs”? “no I’m not hungry”, “oh okay I better have some scrambled eggs”. “I’ll have some avocado as well please, 2 pieces of toast”, (seriously & you are not hungry) “Oh it looks cold outside, it’s raining”. “Are you wearing a beanie”? “I’m gonna wear my crop top and my jacket, I get hot sweats, I don’t want to overheat”. It’s 9°, do you really think you are going to overheat”? “Ok I will I’ll put a T-shirt over my crop top”. “I’m wearing my thermals and my jacket, plus my waterproof jacket” “What if you get hot”? “I’ll tie it around my waist”. “Won’t that be annoying”? “I don’t think I’ll get too hot, I feel the cold”. “do you think maybe I should wear a warm jacket”? “Yes I do”. “Gloves, who is wearing gloves” ? Yes me, me , me, I’m taking gloves, “do you have a spare pair of gloves”? “yes I do, do you want me to bring them for you”? “No! I should be okay.” “I’ll take your spare pair of gloves”. “I’ve got two pair of socks on”? “I’m taking my beanie, have you got a backpack”? “Can I put my spare pair of gloves in your backpack”? “I’m gonna wear my thin jacket”, “I’m gonna wear my pink jacket”. The conversation was crazy, funny, factual, made sense, at the same time made no sense, if anyone had of been listening. Yikes!

I wish I had recorded that 15 minutes of conversation. This is this was how the whole 48 hours with this group of women went. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but this is a group of women all around the same age group who support each other, and care about each other, laugh at each other, laugh with each other, look after each other. This was a group of caring women. Caring about each other.

Piling into two cars, we head to the starting point. As we wait, the sun comes out, it begins again. Being the only backpack carrier, can I have my car key out of your bag? yes! I’m going to put my beanie and gloves back in the car.

Middle Ager arrives back to the group, the rain starts, can I have my car key back again? I’m going back to get my beanie and my gloves.

The day was rain, wind, sunshine, but, never warm.

The event ended with 8 girls exhausted & hungry.

I’m starving, if I don’t eat I’ll die, I’m dying of thirst. I need a cake and coffee, where can we go, I want vegetarian, Oh I need a hot pie, hot coffee please, I want eggs and bacon. So it went. 8 women scurried off in three different directions. Meeting back at a pop up clothes shop. Of course how can 8 girls go away for a weekend and not go shopping.

Drive back to our warm apartment and here it goes. “I’ve got a blister on the heel of my foot”, “I’ve got a blister on my toe”, “my knee is aching, look at it it’s three times its normal size” as everyone squeals in displeasure at the pockets of fluid protruding out of one knee. ” I need a massage”, “I’ll massage you” says another.

I sit back and laugh as I listen to these conversations.

This group of amazing women are a contrast of various non associated business women. Meet Gaye an online entrepreneur/sales/fitness fanatic/marathon runner, Julie a doctor/yoga instructor/cyclist, a multi talented woman she is, Janette a plant based eater/pilates instructor/functional fitness trainer dabbling in menopause coaching/writer/dog rescuer/travel lover and blogger, Karen a extraordinary hairdresser/interior designer/ski bunny/fashionista, Kathy a developer and real estate guru/animal sanctuary volunteer, extreme sports and risk taker, Mandy a personal assistant/saving the environment/a highly intelligent exercise enthusiast, Andrea a level headed, smart medical secretary/museum and history lover/can do anything she sets her mind too/ does not love exercise and finally Shelle another interior designer/vegan/entrepeneur/teaching and inspiring women to be all they can and making fabulous funky outfits, headbands & bags.

All contributing to making our world a little bit of a better place to live in.

The afternoon witnesses beautiful women having insightful chats, enjoying healthy and unhealthy nibbles, whinging about painful body parts, forgetfulness and hot flushes.

The phone call came, our teams came first and second respectively in the veteran females. Third overall.

Not bad for a bunch of middle-aged menopausal women attempting their first Rogaine. Of course you could!

Coming first in the event was the elite ironman team, who happened also to be veterans.

Go the oldies!

We veterans rock. We veterans, yes the oldies, scored first, second and third, us youngish fabulous oldies.

Veterans were in the age bracket of 40plus, hardly what I would call a veteran but ill go with it.

Time for a cocktail at the RACV beachside resort, to celebrate a our placing in the event. Seriously did we need an excuse? Karen and Andrea may have started celebrating already. Champers in hand. Shhh what happens in Inverloch stays in…. Inverloch

Dinner at the local Japanese Tomo saw us 8 hungry women over order & over eat. The food was divine. They catered to Shelle and Janette’s plant based dietary requirements perfectly.

8 Women arrived back to their Apartment before 8 PM.

Seriously what happened to the days of arriving home at 3 AM, staggering to bed? Reliving the events of the night before, the next morning.

By 8:30 PM we had cups of tea, chocolate, cake, and we were wearing crazy wigs and playing a game of Scattergories. This led to many more laughs due to our forgetfulness and inability to remember a certain word. “It’s on the tip of my tongue” “what’s that word again”?. “Why won’t my brain work anymore”? Seriously how can I be serious looking at you with that wig on?

Menopause darling, menopausal brain fog.

I used to be a highly intelligent woman.

Our final morning was not without drama. Karen and Andrea decided to head out for a bike ride around town to make plans for our last day. Mandy and Janette were heading to the gym. On arrival at the gym, a frantic phone call advised us Karen has had an accident, you need to get back.

Our dear friend Karen, the pillar of our group, larger than life, she, who laughs at everything, had come off her bike due to the wet and slippery road conditions. She was in tears with a suspected a broken ankle. Julie our resident doctor rang ahead to the closest hospital and two of the girls accompanied her, where it was confirmed she had, indeed, a broken ankle, possibly and most probably requiring surgery. This beautiful positive woman was still smiling as she lay in hospital.

48 hours of fun, laugh, hot flushes, forgetful moments and friendship.

Next one in June. Now this is a serious one how do you think we will go?

Thanks girls for the laughs ❤️

#writephoto

#fowc

#rdl