"The Awesome Hen: News & Views from Castle Coop"

A Very Small Village Newsletter with pictures (& the odd random thought from Liberty Hen thrown in for good measure).

The Road to Self-Improvement

Posted by in Cautionary Tales | 6 comments

Brown Owl has published a pamphlet of Useful Sayings to catch the Village Hall Coffee Morning Market. It is full of timely advice for those trudging along The Road to Self-Improvement.

Unfortunately, despite my regular New Year resolutions to evolve into a fine upstanding villager, I have noticed that far from being healthy, wealthy and wise this morning, I am in fact, barely functioning.

barely-functioning-today

Barely functioning

As you may imagine, I am determined to pinpoint exactly how I got myself into this sorry state &

  1. learn from it
  2. get a grip for the future.

Where I went Wrong:

Last night, I didn’t go to bed early. In fact, I didn’t go to bed at all.  After supper, the Agent went to bed and I decided to watch the first episode of  ‘The Crown’ on Netflix. Be warned! Newly wise after the event, I now know I made not just one but two bad errors of judgement.

Mistake #1.  I signed up to Netflix

Mistake #2. by snuggling up on a bean bag with lots of cushions under a rug, I made myself too warm and cosy.

watching-netflix-0

Having enjoyed Episode 1 very much, I thought I’d quickly watch Episode 2:watching-netflix-1

& Episodes 3, 4, 5…watching-netflix-2

& Episodes 7, 8…..watching-netflix-3

& Episodes 9, 10 …

…ZZZ zzzz  zzz zzThe Road to Self Improvement 1

Yours vowing never to binge watch Netflix again,

Liberty Hen signature

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Stir Up Sunday & The Week in Focus

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 4 comments

Large byline photo Lady Liberty Hen, News Editor

 TAH 11/20-19

 

It has been another busy week here in Castle Coop…

Monday:

The Awesome Hen is proud to report that Castle Coop was well represented at our local Remembrance Ceremony yesterday. Those there all agree that the sight and sound of the Chinook flying over the War Memorial and the length of the Street to mark the end of the 2 Minute Silence was very moving.

Chinook fly past

 

The Dickin Medal: They also served…

Lady Egality, editor portrait

Lady Egality Maran writes: On behalf of the many dearly loved pets in our  village, Castle Coop is proud to remember the many animals who have served their countries.

 

As of April 2016, the  Dickin medal, instituted by Maria Dickin to honour any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst serving with British Empire armed forces or civil emergency services has been awarded 67 times.

http://theawesomehen.com/?attachment_id=14947

 

A dog receiving a medal while surrounded by a number of men in military uniform

 

Rob the Collie, receiving his medal

Certificate and medal for Pigeon Royal Blue

 

Dickin Medal and Certificate for the pigeon Royal Blue

In recognition of all animals who have served in times of conflict, Lady Sebright, Lady Lohmann-Brown, Lady Egality Maran and Lady Liberty Hen put poppies on their dogs’ collars.

martha-and-poppy

 Photograph: Martha wearing her poppy proudly ( she is not very brave & likes her home comforts & she is very aware that those who are brave & self-sacrificing should be honoured).

Source: Liberty Hen

 

 Tuesday:

Sir-Plym headshot round

A message from Sir Plymouth Rock:

Dear Castle Coopian, 
 
I am writing on behalf of our local Member of Parliament, Sir Hans Welsummer, to invite you to a Public Meeting with him on Friday 18th November at 7pm in the Village Hall. Sir Hans was elected last year to represent the Coop Constituency. He will make a short opening address at which he will talk about life in Westminster as an MP and some of the causes he particularly supports but he wishes specifically to listen to villagers about any concerns that you may have locally or indeed nationally. 
Best wishes, 
 
Sir Plym

Wednesday:

Brown Owl visited several houses in Castle Coop to canvas support for the Advent Church Clean up. She wishes to tell anyone who was out when she came round, that she Will Be Calling Back.

Liberty Hen & Brown Owl

Thursday:

During a spell of bright autumnal sunshine, the Agent and Liberty Hen spent several hours collecting leaves in their garden.

raking-up-the-autumn-leaves

 Friday:

TAH Newsletter is pleased to have been asked by our tireless New Year’s Eve Party Committee to reassure all Castle Coopians that plans for the traditional celebratory ceilidh are well underway.

Lady Sebright writes:

A few of us have met to discuss the arrangements already. Our format this year will be very similar to last year but there are slight changes to how jobs will the allocated, the menu & cost per head.
This year we’re suggesting we make a Swaddles Pie for the main course, this is a slightly spicy shepherd’s pie. This will allow us to reduce the cost per head to £6 which is plenty to cover the cost of the hall plus a couple of glasses of prosecco for everyone.

Swaddles shepherd’s pie (Serves 6-8 )

  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Sunflower oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2in fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 900g/2 lb minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Fresh coriander
  • Mashed potato made with 900g/2 lb potatoes, and extra butter for the top

Preheat oven to 190C/370F/Gas 5. Peel, chop and saute¿ the onion and garlic gently until softened in a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil, sprinkling a bit of salt on. Add the chopped chilli and ginger and the spices, then add the meat and brown it. Add the tomato pureé, lemon and thyme and simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, throw in a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander, cover with mounds of mash, dot with butter and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. You want a bubbling, crustily browned top. Serve with cumin-spiced carrots.

Source: Tamsin Day Lewis at The Telegraph

 

TAH Newsletter is also delighted to report that the Public Meeting in which villagers discussed important issues of the day with Sir Hans Welsummer (MP) & aired their concerns in a lively Q&A session, was extremely well attended. All agreed that it was a most interesting opportunity to meet our constituency representative in Parliament & the evening was a great success. TAH has been asked to thank Sir Plym formally on everyone’s behalf for all the hard work he undertook to arrange the event as it is very much appreciated by us all.

Saturday:

Lost Cat:  A lost cat has taken up residence in the Ox and Moose. It is black with a white underside. It is being well looked after but if anyone knows where it lives please let the O&M know.

Stir Up Sunday:

Stop Press: A big thank you to our readership from TAH editorial team for all the detective work; the cat has been reunited with its owners & is now safely back home.

 

 

Trev-the-Rev headshot

Rev. T Rosecombe sig

Trev the Rev delivered the traditional Stir-Up Sunday Sermon from the pulpit in St. Mary’s Church with his usual vim & vigour.

 

Having taken note of the date, Liberty Hen has been tackling her Christmas pudding

cooking-the-christmas-puddingand is keeping her fingers crossed that, although cooking is not a Liberty Hen strong point, the pudding will turn out to be both edible & festive. The Agent was pleased that quite a bit of brandy was added to help it along.

Christmas Pudding

 

 

Yours on behalf of our crack Editorial Team here at The Awesome Hen,

 

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Our Anniversary!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 4 comments

 

Our Anniversary!

 

Today The Agent & I have been married for 32 years!

Sir Burford Brown came by and seeing our Anniversary cards, kindly wished us a happy celebration. Then he asked if we’d realised that these days, you get less time for murder & roared with laughter.

 

Happy Anniversary faint

We were married at 2.30 in the afternoon and The Agent was late as he went to the wrong church first by mistake. Without realising he was at St. Francis’ church instead of St. Michael’s, he walked all the way up the aisle with his Best Man, only to find another Groom in morning dress already seated in the front pew glowering at him.

 

10 reasons why I’m glad the Agent realised his mistake & didn’t marry the other bride

(who apparently was extremely pretty) instead of me :

  1. I like remembering him singing ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’ at our wedding.
  2. I don’t think my life would be much fun without either him or the Chicks major, minor and minimus in it.
  3. He always brings me a cup of tea in bed on Saturday & Sunday mornings.
  4. He doesn’t get cross when I wake him up in the night to tell him something I’ve just thought of.
  5. He doesn’t mind when I burn the supper. I hope that he doesn’t anyway.
  6. He makes me laugh.
  7. He showed me how to use the gears on my bike and then showed me again.
  8. He gives me flowers.
  9. He didn’t get cross with me when I pranged his car.
  10. He shows me where the constellations are in the night sky and tells me what the stars are called.

 

1 reason why the Agent might be glad he married me:

  1. There are many, many skills which alas, I don’t possess but I do happen to be an excellent remover of spiders. As it turned out, this has come in very handy during our marriage for while the Agent turns pale if he spots anything moving with more than 4 legs, I remain calm. Isn’t that lucky?  And…perhaps the other bride might have hesitated at the altar if asked to sign up to 32 years’ worth of arachnid disposal.

 

loveheart

 

Yours hoping that he really didn’t mind too much when I dented the car,

LLH signature

 

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Decision Making

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

 

 

 

Decision Making

Making up my mind in the post- Christmas sales has taken longer than expected…Hmmm…

Too orange TAH

Certainly not!

Too dull...TAH

Not quite what I had in mind…

Perhaps I could try just shuffling along?

Eureka!

Yours decisively,

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Captain Frank G. Harvey

Posted by in World War 1 Centenary | 2 comments

Captain Frank G. Harvey

Captain Frank G. Harvey

In memoriam Bede College, A Co, 8th Battalion DLI…

Part 3

(click here for Part 1 and Part 2)

 

 

Just before WLS and his friends, Tutty and Bob H. posed for this photograph at the Army Training Camp in Conway, whilst on their Senior Year summer vacation,

WW1 army training camp group. 1914

 

 

Bede College, Durham, had bidden farewell to a long-serving member of the Senior Faculty, Captain Frank G. Harvey.

Harvey was a much admired member of the Bede staff, and greatly respected by the students who affectionately nicknamed him, ‘Captain Cardboard’. When interviewed by Harry Moses in the 1980s, WLS spoke of him with much affection, saying with enthusiastic emphasis,

“…oh, he was a great fellow!’

Captain Harvey in 1912:

Captain Harvey

A Warm Tribute:

The Bede strapline

 

 

 

 

 

The frontpage of this June 1914 edition of the Bede College magazine, features a warm tribute to Mr Harvey who was leaving Bede after 14 years to study for a BA at Cambridge.

The Bede tribute to Mr. Harvey

 

 

Just 2 months before the outbreak of WW1, Capt. Harvey thought he was going up to Cambridge University in October 1914. He had no idea that his immediate future would actually lie far away from Cambridge’s academic cloisters,  commanding his former students in Front line trenches.

 

 

Captain Frank G Harvey – a brief biography:

Frank G. Harvey joined the Bede Staff in 1900, straight from Peterborough Training College. His appointment was as Arts Tutor and Assistant Master in the Model School. In 1902, there is a Sgt. F.G. Harvey in the Bede Company (then part of the 4th Volunteer Battalion D.L.I., later 8 Bn. DLI in 1908). He was a keen tennis player, coach of boats and President of the College soccer club. In 1904, Frank Harvey was appointed the headmaster of Gilesgate Council School in Durham and trainee teachers from Bede (including WLS) used to hone their classroom skills there.

 As all fit students were expected to join the Bede Company on starting college, WLS and his best friends amongst the Junior Year of 1913, Tutty and Bob H  knew Harvey (who had been promoted to Captain in 1909) very well.

Captain Harvey commanded ‘B’ Company (the Bede Lads) until the Territorial units were re-organised shortly after the commencement of the First World War, to reflect the organisation of the regular battalions i.e four companies per Battalion and not eight. When the Durham City Platoons merged with the Bede Company to form the new ‘A’ Company, it was commanded by Frank Harvey.

Thus it was their well-loved Captain Harvey who led the Bede Lads, (including WLS, Tutty and Bob H ) off to fight in WW1.

Wounded in the hip and hand at Gravenstafel in 1915, Captain Harvey was sent back to England then returned to France in 1916 and promoted Major.

A Distinguished Post-war Career:

Frank Harvey finally made it to Cambridge. After WW1 ended, he went to Queen’s College, where he took a degree in History at the age of 42.

He joined the Army Education Corps as a Captain in 1921 and was posted to India.

In 1926 he was appointed M.B.E. In 1928, he was promoted Major. In 1931 he was with London District as Command Education Officer and was presented to King George V. He retired in 1937.

 (All information courtesy of Harry Moses)
It must have been extremely comforting for WLS, Tutty and Bob H, who after all were only just out of their teens when they were suddenly all caught up in WW1, to have the steadying knowledge that they were to be under the command of an extremely fine man whom they already knew, liked and respected.

Yours ever,

The Agent signature

 

 

(click here for Part 1 and Part 2)

WW1 Centenary Information Correspondent: The Agent is passionate about barbecues and Manchester Utd. Football Team; he has just returned from a trip to Ypres where he has been researching WLS’s WW1 experiences and is helping to co-ordinate Castle Coop’s WW1 Commemorations.

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#FridayFitness: the Press-up

Posted by in Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

#FridayFitness: the Press-up

 

 

 

Castle Coop’s #FridayFitness Class: Exercise of the week:

 

 

 

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

(Source:  Mayo Clinic )

The Press-up:

Today’s #FridayFitness exercise is the Press-up which is designed to build muscle strength and boost endurance. Apparently of all the exercises one can do, the press-up is one of the most effective: should you wish to improve your  pectoralis major, anterior deltoids and triceps, there is nothing that tops it. Those who are skilled at performing press-ups can further improve themselves with a brisk rendition of the Military Press-up.

To do regular pushups, you bend your arms and lower your chest until it breaks the plane of your elbows. Military pushups require a full range of motion: Marines must touch their chests to the floor for every pushup.

Source: www.ehow.com

To enjoy the many benefits of the Press-up however, you may be glad to know that you don’t need to be a Marine or even to join the Army.

 

 The Press-up

 

 

Yours imagining Samson’s press-ups were probably a bit more successful than mine, before horrid Delilah went & cut off his hair,

LLH signature

 

 

 

If you would like to become a virtual member of our Castle Coop fitness classes, do sign up in the comment box below – we should all be delighted to welcome you.

So as you know what we are doing, so far we have practiced:

The Russian Twist

The Lunge

The Squat

The Toe-touch

Our class is held at 10.30am in the Village Hall – we all drink coffee together after the class and eat Brownies kindly cooked by Lady Sebright. They are delicious and immediately undo all the good work of our class.

 

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A Cautionary Tale

Posted by in Cautionary Tales | 12 comments

A Cautionary Tale

 

 

 

 

A Cautionary Tale

 

Just in case any of you are thinking of Spring Cleaning in the near future, I thought I should post this cautionary tale so that you may take an informed decision as to whether or not it’s a good idea…

 

What happens when Martha Stewart cleans her windows:

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Caveat Emptor!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Caveat Emptor!

Brown Owl’s Rallying Cry – Caveat Emptor!

 

 

 

Good gracious! Look who I have just found in my inbox!

Brown Owl and Ld. Kitchener

 

Lord K has been roped in to spearhead a firm email from Brown Owl. Determined not to let any grass grow under our feet, she is clearly wasting no time in mustering the support of The Big Guns.

 

OPEN IMMEDIATELY: THIS EMAIL MEANS BUSINESS!

To ALL Upper, Lower & Castle Coopians,

With the General Election seemingly in full swing, albeit still many weeks away, I have asked our local candidate for the constituency of which we form a part, to join us in Castle Coop Village Hall at 7pm to listen to me make a short address.

I shall inform our local candidate that the District Council is currently basing its Local Plan on the assumption that over 7,000 new homes will need to be built in the area. I shall then ask our local candidate to mingle with us with us so that we can all discuss before the election everything that makes this constituency tick, what the big issues are and how we should like to be represented. 


 Please turn out in force.

Ensure our local candidate understands what The Coops stand for.

 

The doors will open at 6.30pm  There will be a cash bar and the Brownies will be handing round refreshments so that they may earn points for their Hostess, Community Spirit and Civic Duty Badges.

Carpe Diem!

Ad Astra per Aspera!

Caveat Emptor!

Rally to the cause!

Brown Owl signature

 

 

Caveat emptor? Is Brown Owl getting a little carried away?

Yours, hoping that no disasters (such as nearly happened to the Agent’s birthday raspberry tartlet) occur to the Brownies’ refreshments,

Martha eyeing up fruit tartlet

LLH signature

 

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RIP Foyle’s War

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 0 comments

RIP Foyle’s War

 

RIP Foyle’s War

 

Despite 1) Lady Sebright’s sound advice that we should celebrate the pleasure that Foyle’s War has given the Friday Night Club rather than mourn its demise and 2) the absolutely delicious festive fizz which Colonel Pyncheon kindly opened for us to sip while watching ‘Elise’ the final episode of Foyle’s War,  I can’t help feeling sad. Tonight as the closing credits went up on the screen, I felt they were marking the end of a most convivial era.

 

 Valedictions:

 

One of the best ever  youtube clips – actually I could put this on a permanent loop; I’ll never get tired of it: www.youtube.com

The Globetrotting Guitarist: The End of an Era

Telegraph: Is this really goodbye?

ITV.com: Final Foyle’s War episode

Digital spy: Foyle’s War to end

What’s on tv.com: Last episode of Foyle’s War

& for a great last look at Foyle walking out of our lives for ever…  British Detectives

 

Message to all Actual and Virtual Members:

As Secretary to The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club, it is my sad duty to inform you all that owing to the unhappy fact that Foyle’s War is officially a defunct series, our happy meetings are now at an end.

On behalf of the Friday Night Foyle’s War Committee, I should like to take the opportunity of thanking each of you for many happy meetings and your supportive and interesting comments. Here from the sofa in Castle Coop, we have greatly enjoyed watching:

  • DCS Christopher Foyle’s sleuthing, hat-wearing and general total fabness skills,
  • Sergeant Milner’s unflappable stoicism at (almost) all times
  • Sam Stewart’s terrific stiff-upper-lip at all times (presumably honed on the hockey pitch), cut-glass-vowels & unbounding enthusiasm in the face of every sort of looming disaster.

Being able to share our enjoyment not only with each other but with all the Virtual Members of the International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club has made our meetings the icing on the end of the week cake for me!

 

I should like to invite you to join The Graf (Chairman), Lady Egality (Treasurer), Lady Sebright, Colonel Pyncheon and me in raising a glass to all those involved in the making of every episode in the 9 series which have given us such pleasure.

With a framed Foyle’s War photograph of my 3 favourite TV characters – DCS Foyle, Sergeant Milner & Sam Stewart placed in position for the last time,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you,

 

The Hat!

 

 

Yours with the ‘Michael Kitchen strumming the Foyle’s War theme’ clip playing us out (& I’ve turned the volume right up high),

Signature The Graf grey

 

 

 

lady E's sig2.png

 

 

Lady Sebright

 

 

Col Pyncheon sig

 

 

LLH signature

 

 

 

P.S. I have received a revivifying suggestion from Miss Peppermint who writes,

Why not start a re-run club? It’s always better the second time around…

HURRAH!

What a stroke of genius! OR…perhaps we should think of a new series for us to watch?

If you have any ideas, please let me know. The Friday Night Club could rise from the ashes like the Phoenix…!

 

 

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The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise

Posted by in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 4 comments

The International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise

The Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: Elise!

 

 

 

 

 

Club notes: Tonight The Friday Night Foyle’s War Club will be watching the very last episode in the ‘Foyle’s War, Although actually it was shown on ITV last Sunday, we taped it so that we could hold one last Friday night session.

 

 

Tonight therefore marks the permanent suspension of our International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club.

Club Minutes:

Apologies: Digby D. Digby D came over from America to attend the last meeting in person. Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances have intervened which will prevent him from attending tonight as planned. Instead, he  watched the last episode as it aired last Sunday with The Agent. Bearing in mind his consistent support for the Club whilst a Virtual Member, and his much appreciated gesture of flying over to join us all in Castle Coop for the final episode (even though we are to be denied the pleasure of his company tonight), the Committee are pleased to grant him Actual Member status in absentia.

Foyle's War Club Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Otherwise we are to be a Full House!

Attendees: (Actual): Lady Egality (Club Treasurer), Lady Liberty (Club Secretary) Lady Sebright, Colonel  Pyncheon. Incredibly, given the pathos of the occasion, The Agent and Sir Plym have elected to spend tonight at The Ox and Moose. Lady Egality reported that Sir P, like Digby D and The Agent, watched the episode last Sunday.

Venue:  Castle Coop.

Announcements:

1. As we shall be watching the last episode of the Foyle’s War, the Committee considered whether or not black armbands would be appropriate. Lady Sebright pointed out that since the series has given us all so many hours of pleasure and interest, a celebratory atmosphere would be far more fitting than a funereal one and we were all delighted to concur. To this end, Colonel Pyncheon will be pouring out the fizz for one last time.

2. Here is our  Foyle’s War picture for tonight:

Celebrate Foyle's War

 

 

 

 

Elise: the last ever episode:

Tonight we shall be watching: Episode 3 , Series 9: ‘Elise’

Plot:

A young man tries to kill Hilda Pierce, saying “This is for Elise.” Visiting her in hospital Foyle meets over-bearing Sir Ian Woodhead, now head of MI6, who, during the war, ran SOE with Hilda, sending undercover agents into occupied France. Foyle learns that Elise was the codename of Sophie Corrigan, an agent killed by the Nazis and that the young man is her brother Miles, out to take revenge on those who sent her to die. At the same time Foyle’s department is investigating high powered black marketer Damian White, who has dealings with a Russian diplomat and has corrupt policemen on his payroll. A recovering Hilda tells Foyle that nine agents died in France and the SOE believed that a spy, code-named Plato, was responsible. There are three suspects – one of whom is being blackmailed by White into giving him government papers that he sells to the Soviets. Together Foyle and Hilda make a terrible discovery – with terrible consequences for two people.

Source: www.imdb.com

 

As Hilda Pierce is a V.I.P. in this episode, here is a quick low-down on her, (courtesy of www.foyleswar.com)

Hilda Pierce:

 

Hilda Pierce (Ellie Haddington) makes her first appearance in the Series 2 episode “War Games.” During the war, Pierce ran the Special Operations Executive, where her path crosses with Foyle in Series 3 and 5 in the episodes “The French Drop” and “All Clear.” After the end of the war, Pierce joined MI5. Although officially under the command of Sir Alec Myerson, Pierce wields considerable influence at the agency.

Smart, tough, ambitious, and secretive, Pierce is adept at using backhanded and sometimes amoral means to achieve her ends. She has what Foyle calls “the requisite capacity for deceit” to work for MI5. Although Piece and Foyle use different means, they are on the same side and generally get along. Pierce and Foyle had a disagreement in “Sunflower” (Series 8) regarding a former Nazi officer now working for the British against the Soviets.

 

Yours sure that a glass of bubbly near to hand will help us all to bear up manfully tonight,

LLH signature

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