Archive for January 13th, 2022

January 13, 2022

The wonders of Mont Saint Michel !!

What about the wonder of our world , Mont Saint Michel. We have been to it and my sons even had gone on school trips. It is something beyond description really, how it can be  there! This is a marvel of our times, and so much written on it; I will update this older post for you and me with a bit of history I like.

The Mont-Saint-Michel in the département 50 of the Manche in the region of Normandie. It takes the name from the rocky isle consecrated by Saint Michel where today it is the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. There is a statue of the Saint at the summit 157 meters high at sea level.


A bit of history I like

The rocky isle is at the mouth of the Couesnon river on which it falls into the Manche. It has 960 meters in circumference arising above a sandy plain at 92 meters high sea level. You have up of the stones from the abbey at about 79 meters and from the floor of the abbey to the tower there is 35 meters, the spiral arrow has a height of 40 meters and the statue of Saint Michel itself has 4 meters. At the beginning of time, it was known as tomb hill or mont Tombe. Probably because of a stone or monument megalith destine to the pagan cult; that was replaced by one honoring the Saint Michel from 709. From 710 and during all the middle ages it was known by the monks as the Mont Saint-Michel. In 867, the Treaty of Compiegne gives the Cotentin,as well as the Avranchin to the king of Bretagne,Salomon. The controversy between the Normans and the Breton arise from this cloudy definition, claiming this area was not in Normandie given to the Viking king Rollon in 911, the Mont Saint-Michel stayed Breton even attached to the parish of Avranches, which in turn belongs to the archdiocese of Rouen. You are with me so far ,ok.

It was part of Bretagne while in 933, Duke William I of Normandie takes over the Avranchin with the border set at the Sélune river. The Benedictines monks established here in 966 upon request of the duke of Normandie, and the pre Roman Church is built at the same period. At the Chapel of Saint Martin in the abbey were buried the Breton dukes of the house of Rennes such as Conan I le Tort (+992), and Geoffroy I Béranger (+1008), husband of Havoise de Normandie, grand benefactor of the abbey given the revenues of the Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes and Saint-Benoît-des-Ondes to the abbey. In 1009 the Duke of Normandie takes control of the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, and the abbot Maynard will need to moved to the abbey of Saint-Sauveur in Redon to be replace by the Abbot Hildebert Ier, chosen by Duke Richard II of Normandie. The limits between Bretagne and Normandie independant of the location of the water source and precisely at 4 km to the west of the bottom of the massif of Saint-Broladre. From 2001, the brothers and sisters of the monastic fraternities of Jerusalem coming from the Church of Saint-Gervais in Paris, insured a presence all year round, replacing the Benedictine monks that were coming here since 1966.

Ok so what can you see here… ? Many things but my favorites story telling of them is as it is. The Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel ,and all its dependancies such as the Chapel of or Chapelle Notre-Dame-sous-Terre, Chapelle Saint-Aubert; and the fountain or Fontaine Saint-Aubert; the parish Church of Saint-Pierre ,which originally housed the inhabitants of the Mount. The Church is led by a priest name by the Bishop of Coutances. The Church preserves relics from the 11C in its pillars but in general they belong to the 15C and 16C. The nerf has only one lower altar that lower to the Choir. It has a small bell, but the Church has rich decorations like stained glass from the 15C, altar and columns from 1660, baptismal fountain from the 13C , a Virgin and the Child and education of the Virgin as Sainte Anne teaching Mary from the 15C-16C , and a copy of the statue of Saint Michel. It is still surrounded by a cemetery. The town is one of the few French cities preserving the medieval fortifications, dating from the 13C to the 16C. The ramparts of Fanils, continue the walls of Monteux, of Cantilly,and of Pillette, dating from the 16C with the tour Gabriel.


On the culinary front what else is new in France! You have the sheep or lamb pre salted or mouton/agneau de pré-salé ,much better grill in carbon. The Omelette de la mère Poulard, native of Nevers, Burgundy and arrived at the Mount at 21 yrs old (also the name of the restaurant). These are made with fresh eggs, fresh cream, well beaten to merinque with a special rythme and cook in a copper pot on carbon wood fire ;delicious.

The official Abbey Mont Saint Michel

The Mont Saint Michel Tourist Office

There you go folks, a wonderful site and a must to visit while in France. The Mont Saint Michel is unique and grand, words cannot describe it, you must come, Monte de San Miguel or Mount Saint Michael. Hope you enjoy this brief introductory post, there are many others in my blog

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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January 13, 2022

Some news from France, CCCLV 

Ande here I am back at you in my wonderful series now in its 355 edition or CCCLV roman numerals I use for it. Thanks for reading it since December 2010!!! My blog started in November 26 2010 woo that is a lot of years, and thanks for coming along with me in this adventure. It is that time to tell you about my some news from France again. And I have a long lineup in the new France of 2022!!

The building in which the Jean-Drouant hotel school is located, in the 17éme arrondissement of Paris, belongs to a trade union which manages a CFA (centres de formation d’apprentis  or apprenticeship training centers) of more than 700 students there. It plans to expand. To do this, the establishment providing training in hospitality and catering trades must leave its “historic” place, which it has occupied for more than eighty years. Is the Jean-Drouant high school for the hotel and catering trades, better known as the “hotel school of Paris” for more than eighty years, risk disappearing? In any case, the will have to move, leave his cradle on rue Médéric (17éme) to make way for the large “Médéric 2024” project, led by the owner of the building and manager of the hotel training center, It seems we will have one less historic building in Paris,,,My son graduated from a CFA in La Verriére, Yvelines dept 78, IF you want to see the school, here is direction on their webpage:

The plan to redesign the Eiffel Tower site has continued to generate ink and arouse criticism. Last month, the two guarantors of the national public debate commission submitted specific observations on the points to be reviewed, in particular green spaces, traffic, events or the heritage side. entire arteries would be blocked if cars could no longer circulate as they do today around the equestrian statue of Marshal Foch, Oh well more congestion coming to congested Paris if the mayor gets the way to continue cancelling roads to cars !!! Sadly, I know her ,and she is a native of Cadiz Spain !!! The works going no at the Eiffel webpage:

At the 121 Rue de Ménilmontant, the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin, a rare 18C country house, inspired by the villas of the Veneto with its triangular pediment supported by four columns, enjoys an exceptional character in Paris. A historic monument since 1928, today it is an emblematic cultural facility of the 20éme arrondissement. The Carré de Baudouin pavilion deserves further refurbishment. But the project is at the heart of a battle with the defenders of heritage, the architect of a first restoration, At the origin of the project of the participatory budget, and historians, trying to face off, Oh well another emblematic building going to haggle and hassels will see if it is kept ; to be continue, In French but this is what it is folks :

In the Bois de Boulogne, a ton of fish exfiltrated from the Lac Supérieur before the major works, Future works require that this body of water be emptied. Due to upcoming works, the fishing federations have recovered a ton of fish from the lake higher to transfer them to another body of water. More on the park from the mayor’s office of the 16éme arrondissement or district webpage :

The La Roche-Guyon distillery, in Val-d’Oise (95), was created by the descendants of the La Rochefoucauld family. Two recipes for this beverage made with plants are already on the market. The aromas of fourteen and even up to thirty plants and roots brought together in a translucent bottle. It is a subtle and surprising alcoholic drink that comes out of the outbuildings of the Château de La Roche-Guyon. Louis-Antoine de la Rochefoucauld set up the La Roche-Guyon distillery. He prepares a gin there which is available for the moment in two recipes, Monsieur and Madame, The Roche Guyon Distillerie webpage :

This past Monday January10 2022 , Disneyland Paris fans will find the famous parade that punctuated the daily life of the park before the health crisis. A form of return to normalcy two months before the park’s thirtieth anniversary celebrations, 2022 promises to be the year of rebirth at Disneyland Paris, after several months of forced sleep in 2020 and 2021. The Disney Stars on Parade is thus resuming service with seven tanks and two carriages had stopped wandering in the alleys of the first European amusement park The tanks carrying Mickey, Daisy, Peter Pan or even Woody or Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise as well as a fire-breathing dragon , will roam the park again, surrounded by fifty costumed dancers. A stroll that will resume its usual route starting near the “It’s a small world” attraction, before going around Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Central Plaza, then down Main Street USA , Since January 3, the Disney show Illuminations, which had been back on December 21, is on hold and the Frozen show is being temporarily replaced with selfie points featuring characters from the franchise. Bars will continue to be open, but drinking while standing will be prohibited. These measures are currently in place for a period of three weeks, at the moment stay tune, Disneyland 30th Anniversary Celebration webpage :

Work on the Meaux (77) Majestic cinema, operated by UGC, was suspended because a building next to the theaters threatened to collapse. In September 2021, the mayor, Jean-François Copé, insisted that the site resume before March. It is still at a standstill … In the meantime, further expert reports must take place. It has been closed since October 2020, So sad to read this as it was my first cinema in France back in Sept 1990 as Meaux is the native town of my dear late wife Martine.

The start-up Dartagnans hopes to buy back the Château de Boulogne-la-Grasse (Oise 60) thanks to an online crowdfunding pot. Individuals can acquire part of the 19C building, erected by a wealthy Belgian, and thus become “co-lords”. The castle was built in reinforced concrete and mixes several influences, A great initiative I am in ! There are several of them in France to save these beautiful monuments of all time, Get involved !! Here is your chance, the official Dartagnans webpage :

The Beauvais airport expects at least 3 million passengers in 2022, While the airport is idling, after a year 2021 during which it has already received half as many visitors as expected, In 2019, the airport had welcomed 4 million passengers. This figure went down to 1.2 million in 2020, then to 2 million last year, due to the health crisis. Airport webpage:

The new terminus of metro line 4, the Bagneux – Lucie-Aubrac station, opens its doors tomorrow Thursday 13 January 2022 at noon (Paris time), The axis connecting Porte-de-Clignancourt (18éme) to Mairie-de-Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine dept 92) is extended by 1.8 km. And two new stations are thus coming into service in the department: Barbara, in Montrouge, and Bagneux – Lucie-Aubrac, now the southern terminus of the line. In French read all about it here :

What are the favorite comics of the French in 2021 ? According to data released at the end of December by the National Publishing Union, sales have increased by 19% since 2019. The most prominent sector in this spectacular increase: comics or BD in French.

1,« Astérix et le Griffon », de Jean-Yves Ferri et Didier Conrad, (éditions Albert René) ; 1,547 million sold.

2 « Les aventures de Blake et Mortimer. Vol. 28 Le Dernier espadon », de Jean Van Hamme, Teun Berserik, Peter Van Dongen, from work of Edgar Pierre Jacobs (éditions Blake et Mortimer) ; 211 211 sold.

3« Mortelle Adèle. vol. 18. Toi, je te zut ! », de M. Tan (Bayard) ; 197 827 sold.

4« Goldorak » de Xavier Dorison, Denis Bajram and Brice Cossu (Kana) ; 189 505 sold.

5« Blacksad, vol. 6. Alors tout tombe (première partie) », from Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dargaud) ; 157 656 sold.

6« Les Aventures de Vincent Lacoste au cinéma », from Riad Sattouf (Les livres du futur) ; 155 556 sold.

7« Mortelle Adèle. Show Bizarre », from Mr Tan (Bayard) ; 144 412 sold.

8« Spy X Family, Vol. 3 », from Tatsuya Endo (Kurokawa) ; 129 758 sold.

9« Le monde sans fin », from Christophe Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici (Dargaud) ; 122 565 sold.

10« One Piece : édition originale », tome 97 (Glénat) – 122 101 sold.

The Nantes Art Museum compares 18C outfits and pictorial works, emphasizing the dialogue and reciprocal influence between painters and creators. A time that saw the desire to please and to appear to be exacerbated. Museum webpage :

Not far from the center of the Episcopal City, in Albi, a building from the 1930s has been converted into a guest house. This is worth telling you as we know the building from before and its previous owners, Now the new owners have done wonders to it, From the living room of the “Zen” suite, the majestic Sainte-Cécile Cathedral is revealed., The guest house has an area of ​​nearly 700 square meters and its location close to the city center, On the ground floor, the mosaic floors and woodwork with contemporary design pieces by Matière Grise, Inga Sempé or Constance Guisset, while that modern consoles and lightings stand side by side with marble fireplaces. The “Zen” suite is on the first floor (2nd US) , facing the grand staircase. From its living room, you can see the Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, a few hundred meters away. To reach the Episcopal City from the house, just cross the Tarn river by taking the Pont-Vieux bridge. The L’Autre Rives guest house, at 60 rue Cantepau , Albi. Official webpage :

Never seen before !!. Yves Saint Laurent at the Museums is an anniversary exhibition that takes place in six Parisian museums: the Center Pompidou, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the fashion designer (couturier) first fashion show, everyone highlights the links the designer had with art and French public collections. The master indeed ! The museums showing the exhibition « Yves Saint Laurent at the museums »

Musée national Picasso-Paris – 3éme (from January 29 to April 15, 2022)
Center Pompidou – 4éme (from January 29 to May 15, 2022)
Museum of Modern Art – 16éme (from January 29 to May 15, 2022)
Louvre Museum – 1éme (from January 29 to May 15, 2022)
Musée d’Orsay – 7éme (from January 29 to May 15, 2022)
Yves Saint Laurent Museum – 16éme (from January 29 to September 18, 2022)

Info webpage :

A stone’s throw from Place d’Italie, a new Potterheads paradise has just opened! On the program, an escape game, first. « Le Défi des sorciers » or The Wizard’s Challenge, a real immersive experience, will make you put on a cape, ride a broom and go through trials, each more magical than the next. You’ll have to solve puzzles to escape and uncover the secret hidden in the Wizarding School! Le Défi des sorciers, 30 Av. D’Italie 13éme, I think have mentioned this before huh, Inside the shopping mall Italie Deux, Until March 6, 2022, Webpage :

After a first opening in Lyon in June 2020, a second food court is about to open in the heart of the new district of La Gaîté Montparnasse. On the program: 6,000 m2 and 15 restaurants bringing together tapas bar, trattoria, Syrian cuisine, sandwich shop, pastry shop, cocktail bar and grocery store, not to mention the large central bar and the terrace overlooking Avenue du Maine. The place will be punctuated by highlights such as food events, concerts and aperitifs throughout the year. you will be able to roam freely from kiosk to kiosk for lunch on the go or to take away, dinner with friends, have a drink with your colleagues or brunch with family Food Society Paris Gaîté, Les Ateliers Gaîté (new shopping mall) 68, avenue du Maine 14éme ,Opening spring 2022 ,Open 7 days a week from morning to evening, This should be awesome my old work neighborhood I will be there!me hope, Even the fabulous petit journal jazz will close with a new Jazz Cafe,!! official webpage :

La Poste du Louvre will reopen its doors to the public. And the least we can say is that this large building of 35,000 m2 nestled on rue Etienne-Marcel promises to be grandiose. will open to the public on January 18 2022, This is very much waited for as it was my post office when worked nearby ! See it soon, official webpage :

And city, one of my Yvelines (78) friends move to is Saint Etienne. I need to get there in my belle France , quite a territory to cover, trying my best lol !! The workers’ city finds color in the streets, the plates, the museums. With, of course, a preference for green, that of the Pilat massif . Imaginative at the Cité du design or on the Le Corbusier site, lover of the arts in the street or at the museum, gourmet in a chocolate factory or in the covered market, lover of the outdoors in the Pilat massif, The future is dreamed of in the vast 19C buildings of the National Arms Manufactory, which has become a “creative district” with an art and design school, fab labs, La Fabuleuse Cantine restaurant, and, above all, the Cité du design , open to the public, From April 6 to July 31, 2022 , the International Biennale will spill over into a city infused with design, from the silhouette of the tram to street furniture and hotel rooms. The avant-garde has never frightened this city which revered technical progress, exhibited at the Museum of Art and Industry. Evidenced by the Art Nouveau facades around the avenue de la Liberation or, in Firminy (13 km away), the modernist architecture of Le Corbusier with its “housing unit”, its cultural center, its swimming pool. and its stadium still alive. Failing to be consecrated, its church sings the possible beauty of concrete.The Comédie de Saint-Etienne, a theater founded in 1947 has become one of the first national drama centers in France. . It’s not just football in the city. Saint-Etienne (the most championships in France with 10), which has long combined the words “culture” and “popular”, offers plenty to occupy its weekend: if not at the Comédie de Saint-Etienne, the national drama center installed for four years in a magnificently restored old factory, or at Le Fil for a concert by the new Stéphanoise scene, it is on the hill of the Jardin des Plantes that it is good to go. There is the Opera, the only one in France with that of Paris to have integrated workshops for its costumes and sets (open to the public on certain Saturdays). Another jewel in its black setting, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has the largest collection after the Center Pompidou, with nearly 20,000 works that feed exhibitions that are still relevant such as the “The Self-Taught Enigma until 3 April 2022. The St Etiénne tourist office:

The years 2020 and 2021 were marked by a drop in short work stoppages and an increase in long stoppages for employees exhausted by massive remote work. In 2021, 18% of teleworker stoppages are due to psychosocial risks against 13% for others. Teleworking increases the intensity of work. People do not take the breaks at home that they have in the office, illustrates Benoît Serre, deputy vice-president of the National Association of HRDs (ANDRH) and HRD France (human ressources director) of L’Oréal. In 2021, 65% of companies were thus affected by long shutdowns, largely linked to trauma, accidents and psychological disorders, details the annual barometer of mutualist Malakoff Humanis (mine!), carried out from 23 August to 24 September 2021 with 2 500 employees and managers of private sector companies. Multiple stops, also on the rise, affected 41% of employees. But of course, darling who would work in a cage ! Remember to tell that to Macron or yours !

And last but not least as the saying goes, we are all curious to know what is the trendy first name of the moment (or the one, precisely, to avoid for a future toddler). Well imagine that that changes according to the cities, the official site of the City of Paris reveals the top 10 of the first names most allotted in 2021. For the girls, one finds Louise, Alma, Emma, ​​Adèle, Chloé, Anna , Olivia, Eva, Jeanne and Rose. On the boys’ side, the first names Gabriel, Adam, Louis, Raphaël, Arthur, Noah, Isaac, Joseph, Mohamed and Léon occupy the first ten places of the podium. For Nantes parents favored the first names Louise, Alice, Adèle, Rose, Jeanne, Juliette, Emma, ​​Alba, Agathe and Lou for their little girls, . Among boys, the first names Arthur, Léo, Raphaël, Gabriel, Lucas, Léon, Noah, Hugo, Jules and Malo were particularly popular, says 20 Minutes . In Toulouse, indicates France Bleu. For boys, the most common first names were Louis, Gabriel, Léo, Raphaël, Arhur, Adam, Jules, Noah, Lucas and Hugo. On the girls’ side, the first names Louise, Alice, Jade, Camille, Alva, Lina, Anna, Ambre, Emma, ​​Julia, Chloé, Mila and Léa. And of course, mine or my boys is not on these lists lol !

There you go folks, plenty to do and see in my belle France. Looking forward to more travels, pending more of the Loire and my Seine et Marne (77). Paris still pending….For 2022, best wishes and stay healthy for all and Happy New Year 2022 or Bonne Année, meilleurs voeux à tous!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

January 13, 2022

The underground of London!

Yes my dear readers I have done this too. The underground of London or is it the metro or the subway or even the tube!!! Anyway, you get the idea is below level, of the earth, quick easy but prefer do the walking above ground , see more, get it. Anyway, here is my take on something I have done the underground of London!

Let me tell you about the station I used the most for business and even show around my family on our visit, the Gloucester Road station.

The Gloucester Road underground station of the lines: Circle, District and Piccadilly of the London Underground, in zone 1. It is located in the district of South Kensington in the London borough of Islington.  On the District and Piccadilly lines, the station is between South Kensington and Earl’s Court, (my line and lodging with the family), and on the Circle line, it is between South Kensington and High Street Kensington. On the District and Piccadilly lines, the station is between Earl’s Court and South Kensington, and on the Circle line, it is between High Street Kensington and South Kensington. Gloucester Road is the farther interchange between these three lines, although the tube map promotes the easier interchange at South Kensington.

london gloucester tube bdlg ent sep15

The Gloucester Road station is in two parts: sub-surface platforms, opened in 1868 and deep-level platforms opened in 1906, The deep-level platforms have remained largely unaltered with no lift/elevator access, A two-story station building in cream-colored brick with arched windows and an ornamental balustrade at roof level was built . The planning of the line encouraged the local land owners, including Lord Kensington, to extend Cromwell Road westwards and the opening of Gloucester Road station, stimulated rapid residential development in the surrounding area , In the 1990s a deck was constructed above the District and Circle line platforms on which was constructed a shopping mall and apartment building.   As part of the development over the sub-surface platforms, the station buildings were remodeled internally to share a single entrance and ticket office Space in the Piccadilly line building that was formerly used for operational purposes or as the exit to the street is now used for retail purposes. Art on the Underground have used the disused platform for temporary installations of sculptures, murals or photographs. Artworks have been by a variety of artists over the past 20 years, including David Shrigley, Chiho Aoshima and Heather Phillipson.

london heathrow airport on piccadilly tube to Gloucester sep15

The London transports site on the Gloucester road underground/metro/subway

The London tourist office on the Gloucester Road station :

Now a bit of expansion on the London underground and public transports in London from my humble point of view, Whether you’re an overseas visitor in London on vacation, or a UK citizen visiting the capital for the first time, the London Underground is an efficient and economical way of getting around. However it can be confusing if you’ve never used it before as any other. London is divided up into nine travel Zones. Central London is covered by Zone 1. As you move outwards, you pass through Zones 2-9. The London Underground is divided into 11 different lines which are color coded. Signs to each line will give both the line name, and it’s color, Regular underground stations are represented by a line. You can’t change between different lines at these stations. Interchange stations are represented by a white circle with a wide black outline. You can change between lines at these stations.

london south kensington station piccadilly line sep15

Tickets can either be bought from the machines available at each Underground station, from ticket offices on the station (be aware, not all stations have ticket offices, and they’re not open all the time), or in advance from the Visitor Shop also oyster cards as never use this visitor shop, If you are traveling to multiple locations , you can buy paper travelcards that allow unlimited travel on the Tube, trams, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and London Overground services, as well as some National Rail services within the London travel zone. You can get them for 1 day or 7 days, from ticket offices on the stations, or online in advance via the Visitor Shop, Never use these only the tube at Gloucester Road and Earl’s Court mind you.  You will need  one Oyster Card or ticket per adult. Up to 4 children under the age of 11 can travel for free with an adult who has an Oyster card or ticket for the tube. 11 – 15 year olds will need to get either an 11-15 year old’s Travelcard, ticket or Oyster Card. Children 16 and over are counted as adults and have to pay adult fares. I used the Oyster Card , excellent choice, When getting on the train, stand to one side to let other passengers off first, rather than trying to battle your way through. Don’t worry about missing the train, or not getting on – everyone else will be doing the same.


If staying for a few days, or intend to visit the city in the near future a few times, you can opt for the Oyster cards, they are good reusable, rechargeable, and very convenient. I still have mine!! The official Oyster card for info:

Buses can be a cheap and easy way to get around. They run from 5 in the morning until not long after midnight. Major routes may also have night bus services that run from midnight until 5. I did try once the double decker bus by Gloucester Road.(see post)  There are 2 types of river boat service ,the River Buses which operate as an alternative to the Tube and buses, (can use the oyster card here) or the River Tours which are more leisurely but are an excellent way of seeing London (not for oyster cards), I have used taxis once from the Heathrow airport to the Earl’s Court exhibition center way back, I have driven my own car in London ,piece of cake and avoided the congestion zone !

Some webpages to help you plan your visit that I have used are

The London transports body on planning your journey on public transports :

The London transports boday on congestion zones map in pdf file format for printing:

The London transports body on low emission zones to get in with your car :

There you go folks, it has been a while I wanted to do this post and finally is here. Hope you find it useful for your next trip to London, whenever possible nowdays. I have great memories of Gloucester Road and Earl’s Court underground stations.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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