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Weekly Mailing List Archives
27th April 2007

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter.

See our Calendar of Scottish Events around the world at 

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
The Southern States of America
Poems and Stories
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Columbia, Tennessee May 8-11, 1889.
When the Steel Went Through
History of Scotland
Highlanders in Spain
Life Story of Robert Moffat (New Book)

This issue sees the final week of the Scottish election activities leading up to the vote on 3rd May. The big question is "Will the SNP win?". I'll certainly be interested in seeing how it all plays out :-)

I also note the elections in France where the people there are obviously looking for a new way forward for their country so perhaps it is the SNP's turn to try and turn Scotland around. At the end of the day people need to get out and vote and in large numbers. France managed a record turnout so hopefully Scotland will get the same.

I might add that I have always voted in the Scottish and British elections. I firmly believe that in a democracy it is your duty to vote.

And now onto local news... I did make rather a mess of the History of Scotland book by missing out a chapter and then numbering them incorrectly from there on. This has now been fixed. That said I have only just found out that this publication is a 9 volume set and as I only have 6 volumes I'm obviously missing the final three volumes and so am trying to find these so I can complete the set.

For the long haul I've decided to publish the New Statistical Account of Scotland produced in 1845. This is a 15 volume publication with each volume looking to be some 1000 and more pages. Deciding to undertake this it will take a few years to complete. I do however see this as probably the final major project for the site.

When I first started Electric Scotland some 10 years ago I wanted it to encompass a large body of work that could be used by individuals to learn about the history of Scotland, the Scots and people and places of Scots descent around the world. I saw it as an effort that would take many years to complete and probably see me well into retirement.

Having now done this work for 10 years now I am personally happy with the effort and this Statistical Account will gradually give you detailed knowledge of the various parts of Scotland. The Gazetteer I put up last year gave us a start but this will certainly complete our knowledge of places in Scotland. As is my want I will post bits of this up each week which will give you a chance to read about the various places. I will take one volume at a time and the first will be of the Aberdeen area of Scotland which is 1192 pages.

I might add that other works I am undertaking will also fill out other areas of investigation. For example I will complete the first 8 volumes of the Scotch-Irish Congress in America and I intend to publish books on the early civil and ecclesiastical history of Scotland from AD 80 or so to AD 1200. I intend to try and publish more detailed histories on ecclesiastical history and also on agriculture and law as well as the various crafts and trades in Scotland.

I will also continue to look for good works on Scots around the world :-)

On 1st June we'll see the launch of the online "Beth's Newfangled Family Tree". It's my intention to remove the current "Family Tree" link from our menu and place it within our Genealogy page. I will then add "Beth's Family Tree" to the menu to replace it which will point to her new section. I understand she plans to do a monthly .pdf file so it will be easy for those wanting to print it out.

Will certainly be good to see the Family Tree return and get all the wee reports on Scots activity in America and around the world. Beth will be sending me some graphics and stuff to get her index page started and once received I'll create her index page which will be at

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and others.

Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.

In the final Flag prior to the Scottish elections Jim Lynch tells us...

The election on 3rd May 2007 will certainly be the most important election in my lifetime to date; it is about who runs the Scottish Parliament for the next 4 years. It is about change, whether the people opt out of slavishly following the path they have been taken on, either through boredom or disgust, or whether they opt to progress to a bright new Scotland.

It will be a precursor to an Independence Referendum in 2010, at which time they can judge what kind of government the SNP has provided, and whether it is worthy of their trust. If the Unionist parties keep power, then nothing will change.

To simplify the argument: to Scotland’s west is Ireland, to its north is Iceland, and to its east is Norway. These three countries form an arc of the most well off countries in the world. How come Scotland, with vast reserves of energy and food, is supposed to be a basket case?

When Scotland, or rather the unelected Scottish Parliament, voted itself out of existence in 1707, it did so due to bribes and threats, and there were riots in the streets; the bribes and threats are still the preferred currency of the Unionists, but this time it is the people of Scotland who have the votes, and the power.

Vote SNP on 3rd May – it’s time for Scotland.

In Peter's cultural section we get...

This week we will be celebrating one of the most important days in the Celtic calendar, the fire festival of Beltane. Beltane, named after Bel a Celtic diety, falls on 1 May and from ancient times celebrated the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. It was traditionally the day that cattle were moved to the sheilings for summer pasture and was a time of romance for young couples, all allied to celebration of fire.

Beltane is still celebrated in the 21st century and the largest celebration is held in Edinburgh where thousands will gather on Calton Hill on 30 April to remember more ancient times. The evening begins with a procession to the hill top by people dressed as the May Queen and the Green Man. These are ancient God and Goddess figures representing fertility and growth. The May Queen crowns the Green Man, and winter ends as his winter costume is taken from him and he is revealed in spring colours. A wild dance takes place and the Green Man and the May Queen then marry. The ancient fire element of Beltane is represented by torchbearers carrying ‘purifying’ flames. Visit for full details of Beltane Edinburgh 2007.

You can read the Flag, listen to the Scots Language, enjoy the Scots Wit and lots more at

I am a touch disappointed not to have heard from Linda Fabiani as I'd hoped to get an account of the election activities leading up to the elections but guess she's just too busy. Hopefully we will get a diary entry in that will give us those details in retrospect.

The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.

Now on the G's and added this week are Geikie, Gerard, Gib, Gibb and Gibbs

Here is a bit about John Gibb...

GIBB, JOHN, an eminent civil engineer, was born in the year 1776, at Kirkcows, a small property near Falkirk, then belonging to his father, an extensive contractor in that quarter, who died when he was only twelve years of age. After having served a regular apprenticeship to a mechanical trade, at that time considered an indispensable part of training, either as a civil engineer or contractor, he received his first professional instruction at the Lancaster and Preston canal, from his brother-in-law, then engaged in the construction of that canal, under the direction of the late Mr. Rennie. He was next employed by Mr. Easton, his father-in-law, at the formation of Leith docks.

From 1805 to 1809 he was employed by the magistrates and town council of Greenock, in the execution of what was then called the new harbour in that town, under the direction of Mr. Rennie, and while engaged there he gave such proofs of his ability as to attract the attention of the celebrated Mr. Telford, who was then looking out for a resident engineer to the harbour works at Aberdeen. He went to that city in 1809, and built the extensive piers at the entrance into the harbour there. At an after period he executed, along with his son, many important improvements in deepening and building quay walls, preparatory to the harbour at Aberdeen being made a wet dock. In reference to these works Mr. Telford, in his Life, published by his executors, thus mentions him: “Mr. Gibb, with unremitting attention, superintended every operation connected with these difficult works, in which he had distinguished himself by remarkable ingenuity and perseverance.”

There not being that field for engineering in the northern district in which he resided, which a man of his active mind and talents required, he became an extensive contractor for works principally in the south; and his exertions at the first contract he executed, which was at the Crinan canal, are thus described in their annual report by Lords Castlereagh, Binning, Glenbervie, and Melville, then parliamentary commissioners for the improvement of the canal: “The canal was closed at the end of February 1817, to admit of the necessary operations, for the completion of which we allowed the contractor (Mr. Gibb of Aberdeen) a twelvemonth, expiring February 1818. But his activity has outrun our expectations, the canal having been actually opened for use in the beginning of November last. On a review of what has been done by Mr. Gibb, we cannot but be gratified at such an instance of exertion.”

Mr. Gibb was afterwards engaged in a large number of important public works, the last one of any extent in which he took an active part and completed, along with his son, being the Glasgow bridge, (designed by Mr. Telford,) which is faced with Aberdeen granite; and in the published account of that work by the executors of the late Mr. Telford, it is stated: “The bridge trustees were so well pleased with the execution of this splendid structure, that they presented to the contractors two elegant pieces of plate, in testimony of the high sense they entertained of their zeal and fidelity.” Mr. Gibb died at Aberdeen, on 3d December, 1850, being at the time of his death one of the oldest members of the Institution of civil Engineers of London.

You can read the other entries at 

The Southern States of America
Published in 1909.

Added this week are...

The History of Texas - Chapter V Texas in the New Nation, 1865 - 1909
Amendments to the United States Constitution
Constitution of the Confederate States of America
Proclamation of Emancipation

Here is a bit from Chapter V...


On June 17, 1865, President Johnson appointed Gen. A. J. Hamilton provisional governor of Texas. Hamilton, it will be remembered, had been prominent in Texas before the war, had remained faithful to the Union, had entered the Federal army, and had been made military governor of Texas in 1863 by Lincoln. He arrived in Texas late in July and set about organizing a government. All necessary officials of state, district and county were appointed— Unionists where possible, and when these were not available, capable secessionists. With the aid of the military, order was fairly well restored. Some difficulty was encountered in maintaining the independent jurisdiction of the provisional civil courts against the overshadowing authority of the military, and Hamilton did not, in fact, support them strenuously because he believed that the juries were generally not inclined to grant full justice to the freedmen and Unionists. Considerable dissatisfaction arose at the tendency of the negroes to abandon the farms and wander about the country in enjoyment of their new freedom, and there grew to be strong demand for compulsory labor under state supervision as the only salvation for the planting interests. The Freedmen's Bureau, organized for the protection of the ex-slaves, made its appearance in Texas late in the summer of 1865 under the direction of General Gregory, and applied itself to the problem of getting the negroes to work. It had little success until after Christmas, when the freedmen confidently expected a general division of property; but in the next spring its efforts met with better results. One of Governor Hamilton's chief duties was to call for a general convention elected by those persons who had taken the oath of allegiance to the United States government and of concurrence in the emancipation of slaves, as provided in the proclamation of general amnesty issued by the President. It was not until November 15 that he ordered the election for the convention. When this body met, Feb. 7, 1866, it was evident that the Unionists and original secessionists were each a strong minority and that the balance of power lay with a third group, the conservatives. After considerable discussion the secession ordinance was declared null and void and the right to secede was disclaimed for the future. The war debt and that portion of the civil debt contracted during the war were repudiated, slavery was prohibited and most of the ordinary civil rights were conferred upon the freedmen. These important measures were not passed without heated debates, and long before the adjournment of the convention party lines became clearly distinguished. The radicals, as the Unionists came to be called, were defeated in most of their measures and therefore assailed the work of the convention. The conservatives and the original secessionists joined forces, and at the close of the session nominated for governor and lieutenant-governor, J. W. Throckmorton and George W. Jones. The radicals selected ex-Gov. E. M. Pease and L. Lindsey. Throckmorton had been a Union man and voted against the secession ordinance in 1861, but entered the Confederate army. The conservatives declared themselves in favor of President Johnson's policy of restoration for the Southern states, while the radicals were rapidly becoming identified with the hostile majority in Congress. Consequently they were defeated overwhelmingly, the Throckmorton ticket being elected by 49,277 votes to 12,168 for Pease.

The new state government was organized in August, 1866, and received the full recognition of the President, who, during the same month, issued his peace proclamation declaring the war at an end and that peace, order, tranquility and civil authority existed throughout the United States. The legislature found many duties awaiting it. Composed almost entirely of the party victorious in the late elections, it was unfortunately not always moved by a moderate spirit. As senators of the United States it elected O. M. Roberts, formerly an organizer of secession and president of the secession convention, and Judge David G. Burnet, ex-president of the old Republic of Texas and later a secessionist. The men defeated were B. H. Epperson and John Hancock, both conservative Unionists. This action was generally regarded in the North as an attempt to perpetuate the principles of the "rebellion," and the senators-elect were not allowed even to enter the Senate lobby when they presented themselves at Washington. The legislature also provided for the election of representatives to the lower house of Congress. When elected, these "representatives of a sovereign state" enjoyed the same reception as was accorded the senators.

You can read the rest of this chapter at 

The book index page is at

Poems and Stories
Donna has continued a series of stories about her 93 year old Mother which can be seen at

We're now up to Page 27.

Stan, the "Bard of Banff", has sent in another collection of poems for his "It's time for Scotland" series which you can read at

Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Added another issue of this newspaper...

June 25, 1891 at

This issue carries an article about the Scottish Cairn in Mount Pleasant Park in Toronto.

You can see all the issues to date at

Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Congress in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania May 29 to June 1, 1890.
Have now made a start at this volume on the Second Congress.

Added this week are...

Officers and Committees of the Local Organization
Contributors to Expense Fund
Letters and Telegrams
Proceedings - Part 1
Proceedings - Part 2
Proceedings - Part 3
Proceedings - Part 4
Officers and Committees of the Scotch-Irish Society of America, Treasurer's Report and Contributions to General Expense Fund for first year.
The Making of the Ulsterman. By Rev. Dr. John 8. Macintosh, Philadelphia, Pa.

Here is how the Proceedings - Part 4 starts...


The convention met at 7:30 p. m. After song service and prayer by the Rev. Dr. Cowan, the President introduced Rev. Dr. J. H. Bryson, of Alabama, who spoke as follows:

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen:— It gives me great pleasure to have the privilege of speaking for a single moment on this great occasion, and as my time is limited, and others are to follow me, I can only refer, as it were in outline, to two or three things that I think advisable to do in our Congress. I don't think that as a Congress we realize even yet the profound interests that are involved in the association of which we form a part. There is yet to be written for the American people—and when I say for the American people, I do not limit it to this country—but there is yet to be written for the American people a history that will thrill this world with its wonders, and wondrous thought at its grand and great conceptions, and it will lay bare the foundations of civil and religious liberty and when I make this statement, I refer to the people we here represent as having, to a very large extent, made broad the foundation upon which this great fabric has been constitutionally constructed.

It has been truly said from this platform that we have had too much to do to take time to write the history of our own achievements. But it is high time that we should gather the elements as years roll on, whereby the historian of future years may give to the world the secret of the great principles upon which this wonderful government has been fabricated. Let me say here that the distinguishing thought that belongs to the Scotch-Irish race can be presented in two great lines of conception, and first with reference to civil government. The Scotch-Irish race is a people that have the strongest, that have the truest, that have the grandest conception of civil liberty that the human race was ever blessed with. (Applause.)

And now, we may well ask why it is that these people have given birth to such a thought as this. It is because of antecedent history, where God has molded a people and prepared them to do for the world what none but God's providence could prepare a people to do. It was by reason of that long series of struggles through which our people were compelled to go when they came first to the American borders that they were taught and realized the infinite value of freedom.

These people came one, then another, then another, across to the Western World, little realizing or dreaming of the tremendous issues that lay before them in the future. Here they came to mark out this great continent into colonies. The series of colonies laid out by that people formed the base upon which rests our great government of to-day; and when the English government was forced in the great struggle to acknowledge the independence of these colonies, they acknowledged them separately, one by one, and then was presented to the world the grand spectacle of the basis upon which this mighty government was to be constructed. This wonderful race is that which won for this country its constitutional freedom. Not the misconceptions of freedom which we sometimes see and hear in the unbounded enthusiasm of some people, but freedom according to law. Freedom founded on principle and right. This was the freedom which the Scotch-Irish of America demanded for the New World and for the new government after it was brought into existence. (Applause.) After all these achievements came the federation of the colonies and the struggle for liberty. They were then brought face to face with the grandest and greatest problem that ever faced humanity. They had won their battles, and stood with their principles in their hands with the question staring them in the face, how shall they move forward among the nations of the earth? As a nation, as a people, as a power, how should they command the respect of the whole world in the victory which they had won?

Then, sir, there came the Constitution of the United States, the grandest conception of free government the world ever saw, and there they again formed into constitutional law in a few short paragraphs or statements, and in that document was laid the foundation of the greatest and most powerful government our race has ever seen or known. (Applause.)

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page is at

When the Steel Went Through
By P. Turner Bone

Have added the final two chapters of this book...

Scotland Once More, 1891-92

And here is the Epilogue...

THERE were two sons of our marriage: John, and Allan. Both graduated in engineering at McGill University in Montreal. John became a pilot in the Royal Naval Air Service; and lost his life in the War of 1914-18.

Allan is now a partner in the firm of J. L. E. Price & Company, Building Contractors, Montreal. He is married; and has two daughters, and one son.

I had the misfortune to lose my wife in 1928. Since then I have been playing a lone hand in the same house that she and I took possession of fifty years ago.

Of the Big Four, mentioned in a preceding chapter, Mackenzie became Sir William Mackenzie; and Mann became Sir Donald D. Mann. Both were knighted for their services in promoting and constructing the Canadian Northern Railway.

Holt, too, was knighted, and became well known as Sir Herbert S. Holt. He received his knighthood in recognition of his services in connection with the planning of the railway system for the Army in France in the War of 1914-18.

Ross, the Chief, however, remained just James Ross until the end.

Of the engineers whom I have mentioned as having been associated with me on the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the mountains, there are now only four about whom I know anything. These are:

G. H. Duggan, of the Dominion Bridge Company in Montreal.

T. K. Thomson, Consulting Engineer in New York.

A. K. Stuart, now living in semi-retirement at Hope, British Columbia.

J. E. Griffith, for many years in the service of the British Columbia Government in various capacities, and finally as Deputy Minister of Railways. He is now retired, and is living at Victoria, B. C. I still keep in touch with these four, and see, or hear, from them about once a year.

While thinking of a fitting conclusion to these reminiscences, the words of a poem of Kingsley's have kept surging in my mind. The only time I ever read this poem, or heard it recited, was when I was serving my apprenticeship in Glasgow. It has lain dormant in my mind all those years. Now that it has awakened I show it here, just as I remember it. There may be some slight variations from the original, in the wording; but not in the sentiment, I feel sure.

"When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green,
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
To range the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

"When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown,
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down;
Creep home and take your place there
The halt and maimed among.
God grant you find one face there,
You loved when all was young."

The rest of the chapters can be read at

History of Scotland
In 6 volumes By Patrick Fraser Tytler (1828)

I have now completed the first volume of this publication and made a start at the second volume. The first volume of course includes accounts of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce so I hope you enjoy reading those chapters.

And as mentioned above I've sorted the order of this book :-)


Having brought this work down to the great era of the accession of the house of Stewart, in the occupation of the throne by Robert the Second, I propose to pause for a short time, in order to cast our eye over the wide field through which we have travelled, and to mark, as fully as our imperfect materials will permit, the progress of the nation in some of those great subjects which form the body of its civil history.

The general features and appearance of the country; its agriculture, commerce, and manufactures; the manners and amusements, the superstitions and character, of the people; the system of feudal government under which they lived; their progress in the arts, which add comfort, or security, or ornament to life; the character of their literature; are subjects upon which our curiosity is naturally active and eager for information; but it is unfortunate that the writers, who can alone be considered as authentic, have regarded such investigations as either uninteresting, or beneath the dignity of the works in which they had engaged. Some lights, however, are to be found scattered through their works, or reflected from the public muniments and records of the times; and it is to the guidance of these, however feeble and imperfect, that the historian can alone commit himself.

It must necessarily happen that, in an attempt of this kind, owing to the paucity of materials, and to the extreme remoteness of the period, any thing like a full account of the country is unattainable; and that it is exceedingly difficult to throw together, under any system of lucid arrangement, the insulated facts which have been collected. I have adopted that order which appears the most natural.

Here is the start of the first part on the General Appearance of the Country...

WE must be careful not to permit the ideas which are derived from the condition of Scotland in the present day, to influence our conclusions as to its appearance in those rude and early ages of which we have been writing. No two pictures could be more dissimilar than Scotland in the thirteenth and fourteenth, and Scotland in the nineteenth century. The mountains, indeed, and the rivers, are stern and indomitable features of nature, upon which the hand of man can introduce but feeble alterations; yet, with this exception, every thing was different. The face of the country was covered by immense forests chiefly of oak, in the midst of which, upon the precipitous banks of rivers, or on rocks which formed a natural fortification, and were deemed impregnable by the military art of that period, were placed the castles of the feudal barons. One principal source of the wealth of the proprietors of these extensive forests consisted in the noble timber which they contained, and the deer and other animals of the chase with which they abounded. When Edward I. subdued and overran the country, we find him in the constant practice of repaying the services of those who submitted to his authority, by presents of so many stags and oaks from the forests which he found in possession of the crown. Thus, on the 15th of August, 1291, the king directed the keeper of the Forest of Selkirk to deliver thirty stags to the Archbishop of St Andrews, twenty stags and sixty oaks to the Bishop of Glasgow, ten to the High Steward, and six to Brother Brian, Preceptor of the Order of Knights Templars
in Scotland.'

You can read the rest of this account at

As all the chapters are .pdf files I'll just point you at the index page of this publication where you can read the other chapters at

Highlanders in Spain
By James Grant (1910)

Now up to Chapter 15 of this book so 6 more chapters added this week. Here is a wee bit from Chapter 15...

Treading softly and warily, they came to an opening in the wood, and found themselves close upon the ruins of the ancient structure. It occupied the summit of a grassy mound, which sloped down on all sides, and where the mouldered remains of some ancient crosses and tombstones lay half sunk and buried among the long rank grass. The chapel had almost disappeared; little remained save the crypt; and at intervals, amid a heap of shattered stones, rose tall ornamented buttresses (surviving the intermediate walls), their summits glimmering in the moonlight, which streamed through loopholes and yawning rents in the massive masonry, showing the weeds and grass which waved in every nook and corner, flourishing around the prostrate effigies of departed warriors, whose monumental busts lay stretched like rigid corpses under their ruined canopies.

'The old kirk o' Inchisla just ower again!' exclaimed Evan, as he surveyed the heaps of prostrate pillars and crumbled arches with feelings of awe and veneration.

'Santos! will you be silent?' asked Pedro, in a fierce whisper in Spanish. 'I dinna ken what ye say, mon; ye are waur than an Aberdonian.' 'Keep silence, Evan!' said Ronald; 'we are close upon their lair now.' A ray of light, streaming through a cross-formed loophole, drew them towards it; and on looking in, they beheld the assembled conclave of the worthies they were in search of, but found them more numerous than Lazaro Gomez had given them to believe. In the crypt, or lower vaults of the chapel, stood upwards of twenty, perhaps thirty, black-browed and swarthy desperadoes, clustered around the marble pedestal of a tomb, upon which were displayed a great quantity of coin, jewellery, and various articles of value, all glittering in the streaming blaze of a huge oil-lamp placed amid them. Most of the fellows were attired in embroidered jackets, adorned with rich military lace torn from the uniforms of the dead, laced hose, and high-crowned sombreros adorned with feathers, or long cloth head-dresses resembling a nightcap. Some, however, were in absolute rags; none appeared to have been shaven, for a month at least, and had their ferocious faces covered with masses of black glossy hair, — probably as a disguise, to be removed as occasion required. All carried pistols and poniards in their sashes or waist-belts, and most of them were armed with military carbines, muskets, and accoutrements, French and English, thousands of which were in these days to be found on every battle-field, and to be had for the trouble of taking them away. Trunks, portmanteaus, mails, and innumerable articles of plunder lay piled in various corners.

Fastened by strong cords to the pillars which supported the groined roof of the crypt, appeared five or six fierce Spanish mastiff dogs, animals of a reddish colour generally, larger and stronger than British greyhounds. They seemed aware of the approach of strangers: every moment they made the hollow vaults ring with their hoarse yells, while they rolled about their fierce red eyes, and shook the snow-white foam from their jet-black muzzles as they strained and strove, almost strangling themselves in the attempt, to snap the cords which bound them to the stone columns.

'Senor, we must retire, if it please you,' whispered Pedro; 'it would be worse than Moorish rashness if three of us were to encounter thirty such devils. And then the dogs------!'

You can read the rest of this chapter at

You can read the other chapters at

Life Story of Robert Moffat
The Gardener Boy who became the great South African Pioneer by J. J. Ellis.

This is the complete book in 1 .pdf file of some 62 pages which you can read at

And that's all for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


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