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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.









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Publish August 3 2007

DonInLondon - August 2 2007 ĎDay In The Lifeí More Faith Less Fear

Why about more faith and less fear tonight? I guess what happens for me is I go to meetings of my fellowship, and I live my life by the day. A day at a time. My fellowship is of course Alcoholics Anonymous, a place to learn how to get sober and move along in life with freedom from the bondage of addiction, and truly it is a prison sentence to be constantly needing to drink alcohol. One drink is never enough we say, and a thousand will never repeat the sensation of liberation we may have had with drinking in early days.

I have changed my meetings recently, nothing wrong with the old ones at all I need mention, and everything right in priorities in the new ones I have been attending. Mostly at Worlds End on weekdays simply because they are near to my family.

My closest family, my Mother and Sister both live close to each other and I am somewhat remote from them. Not far, so meetings of AA close to them means I can just pop in, be about and be available to chat as we have experienced loss, for my Sister her partner, for me and my mother a good friend and companion over the last twenty years. We grieve and miss and feel sad and need find expression. I have the rooms of AA to help me, which helps me as a son and a brother. So I am glad I am still about although often it has felt like borrowed time.

I am still pretty new to AA and not drinking, it feels so even after so few years sober. And every day to me feels like a bonus as other ailments have been added in recent times. But I can still be around, be supportive and live with my stuff, as AA provides me with fellowship and friendship I have never really experienced before.

Today

Its been a day of frustration and patience as I realise I had no back up for my you tube Videoís last week and then tried finding ways to download and save them. I have as "real player" enables us to download videos from the net and save them. I never knew this was possible. And I suspect I could do this with Microsoft software if I knew where to find it. But real player has been free and very useful. I need be patient though as it takes a while to download and save. So a little frustrating but good to know and then I can upload to other sites I have scattered here and there.

So much admin and saving going on here in London.

As time went on today, I felt the need to be out and got caught in the rain, and I donít mind these things these days. Cycling is my mode of getting about and the bike serves to keep me fitter and aware of my circulation problems with type 1 diabetes. As walking has been a very painful exercise, I am also glad the bike enables me to get to meetings and more importantly close to where my Sister and Mother live in Chelsea.

A friend of mine is back on their bike today and getting about after being run down recently. So I shared my run over on my bike story, not as glamorous as theirs, as I was only run over by another cyclist!

Tonight Worlds End

Worlds End is a part of Chelsea, and close to family. Meetings of AA there most days except Sunday I think, so always handy for family after. And this is part of a routine I feel. And its right to get to a meeting, share my stuff and then after see family. It keeps me right sized and normal, rather than sad and unhelpful and thirsty.

Faith and Fear

Its important to me to have faith in living, rather than as of old, to be more fearful than happy, more worried than accepting of myself and living as I was. So tonight as the flavour of the meeting was about overcoming fear and having confidence to be ourselves, I realised a lot of work has paid dividends lately in being there for family and being there for others. I have purpose and recognise all the things I have learned over the years, as a counsellor and a business person, well its all there inside me and utilised daily!

Faith to be me Again

I feel this is true, to have faith and confidence and some courage.

Fear

Many years of fear for me and why? A nervous breakdown, overworked myself, got into an anxiety state and the rest of my career then nose dived spectacularly until I could neither work or make sense of life at all.

This may read as dramatic, but its true for many people who try their best and then find a place of work can be as destructive as what we do to try cope and make some place safe where we seek oblivion from life and pain. And drink always worked until that breakdown. And then my life was changed forever. Fear took me over and I could not find a way back to living ordinary.

I guess I never did work to ordinary, as my standards were high and unforgiving as many others. And worse I had ego and fear of failure as big as anything else which could undermine me. Actually I was lucky to get things and understand how to make life work for so long, I spent decades doing what others valued and gave me value and never realised I had a completely different path to make, I realise it now.

Fear leads us to bravery, fear and bravery leads us most often to pretending and ego steps in as we drift melancholy onwards to doom and despair.

Courage and Faith

I guess I have seen how courage and faith have worked these last few years. And the fellowship teaches us all as we can absorb change rather than just change as we are told. We just listen and find suggestions to living make all the difference.

People with courage and Faith in Life

I am astounded and grateful to see my Sister display the greatest courage and faith anyone may wish for these last few weeks as her loss has been profound. An ordinary person with just the right amount of courage and faith any normal person can have. And I am also grateful to have found my own faith and courage these last few weeks, and actually years with added incapacities thrown into the mix of living have helped me realise the precious moments we have on this earth.

So maybe I am getting near to normal where normal people display their courage and faith in living through difficult and tragic times.

Maybe I am part of the human race too. So confidence although knocked out of me for an age I guess has returned just a day at a time.

We live as we may. I shared tonight that for a long time I felt unworthy of life itself, and its hardest to get back on ones feet with one malady, and it seems I was due a few more to make a challenge worthwhile? Or as I realise normal people just do much of this as life presents. So I learn more about me and living, just a day at a time.

Gratitude for family, and fellowship seem pretty much my path, and support and being there as I may with whatever is in me, well I am doing my best I guess.

We need not fear most of living, and reserve fear for times and places appropriate to danger and risk.

I am not fearing life today, I am relishing and accepting a different outlook which changes almost as fast as weather can these days. And still I follow common sense, faith and courage come to the fore as needed.

I am less a "burnt out case." And as good conscience serves as my higher power tonight, checked, discussed and good for a day, I am ok.

I also recognise there is other service for me to do elsewhere and will seek guidance how best this might be achieved quietly and silently, another day..

Last years words have a different context and are shared here to see the difference as times moves us along where we go we never know till we are there!




August 3rd 2006

A better Understanding of Why

I have been troubled for years on the question of why some things come to pass. And this why is a lot connected to my upbringing and understanding of the world in which we live. The why questions of life are more often connected to my confusion with what I know and what I might wish for. What I know and wish are very related, for desire and drives, the ambitions we may have in our deepÖ

All the why questions most likely relate to why things are the way they are. Its life, we deal with reality and we deal with the actuality of things. And why is most often about why not? Why not my way, why not me, why not tell me, why not now, why, why, why.

In there is a lot of stuff about the self will I and others have. Our ego tells us we want things our way and no other way. I donít know how well my ego was developed, it always seemed more to me that my preponderance to self doubt and low esteem meant my ego was not that great. But actually I reckon even when we have low confidence, there is an ego of equal size to all our other components lurking inside.

We humans have all the necessary mental components to be good or bad, have a good conscience or behave against our good conscience. Its just there in us, we have all the latent capacities of living and what gets to come out is really partly our inner nature and what happens to us, our environment and how we get nurtured.

I went to a more advanced type of fellowship gathering earlier, it was about our steps of living. Our steps of living are about active steps to make life work. We talk about and discuss our 12 steps of living quite endlessly for we know our active participation in life means our take on our 12 steps will always be refined and change through time as we make progress in living soberly.

And our fellowship is a spiritual fellowship. Spiritual in the sense that we all have spirit, and not necessarily in the sense of belief in GOD. The God thing remains a personal matter and issue for us all, something we choose as life enables or disables as experience teaches us. Or we just believe and have faith in the God we are taught or come to believe in. For me, the debate matters not for God as we may come to believe or not is something for our conscience and personal development as time allows and our minds understand. Just because the world believes in somethingÖ And so the debate goes on. One debate I donít need to make my life work. This is not to side step the God element we are aware that most people have, its how it impacts on our life today we need take into account.

In the fellowship though, the God thing is quite important as part of recovery. The concept of God is about recognising we are not God actually. And much of the problem for new people coming into our fellowship would be eased if they would understand we are not God like or have any form of omnipotence at all. And that self will actually was part of our disorderly behaviour regarding our madness and addiction. Addiction really is where self will run riot has led to our obsessive behaviour to the point where we have become locked into a disease which will kill us, that is the nature of addiction, a disease, and something once we recognise we have, we can do something about. That is to maintain our path of recovery and away from self will run riot and obsessive behaviour which will surely put us out of the game of life.

In our steps we have step number 3:

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives our to the care of God as we understood Him."

And in our fellowship meetings for the student of the steps, this one is pretty important. The language of our steps by the way is some 70+ years old, so we have some beliefs and systems of understanding which go back a fair way and the language used back then is from a world where God featured much more prominently than it does in the secular world of today, in some countries that is. Other countries have gone the other way and got totally immersed in their religious beliefs to almost and in some cases completely. Fortunately in our fellowship our belief systems are our own and is reflected in the words of this step.

I admit my first encounter with my fellowship and the God element made me walk away, as it turned me off completely. And it was only when I returned to my own belief system of Good conscience that I was able to return and listen the my new found fellows in the fellowship. Good conscience sits well with me, because I have a good conscience in me, and it talks to me constantly. Its that inner voice we have going all the time. That voice which tells us things about the everyday and the big things in life. Good conscience is my chief guide to all I do in life. It is good conscience which makes me feel good or bad about how I live and what I do.

Good conscience was my reason for trying to quit my addiction in the first place and got me going in the fellowship of recovery. Good conscience was my guide when everything had failed me, especially my willpower to quit drinking and find a new life. I will never forget those times trying not to drink and the compulsion to keep on going. It is simply the most unreasonable thing to do, to keep harming ourselves when we need to stop harm. And we have no power left to stop.

So good conscience is a place where I can interpret everything in my fellowship which relates to God. And quite frankly that is fine inside me, where others much prefer the concept of their God. And that is fine.
And in our meeting earlier it became apparent as our speaker for the evening explained, their developing concept of God as they understand it, well its quite well developed. And the argument really is not about God, but about us not being God or God like in our behaviour.
So when we decide to give up our God behaviour, that is expecting the world to be ours exclusively to plunder and debauch we make a stride forward. That stride forward is about becoming the equal we are of all things, and especially our fellows. That our outlook on life is just ours and not always shared by others, that we have equal rights, and no more than that. That life will not be that fair and we need accept much of life as it is because it is just that, life!

So this notion of handing over our God like qualities really chops us down to our right size in this world. And to an extent whilst we want it to be a fair crack, its not, because ideals are ideals and we deal in reality, one day at a time. This one life is all we have, and sometimes it works for us and all is smooth and dandy, and other days like life is, its shit, because sometimes thatís life too.

Seems easy and almost too good to be true. But when we have been obsessed and put out of the world because we donít fit, we need to readjust to reality. And when we give up our willpower and self will, which has run riot for a while, we do need to get balance in our outlook again, if we ever had a balance of course.

So it was a pleasing meeting for me, and the outcome is that good conscience remains my guide and God is fine wherever God happens to be. As I explained if there is a God, he she or it, well they provided the equipment of life and we drive it to the extent we have choices to make to the good or bad of living. And our choices are made in relation to our conscience. And better we check out our good conscience with others and see if we are on track or off message. More likely off message when our needs or desires exceed our rights and capacities. De facto, we are off balance. So the good conscience bit for me is simply making sure balance and understanding that life is just the way it is, is firmly in mind always, and dailyÖ

We donít need give up our dreams, we need reality checks though to ensure we keep our feet on the ground and understand the possible, and probable and take the knocks as they come. As life will offer and show us, we donít rule the world. And we donít have a bigger right than any other to anything.

Easy simple stuff until we look inside ourselves and see our needs and needy behaviour and our addictive qualities push us to excess. That is where these steps of living keep us firmly in this present moment and working well in the day and realistically. And that is good enough for me.
As we all had opportunity to discuss this matter, it being a study group, we had variations on these themes which included quite strong belief in God, and some more in agreement toward a secular belief in good conscience, we all agreed at least the programme and the steps provide us with a great framework for making each day work out as well as it can.
We seemed to shy away from handing over our daily life to God completely, in as much we still have to work at living, and what happens to us is still our responsibility or we accept no choices in living at all. And indeed I know others do believe strongly in handing over everything to God. And actually I balk at that, because it means I can be forgiven for good and bad behaviour as it would be Godís will to be as bad or as good as its godĎs choice for me. I donít believe that was ever the way of God.
We get the necessary equipment to live life, we develop it and use it. And to varying extents we have good conscience in us and work at living to make life work.

How then to explain some who come into the world with less than a full capacity, or with parts of their physical and mental capacities missing? That is Nature and environment donít you think? And who said anything in this universe is perfect? I never did, or that whatever kicked off evolution, it never patterned humans actually, we evolved. So we all have relative capacity to live. And our good conscience ensures we provide a level playing field as best we can. And where we fail its partly evolution and partly prejudice. This also explains the awful behaviour of some we call sociopaths, those bereft of conscience and they exist. We donít do well with sociopaths and criminal types who cannot be reclaimed. And we exclude them most likely or they become so powerful the world ends up in war and definitely out of balance.

But for me itís a simple programme of redemption and step 3 a way to access good conscience, and like many others discuss it endlessly, as we need to get better at using our conscience and not our obsessive will.
Iím going back to the beginning of this post to mention some other stuff, so if this post seems a bit back to front, or disjointed its because some news over the last couple of days has helped me with my insightful self. Or maybe Iíll write about it tomorrow. Or put it in the margins of this page. I donít know yet.

As for me and God. Well I am not God, and my self will run riot remains lost to time, and will remain so as long as I work at daily maintenance on the path of recovery and with these 12 steps, which truthfully were the core of my living before I became an addict, and now recovery is with me, its all the more important to understand life is just life, and I am right sized to make the most of what time I have, a day long, as best I can.

-/-



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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.





Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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Iraq veterans suffer stress and alcoholism August 3 2007




Long tours in combat zones linked to serious mental problems, study finds

Polly Curtis, health correspondent

Thousands of frontline veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing escalating mental health problems, alcoholism and family breakdown, an extensive examination of the British military has found.

Prolonged periods in conflict are linked to higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress and problems at home, researchers report in the British Medical Journal online.

The Ministry of Defence said it would study the findings to try to better understand mental health problems in the military, but last night there was pressure on the government to address accusations that the military is currently overstretched, forcing personnel into longer tours of duty. Opposition MPs said the burden on the military was another reason to begin phased withdrawal from Iraq.

The Kings College London military health centre's study of 5,547 veterans of overseas tours focused on the 20% who were deployed for more than 13 months within a three-year period, the maximum recommended time limit set by the government and known as the "harmony guidelines".

Nicola Fear, one of the researchers, said: "We asked about problems with partners, children, financial problems and whether their families were receiving enough support. Being deployed for 13 months or more was associated with significantly higher problems at home. It could be that people aren't home long enough to adjust from military to family life."

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/money/insurance/article2189588.ece August 3 2007




James Rossiter and Elizabeth Colman

Two of Britainís leading insurers are to put up the cost of household insurance by an average of 10 per cent after two months of devastating floods.

Norwich Union, the countryís biggest insurer with one in five homes on its books, will bring in the price rises from Monday in response to the worst floods to have hit England in 60 years.

Lloyds TSB also said yesterday that it expected to increase home insurance premiums for all customers by about 10 per cent.

The higher premiums will affect existing Norwich Union and Lloyds TSB customers who seek to renew their buildings and contents insurance policies, as well as new customers. The price increases will apply to all customers, and not just those hit by the recent flooding.

A spokeswoman for Aviva, Norwich Unionís parent company, said: ďWe had the premiums under review before these events. There will be an increase in premiums as the flooding is one of the elements causing claim inflation. The increase will on average be 10 per cent.Ē

Direct Line and Churchill, two other leading household insurers owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, told The Times that they would also be putting up the cost of their household insurance policies, but declined to say by how much.

Phil Loney, managing director of Lloyds TSB insurance, said: ďPremiums will go up across the industry. Strong competition in home insurance has kept premiums down but the impact of the flooding has been extreme. Ten per cent sounds about right.Ē

The price increases come barely a fortnight after The Timesgave warning that hundreds of thousands of homeowners would be hit by higher insurance premiums after a second wave of flash floods last month meant that insurers were facing record claims. The flooding bill for the insurance industry may top £3 billion according to one credit rating agency, far ahead of the £1.3 billion that insurers had to pay out after the flooding in 2001.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News August 3 2007


Russia claims North Pole August 3 2007



Putin asserts his nation's ownership of 460,000 square miles of Arctic territory - and its huge reserves of oil and gas - after exploration feat of 'unimaginable difficulty'

By Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor

Russia has taken a giant leap for the Kremlin by planting its flag on the ocean floor under the North Pole in a politically charged symbolic gesture to claim the rights to the sea bed which could be rich in oil and gas.

In a dramatic technical feat testing international law, the Russians dispatched two mini-submarines 2.5 miles to the ocean floor in what is believed to be the first expedition of its kind.

Both submersibles, with crews of three on board, completed their dangerous return to the surface yesterday after what was described as a "smooth landing".

But the expedition raised the hackles of Russia's neighbours, who also have their eye on the vast mineral deposits that could lie under the Arctic area, and who consider the Russian move as a brazen land grab. "This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'," said Peter MacKay, Canada's Foreign Minister.

Russia has fired the first diplomatic shot in a really cold war. The new oil rush has been galvanised by the accelerated shrinking of the polar ice cap because of global warming, which has allowed exploration that had been previously unthinkable because of the extreme conditions.

Russia claims that the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain range crossing the polar region, is an extension of its territory. The UN has rejected Moscow's 2001 claim to the ocean bed, which it says is part of its continental shelf under international law but the Russians are due to resubmit their case to the committee administering the Law of the Sea.

A brains trust of 135 Russian scientists, led by a 68-year-old personal envoy of President Vladimir Putin, the explorer Artur Chilingarov, plan to map out part of the 1,240-mile ridge.

But yesterday's scientific achievement of dropping a titanium capsule containing the Russian flag on to the seabed could not conceal the political advantage gained by Mr Putin. Once again, he has demonstrated to the West Russia's determination to expand its energy empire.

The news of the mission's success dominated Russian television yesterday. Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman, said the President considered it "very important ... Being a unique scientific expedition, it is of course supported by the President."

The Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said: "I think this expedition will supply additional scientific evidence for our aspirations." But he added that the issue of territorial claim to the polar region "will be resolved in strict compliance with international law". If recognised, the claim would give Russia control of nearly half of the Arctic's near-half million square mile sea bed.

But four other countries - the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark - also have claims on the ocean floor which could hold as much oil and gas as Saudi Arabia. According to the US Geological Survey, the Arctic seabed and subsoil account for 25 per cent of undiscovered oil and gas reserves.

The Russian convoy, consisting of a research vessel and a nuclear-powered ice-breaker, and the two submersibles which had been used in the filming of Titanic, set sail from the northern Russian city of Murmansk last week, catching the world by surprise. Initial concerns that the expedition could be thwarted by thick sea ice proved unfounded, although the research vessel, the Akademik Fyodorov suffered from engine trouble on the journey.

Mr Chilingarov was on board the Mir-1, the first submersible to go down, and spent eight hours and 40 minutes under water. The last 40 minutes were tense, as the crew tried to find an opening free of ice. "It was so good down there," he said on his triumphant return. "If someone else goes down there in 100 or 1,000 years, he will see our Russian flag." The Mir-2 had an international crew on board, including the Australian deep-sea specialist Mike McDowell who previously led tours to the Antarctic. The co-sponsor of the voyage, the Swedish pharmaceuticals millionaire Frederik Paulsen, was also on the submersible, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

In addition to the engineering challenge - which has been compared to the first moon landing - the dark depths of the Arctic waters are so mysterious that the Russian crew did not know what they would find.

Vladimir Gruzdev, who accompanied Mr Chilingarov on Mir-1, mused before their dive: "What if we encounter Atlantis there? Nobody knows what is there. We must use the opportunity given to us 100 per cent." The operation was straight out of a Jules Verne story, with expectations that exotic underwater creatures would appear from the uncharted depths. But in a momentous anti-climax, the expedition's leader declared: "There is yellowish gravel down here. No creatures of the deep are visible."

While in the Arctic, until mid-September, the scientists will continue to study in detail the climate, geology and biology of the polar region. But the Russians had better watch their backs: the Danes hope to prove that the Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of Greenland, which is part of Denmark. Canadian and Danish scientists are currently on two icebreakers mapping the north polar sea.

And in a reminder of the Kremlin's aggressive use of its oil and gas wealth, the state-run Gazprom this week threatened to cut off gas to Belarus in a re-run of the economic bullying of Ukraine in 2006 that affected further supplies to Europe. Belarus owes Russia $460m for gas. Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus's President, yielded to the demand yesterday, after being promised a little help by the Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. If Russia had carried out its threat, gas supplies to Germany and Poland would definitely have been at risk.

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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Don Oddy
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