Monday, March 31, 2008

Things to melt your heart part 2

Behold "The Peanut" aka the niece or nephew at 16 weeks gestation.
This my sister's second little bubba who is due in September.
I'm dealing with my broodiness by watching her pregnancy develop and ogling all the ickle baby tiny things in the shops that I shall buy for this little one.
No matter how many times you see ultrasound pictures there is always, always something in you that thinks "What a miracle" when you see another one.
Hello Peanut. I'm your auntie Claire. I will always have tall tales to tell, a car with a baby seat in just for you, the ability to sing 'Horsey Horsey' on a loop without losing the will to live and a big cousin who has already promised he will teach you how to use a slide. Get here safe, we can't wait to meet you. x

Random conversations from a newspaper office

I don't know why, but the following email made me smile...
It just proves the utter randomness of life on the frontline of local newspaper reporting. (The email came from my colleague Erin)

Do you want to do an interview with Twink next Wednesday at Forum ?
It's for Menopause the Musical.
I am in Auschwitz.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things to melt your heart part 1

When I got up for work this morning the boy was still asleep. Usually as soon as he hears me move from the bed he's awake and as bright as a button looking to have a bit of craic before pleading with me not to go to work and stay with him instead.

This morning though, he stayed out for the count and I kissed his wee sweaty head, rubbed his wee cheek and told him I loved him before creeping out of the house. (He was left in the care of his daddy, just in case you wondered).

Anyway, my phone rings at work just before 11 and it is the boy. He wants to talk to me and he sounds all teary and emotional.

"Mummy, mummy, I forgot to give you something. I really wanted to give you something this morning but you went to work."

"What sweetie," I asked (while trying not to focus on the fact he has JUST woken up).

"A kiss and a cuddle mummy. I love you."

Me. Desk. Heart bursting. Tears.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Leave a man to dress a child...

And chances are, these will be the results.
The husband is in charge of the boy this week. Fed up with waiting for his daddy to dress him, Joseph decided to do things his way.
Yes, the top was on backwards and yes, those are welly boots. And no, he wasn't wearing a vest, or pants, or socks.

Thankfully the husband had the foresight to correct this before they went out but no, I would not have been shocked at all to have this site greet me at the end of my working day.

When the boy was a mere baby in his pram, I arranged to meet the husband for coffee one day in town. It was September and chilly and I was wearing my big coat. There I was sitting supping my tea when I see in the husband (in his big coat) approaching with the pram.
Sitting inside was a frozen chip of a thing, a baby in too small clothes, with no coat and bib covered in some unidentified orange gloop.
I did what ever decent mother would do - grabbed the pram, ran to the Tesco across the road, bought a new outfit (and winter coat), changed the boy in the baby changing room and returned to the cafe to finish my tea.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The saga of Heather Mills

I’m a bit of a closet Bon Jovi fan. It’s not cool or particularly impressive but I like a bit of a boogie to some late 80s rock music now and again.
Yesterday, while reading the absolute blanket coverage of the McCartney/ Mills divorce saga I couldn’t help but play one of Bon Jovi’s cheesier songs through my head. Heather Mills, you see, gives love a bad name. But worse than that, she gives womankind a bad name and for that she should be deeply ashamed.
For a long time I reserved my judgement about Ms Mills - mostly because I’m of the general belief that people with a lot of money have a lot of power and I’m sure that Paul McCartney has not survived some 40 odd years in the music business without a bit of spin-doctoring here and there. But on Monday, as La Mills (to coin a very Derry phrase) threw the head outside the courtroom I made up my mind pretty damn quick that she was a self-absorbed, money grabbing harridan with no grip whatsoever on reality.
To stand on the steps of a courtroom and show her obvious disdain for getting £24million in a divorce settlement was a step too far in my book. This is a country where people are stuggling to make ends meet - where we on the verge of a recession and here is some silly old woman ranting on about her daughter not having enough money to fly first class. Boo bloody hoo.
Her settlement gives that daughter £35,000 a year to live on - not inclusive of school fees or exceptional extras. I would hazard a guess that most people in Derry than not don’t have that as an annual income on which to raise entire families.
Never mind struggling to pay school fees - in the real world we struggle to pay for school uniforms.
Heather herself gets a lump sum of some £16 million. Now, since we all sat down a few weeks ago and figured out what yer man that won the Lottery in the Waterside would get a week in interest, we can hazard a fairly educated guess that Ms Mills will earn in the region of £100000 a week, in interest alone. At that rate she can buy her own plane and fly herself first class after a couple of months. But that was not what she wanted.
No, she wanted £125million.
And part of that was half a million pounds a year just so she could go on lavish holidays. Out of that she wanted £35,000 just to pay for helicopter transfers. Someone should really direct her to the Translink website. Or maybe she should spend a week in a carvan in Kerrykeel to discover that lavish holidays aren’t the be all and end all.
Greed is not an attractive quality in anyone and even less so in someone who seems only too happy to dish the dirt and make a complete eejit of herself in front of anyone with a camera. It is not dignified or admirable to think you have a right to a life of privilege just because you happen to marry well.
Her marriage did not leave her without means or the ability to do what the rest of us do and just get a job - in fact it left her substantially better off that she could have dreamed from such an ill-fated affair.
For all his faults, Sir Paul has acted with remarkable dignity throughout this whole episode.
He has refused to comment and instead fought his battle where it should have been kept - in the court room. (Admittedly with the best of lawyers at his side). He, it seems, has put the needs of their daughter first. She has been provided for - amply and he has tried to keep her out of the limelight as much as possible.
He also not spent his time publicly villainising her mother - but then she seems to do a good enough job of that herself.
She is a woman who claims the cash will help her carry on her philanthropic work to which she has devoted her life. She has argued throughout that this is not about the money for her - this is about providing for their daughter and donating amply to charity. Funny, I’ve not see any big charitable announcements made amid the ranting and throwing of glasses of water over opposing lawyers.
I don’t know why Heather Mills annoys me so much - but when I see her I just feel so very disappointed. I hate the term gold-digger and I hate how people (mostly men) like to bandy it about as if a woman who marries someone wealthy is only after a fat pay cheque at the end of the day. But in this case Heather Mills has proved herself to be just that. She exudes greed and a lack of empathy and understanding for anyone else. To top it all off, she thinks we should admire her because she has overcome a disability.
As far as I’m concerned, her biggest disability is the inability to keep her mouth firmly shut.


And behold the most gorgeous flowers your eyes have ever seen!*
They were presented to me on Saturday night at a surprise party in my honour and were sent by Poolbeg (the lovely people - forget "Irish for Bestsellers", their new catchline really should be "The Lovely People" - a bit like Curleys - The Friendly Store) to celebrate the success of RD&T (13,000 copies... and counting!).

I was taken for dinner by my parents on Saturday night after a fairly decent amount of griping on my behalf that I'd done so well and not been bought so much as a KFC bargain bucket for my troubles.
So, no bargain buckets in sight, we went to Quay West for a very lovely dinner where I ate too much and drank even more because, you know, I was planning on coming home and falling into a coma like state on the sofa in front of Casualdraw**
So stuffed to the gills with Tobacco Onions (the food that keeps on giving, as my burps all night proved) we returned to my mum's to pick up the boy and head home.
And this is where I got suspicious because it was quiet - too quiet - and if there is one thing my wain does not do it is quiet. And all the doors were closed... all of 'em .. and my mum seemed obsessed with making sure I went into the kitchen and NO OTHER ROOM.
But anyway, none of this prepared me for the screaming of "Surprise" and the dive of a four year old into my stomach for a cuddle from a hyper boy.
It was then we had the presentation of the flowers and after that it got a bit hazy. There was chatting, and drinking and dancing and the showing off of my Trinny and Susannah "suck 'em all in" pants and more dancing, rounded off my a spectacular rendition of "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid" by me and my brother's girlfriend - the stunning Maria.
Thankfully, there were a lack of cameras present on the night so you'll have to take my word for it that I acted with dignity and grace at all times.

*And yes, they are pictured a bath - where they stayed until Easter Sunday and now they are displayed in a fine vase in my living room.

** Casualdraw - the combined name my son has given for Casualty and the National Lottery Draw which has stuck in our house - cos we are crazy and all.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random conversations with the boy part 8

At 3 in the morning. (Aren't the best ones always at 3 in the morning?)

J: Mummy, does Slimer live with the Ghostbusters?
M: Yes, in the cartoon he does.
J: And he is the Ghostbusters' friend?
M: Yes, in the cartoon he is.
J: I like Slimer.

*Ten second pause while I start to drift off to sleep*

J: Mummy, do the Ghostbusters live in a firehouse?
M: Yes, they do.
J: But they don't live in a firestation?
M: No.
J: And Slimer lives in the firehouse too?
M: Yes, in the cartoon he does.
J: I like Slimer.

*Twenty second pause where I actually experience at least two snores*

J: Mummy, when we go on holiday, can we bring sandwiches for a picnic?
M: Yes, I'll make sandwiches when we are away.
J: And I'll have four, because I'm four and daddy will have 36 because he is 36 and you can have 21 because you are 21. (NB: I love my child.)
M: That's a good idea.
J: We can have ham and tuna and juice to drink.
M: Good idea.
J: Does Slimer eat sandwiches?
M: Yes, in the cartoon he does.
J: I like Slimer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The grey eyebrow hair and my early 30s crisis

As I looked in the mirror yesterday morning. I saw it. It was as if it jumped out from the rest of my face and became the biggest eyebrow hair in the world - ever.
And it was grey.
Now I've made my peace, relatively speaking, with the ageing process. It is a Davidson woman curse that by the time we hit our mid 30s we have a fantabulous smattering of grey among our fading hues of brown and blonde. Til recently my greys were kept at bay with a bi-monthly trip to the hairdressers for a date with my good friend Mr. Peroxide.
Earlier this year I decided to go natural again - but of course when I saw natural I mean ala Clairol Nice 'N' Easy and not actually the grey badger stripes coming off my temples.
I thought I had this whole thing licked. I thought I was well sorted and in the groove and with a healthy dose of anti-ageing wrinkle cream I figured I could stave off mother nature.
But what does one do about grey eyebrow hairs? (Apart from plucking the bejaysus out of them).
I am deeply traumatised.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

To all: re the weather

This morning I was chatting to the lovely Sharon Owens via email and we were giving out about the weather.
It's shite isn't it? I mean I remember when my wee man was just over a year old and my VBF Vicki came over to Ireland for the St. Patrick's Weekend. It was gloriously sunny - so sunny in fact we went to Tesco and bought t-shirts and shorts for the baby boy AND sun cream and we really needed to use it.
We drove to the beach and sat in the sun, and let it beat off our faces and even ate ice cream. I swear I even got a hint of colour.
This morning I went out to the car to find ICE on the windscreen. It was 1.5 degrees and I read on some website or other it might even snow over Easter. Snow! For the love of the wee baby Jesus what is that about?
Anyway, it dawned on me that this awful crappy weather is entirely my fault
Last year I spent a wadge of money getting our sun-trap yard transformed from messy concrete ick fest to gorgeous patioed retreat with hanging lanterns, table and chairs and planters a go -go. It has rained almost every day since. I think I have a unique way of jinxing things.
I have managed in the course of that year to be able to sit out in the "sunshine" twice and on one of those occasions it was touch and go whether or not the frost bite would lead to an actual amputation of my toes.

So I'm sorry. I promise not to tempt the weather gods any more. I might even a buy a jumper to see if reverse psychology works.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What would you do for £24.3 million?

Marry a Beatle?

Apparantly that's what a failed marriage will cost a rock star these days. But it's a mere drop in the ocean compared to his £825million fortune.

Seriously, he could marry a whole lotta people and divorce them and still have enough money for diamonds and fancy cars.

Wonder if he is looking for a new missus?

Things I didn't get to do this weekend...

...Drive to Letterkenny to see my book in Tesco.
Was mildly gutted - but the boy remained bokesome until yesterday evening and I felt mildly nauseated myself. I do not know if the nauseated on my part was down to the smell of sick sticking in my nostrils all weekend or if I'm coming down with the lurgy myself.
The upside is I can't bring myself to eat or drink anything which has to be good for the diet because trust me the Holy season of Lent has not been good for my waistline. It is as if on subconscious level I've been doing a reverse sacrafice type of thing as a rebellion to my Catholic upbringing.
I bought the boy his Easter Egg yesterday and it's still there - which is an Easter miracle in itself as it is has been known for the boy to get egg mark 4 by the time the day rolls around.
What I did get to do this weekend however was go out for dinner with some old friends (and my sister). It was all very last minute and one of the old friends was someone I had not seen or actually broken breath with in eight years so I was terrified it would be all awkward and wrong.
But the craic was good, the wine was plentiful and the hugs were lovely.
So no Tesco, but things were great all the same.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Things to do this weekend

Drive to Letterkenny to visit Tesco. Yes, I have a perfectly good Tesco less than five minutes from my front door but it's not a Tesco Ireland and I want to visit an Irish Tesco so that I can see Rainy Days and Tuesdays on the shelves.
There is, of course, a great deal of debate among the writerly fraternity about the sale of books in supermarkets, profit margins and the amount of money that actually makes it back to us lowly authors.
Of course, in an ideal world, everyone would pay full price for my book and I would have a big bag of money from which I could afford to buy everyone else's books at full price. But this has never been an ideal world and I'm happy (deliriously so) to see my book on the shelves of Tesco at all.
Being a writer is a huge priviledge - especially being a published writer. God knows I know plenty of talented writer peeps struggling for a break while I have been phenomenally lucky. (Of course my dear friend Fionnuala would say good lucks comes after hard work...). Getting a break is hard going and if it means selling books at cut prices in supermarket so that more people - people who wouldn't normally read, or wouldn't have much a chance to visit the local bookshop - then so be it.

I'm as a big a fan of bookshops as anyone else. I almost faint with joy at the smell of freshly painted books , oh the delicious paper... but you take what you can.

Things you don't want to hear...

... at 12, 2, 4 and 6 in the morning.

"Mummy, I'm going to do sickies... bleeeeuuuurrrgghh"

A fine line between bravery and betrayal

Over the last few weeks I’ve spoken very openly about my experiences with depression and about my relationship with my son during that time.
I have, I admit, thought an awful lot about how Joseph will feel when he is bigger and reads about our tricky start together and I hope he will understand that mammy was sick but got better and all’s well that ends well. (Certainly my own mother’s cries of ‘Youse wains will leave me in Gransha’ had no lasting ill effects on me.)
There have been people out there who have said I am brave to talk about depression so openly - but I don’t see it like that. I see it as being honest and I hope that by speaking openly about my own experience, other people with depression will fee less alone.
I’m saying all this because an article I read this week, about another mother who spoke openly about her relationship with her child, has had me taking deep breaths to calm the growing rage in the pit of my stomach.
Julia Hollander, if you’ve not heard about her, is a mother of three girls, Elinor, Imogen and Beatrice. However it is Imogen (or Immie as she is called) who is the subject of her new book ‘When the Bough Breaks’. When Immie was born, she was deprived of oxygen and left seriously brain damaged.
While this damage was not immediately apparant, Hollander soon began to notice her daughter was not developing in the way her older sister had done. Immie screamed for five hours a night (having had a colickly baby, I know the feeling) and would not settle.
Eventually her parents were told the devastating news that during birth her cerebral cortex had been virtually destroyed and her prospects of leading a productive live were virtually non existant. Immie will never walk or talk, but she will live - until her 20s. Hollander’s reaction to this news was to tell doctors she could not cope.
She left her daughter in the special care unit of the local children’s hospital and she went home. She then piled her daughter’s belongings - her cot, her high chair, all her equipment and drove to the dump and disposed of them.
I can’t help but feel she dumped her daughter too. She did not read to me as a woman who ‘bravely’ asked for help, just one who walked away not knowing, or caring who would look after, or what would become of her child. She referred to Immie as an animal. She went on to have Beatrice who, it seems, fitted the bill of the perfect child. Beatrice has been welcomed into the family and Hollander (and her exceptionally self centred partner) are delighted with her and even more delighted that Elinor now has a perfectly capable playmate.
Now I’m trying to remain unjudgemental but as a mother - even one who had a tough time - I cannot understand the apparant ease with which Hollander dumped her child. And what I can’t understand more is why she has chosen to write a book about it.
Sure, Immie will never read and will never have an understanding of the cruel and emotionless way her mother has spoken about her. Sure Immie probably won’t even have a notion that her foster mother is not the woman who gave her life, but there is something distasteful about a woman making money from describing her own child as an animal.
There are those, of course, who saw Hollander is brave and breaking the last taboo. She is talking about the fact that some mothers just do not love their children but I think that is oversimplifying things. It is clear Hollander loves her children, especially those who are “normal”. It is also clear that she does have a maternal instinct - for the right kind of child. And what this book is doing is suggesting, or reinforcing, is the idea that because of her disability Immie is somehow less of a person than her two sisters.
This is not a case where a mother tried and failed and has regrets that she could not love her daughter. This is a case where a woman walked away almost as soon as a diagnosis of brain damage was made and then went on to try and make money from the situation. This is a woman who seems to have no qualms whatsoever in letting the world know that you don’t have to keep an “abnormal” baby.
There is nothing brave, or admirable, about that.
I cannot see what positive message could come from her book, or indeed who on earth is benefitting from reading about her experiences. Immie most certainly isn’t.
Of course I do not have a child with special needs. And I admit that he is still a handful and at times I have fleetingly wondered what it would be like to hand him over to someone else. But I could not imagine just leaving him somewhere, alone and defenceless while hoping someone else will sort out my issues for me.
I have often spoken of my initial difficulty with motherhood but I reget every day that wasn’t filled with maternal feelings towards my son. Perhaps that is clouding my judgement of Hollander or perhaps that is why her case angers me so much. Every child, regardless of ability, deserves love. Every child deserves to be treated as an equal with his or her peers and to have the respect of their parents. To talk about her child is no mark of bravery in my eyes, it is the ultimate betrayal.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Are we there yet?

Is it spring yet? I’m never sure when it begins. I’m sure tradition dictates that St. Bridget’s day is the start of spring, but I’m not convinced.
Since then we’ve had snow, rain, and more snow. Yes, the daffodils have popped their heads out but it’s still fecking freezing. Surely I’m not the only person holding out for the lighter nights like a slimmer holds out for the post weigh in trip to the chippy?
It seems as if the promise of warmer days, shorter nights and the chance to hit the exercise mecca of ‘Fat Ass Pass’ has been in the air for a long time, but it’s yet to land firmly on our doorsteps.
My garden furniture remains covered up and the boy has turned an unattractive shade of grey from the lack of natural day light. As for me I seem to be in danger of putting back on the two stone I lost with such effort over the past few months as my energy levels have dipped to an all new low. I admit I can see small differences. I
know it is now light when I wake up in the morning, which does help with my mood and when I walked out of work at 6.30 the other night to see just the smallest glint of light in the sky I felt myself perk up almost immediately.
But last summer’s lack of any kind of summery weather has left us all gasping for a hint of a nice day and I have to admit my patience with the waiting is wearing thin. Sure I laughed with everyone else at the start of the summer when rainy day followed rainy day followed rainy day. I had a great giggle with my publishers. “Look, it’s a rainy day and a Tuesday,” we would laugh, but by the end of July the joke had worn thin.
I longed for just one nice day - just one afternoon of glorious sunshine. I longed to leave my coat at home and drive about with the windows down in my car. I wanted to get just one day away to Benone with my family where we could have a paddle in the sea without risking life and limb from frost bite. I’m sure, 100%, that the lack of these sunny excursions contributed to me being in a very bad mood throughout the majority of December.
I didn’t just get SAD. I got MAD too.
So now I can’t wait to find myself sitting in the garden at 8pm, glass of wine in hand and feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. I want to have a barbecue without the rain dousing the darn thing before my sausages are cooked. I can’t wait til the boy gets the chance to run about again outside like a mad thing instead of trashing in the idea of my house with gay abandon.
I’m tired of getting home in the evening to a carpet of toys on the floor and risking life and limb tripping over a plethora of ‘Lightning McQueens’ of various shapes and sizes. Dare I say it, I’m even looking looking forward to getting out walking in the evenings.
I like a good walk - especially with my bargain price MP3 player from Tesco (Ipod? Naw - I’ll have the Tesco Value version). I’ve been known to puff my way up many a hill in time to a cheesy Whitney Houston track blasting into my earphones - but I’m a fair weather walker which is perhaps not ideal in Ireland. It also means it’s been an exceptionally long time since I had a decent walk anywhere.
Last week I had to traipse the streets of Dublin and by the end of it my thighs were aching and my feet had swollen to three times their normal size. It was all the proof I needed that I am unfit. But there is no fun to be had in walking across the Foyle Bridge on a blowy and rainy night. I’m always afraid someone will mistake me for a jumper and try and haul me into their car.
Sure I look at the people out running and walking in the rain in their funky high visibility jackets and feel a pang of guilt mixed with a healthy dose of inspiration but it’s hard work to make the effort when all you have to look forward to at the end of it are sore legs, frizzy hair and temporary deafness in one ear from the biting cold.
It’s all much more appealing on a cool summer night. You head out when it’s still light and feel a soft, warm breeze wash over you as start walking out. Maybe you stop to watch the sunset, or maybe you get all that hard old exercise business over and done with before sitting down at home and relaxing with your windows open.
You feel more relaxed - not least because you no longer have to consider taking out a second mortgage to continue heating your home and the working day even seems shorter because your not spending all the daylight hours chained to your desk. So surely, it’s March now. It must be spring soon - we deserve a little sunshine in our lives.

You know when you yawn...

...and your ears pop, so that your hearing goes all funny?
Thus follows the boy's interpretation of that sensation.
"Mammy, I can talk through my ears."

Thursday, March 06, 2008


That's my number in the charts this week.

In the whole of Ireland.

For the paperback of RD&T.


I like it.
And it's on sale now.
For £7.99
From lots of different places

Random conversations with the boy pt 7

While driving home last night.

Me: What is your name?
J: Joseph
M: And what is my name?
J: Mammy.
M: But what is the name other people call me?
J: Claire.
M: And what is daddy's name?
J: Daddy.
M: And what is the name other people call him?
J: Neil.
M: And what do other people call granny?
J: Karen.
M: And what do other people call Grandad?
J: Love.

Gotta love it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm not mad...

...I've just been in a very bad mood for the last 31 years.

Perhaps some of you lovely folks out there will have read several articles featuring my fine self in the Irish press over the last week. Perhaps you heard me make a complete eejit of myself on the radio earlier today spouting on about anti-depressants with Lynda Bryans.
I've been (relatively) happy to talk about my experiences because I think it might help someone, but that doesn't mean I don't feel as if I have a giant sign stuck above my head at the moment screaming "mentalist".
For the record, I'm okay. I have some bad days - but now they are generally because bad things happen (as they do to everyone) and not because I'm just crazy.
So go easy. I'm fine honest, but I am feeling a little vulnerable and exposed right now. (Think Grace in her pants in Rainy Days and Tuesdays)

Monday, March 03, 2008

TTFN Granda

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the death of my beloved Granda.
I was only 16 when he died, and it was my first experience of death. He was only 65 - too young to go.
Today I'm trying not to focus on the sadness of his loss, more the joy of his life. He was the perfect granda. Mad enough to have the craic with us children but stern enough that you knew not to push your luck.
I have so many happy memories, watching him paint and paper our living room - the smell of wallpaper paste mixed with the smell of his cigarettes. I rememeber his garage and how it was a place filled with bric a brac but which seemed like an Aladdin's cave to us children.
His garden, where we would run around like loonies was gorgeous and his ability to make a pirate's hat out of a common or garden cushion was legendary.
TTFN Granda. You will always be in my heart.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mother's day madness

The logic of men baffles me.
This morning I was allowed a luxuriously long lie in. Waking at aroudn10.30, I decided to get up but as I left the bedroom I heard the husband tell the boy to get his coat and they would head to the shop to get mummy some breakfast.
Bliss, I thought as I snuggled back down under the covers and put the telly on to catch up with Hollyoaks. I heard Neil and Joseph go out and come back in again and then, within a few minutes, I smelled the delicious aroma of bacon frying.
I was excited, so very excited and lay back making myself look all maternal and loving.
Within a few minutes I heard the patter of feet on the stairs and Joseph walked in with a plate holding a bun.
"Where's my bacon?" I asked with probably less maternal joy in my voice than I had anticipated and the husband replied - this is the corker....

"I didn't think you could have bacon on your diet, so we ate it"

Looking my bun, covered in chocolate and filled with cream, I had to smile.
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