Random thoughts of a rapidly ageing Englshman who wishes he was retired and living in Fance

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Trouble with my waterworks

If you think I've been a bit on the quiet side lately, you're right, but I have my excuses! Things have been a bit hectic work wise with a few days away and home wise with some fairly hefty (by my standard) jobs.

It started about three weeks ago when I flushed the vortex on the pond, or to be more accurate, didn't. Its not a big job, just climb down into the filter compartment, pull the gate valve wait a minute or two and then shut it. Sometimes if I'd left it a bit too long the accumulated muck (fish poo, leaves, drowned twigs, etc.) would block the entrance to the waste pipe and I'd have to either work things free with a stick ( the vortex is 5 feet deep) or shock suck the wedge of leaves through by opening and closing one of the other waste valves on the filter chamber.

Anyway this time the water didn't flow. Opening and closing the other valves didn't help and what's worse, they didn't flow to waste either. This could only mean one thing, there was a blockage in the pipe.

The waste pipe runs under the patio (it would be a terrase but we are in England) and one of my design flaws in the pond pipework which I knew sooner or later would come back to haunt me was the lack of facility to rod the drain. Oooops.

So I skillfully played Card 1 - do nothing and perhaps it will sort itself out. Sort of rot down in the pipe and gently clear, after all it was probably frogspawn or something and its all biodegradable so lets let it biodegrade. Well it sounded plausible after a couple of beers. So I left it a couple of weeks.

Anyway I had another go with the waste valves last Saturday and......no such luck. With something of a huff I decided to leave one of the filter chamber valves open on Sat night. Perhas some constant pressure would help and I'd hear the pump, etc. if it cleared and started drainig the pond.

After a sound night's sleep I awoke on Sunday to a cup of tea in bed and a strange sound from the garden.
The Pond.
Leaping into my Marigolds, oh and some clothes I rushed out expecting to find it half empty but it wasn't! The pond was full, the filters half empty and the filter chamber half full , with the pump sucking air as it vainly searched for water and all the electricts within an inch of beong submerged. Not good.

Maybe the drain was still blocked and something else was wrong......and it was.

A huge wadge of twigs moss and leaves had blocked the flow from the vortex to the filters. Presumably part of the flushing problem. That was easily removed and the flow resumed. But it was A Sign, I had to sort the pond out, and that meant cutting a section out of the drain pipe, rodding it and putting it all back together,

So, by opening time on Sunday I was at our new B&Q looking for 2 inch pipe couplings. They don't sell them. 2 inch pipe is obviously passé and everyone uses smaller or bigger metric stuff. Except of course, me.

Then with a flash of inspiration I bought a roll of duct tape and a plastic clamp. Back home I sawed the pipe through stuffed my pipe snake thing down it and was greeted by the foul mess blocking the pipe. Half a hour later all was taped up and working fine, although I was a bit smelly.

Then I looked at the decking and thought it needs a scrub off. Brush and hose was too much like hard work so out came the pressure washer.

Then I looked at the fliters and they were disgusting as well. Flushing them had not done the trick so I spent a not very happy couple of hours cleaning the brushes and half the Japenese matting. If you've ever cleaned a pond filter, you'll know what a joy that was!

Jean insisted I ate lunch outside for reasons that are beyond me bt the sun was out and also dried the decking giving me the opportunity to give it its annual painting.

Jean tells me we went for dinner down at our local Chinese, but I really don't remember.....

That was my lovely sunny Bank Holiday Sunday.

Still I'd earned a few hours off to go fishing on the Monday.......except it rained all morning, so I put the decking back in place in the rain and some gardening in the afternoon between showers.

What else would you do on a Bank Holiday weekend?

The good news is I got to go fishing today and ...you need to sit down for this.....actually caught not one but two brown trout, (both safely returned) using a little Grifiths Knat which I tied myself.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

What can I do with a leftover carrot?

Even if its cooked, a leftover carrot can be fun.

Well perhaps that is overstating things a bit, but you can at least use them and even make something quite tasty. Over the years, I have to admit to having generated quite a lot of leftover carrots, potatoes, beans, leeks, and the odd cold brussel sprout........

One of the great joys of being on holiday is that it forces you to improvise in the kitchen. No longer can you rely on the same old stuff..its Tuesday so its....routine. Each day is a culinary adventure, especially as you get towards the end of your stay and Eating Up becomes the order of the day.

And so many years ago we found ourselves with a load of cooked and uncooked but definitely un-eaten vegetables, half a ton (sorry tonne) of cheese plus a packet of lardons fumé in the fridge, all facing extintion the next day when we were due to head home, and so it was that Veg Gratin (pronounced vej gr-rat-an with a stressed chef untill he's the right side of half a bottle of
cooking sherry).

So how do you make this culinary masterpiece? Simple really...

First you take a selection of veg..whatever you have will do

Note the mystery ingredient in the glass...(hint, you don't put it in the cooking).
Chop your veg up and put the oven on to warm up and a pan of water on to boil. If the veg are cooked leftovers, forget the pan.
Par-boil the slower cooking veg - the main cooking is in the oven but for veg that need a bit of boil time like swede and potatoes, you need to get them 2/3 of the way in boiling water whilst other stuff - broccoli, peas, french beans, etc., you can leave raw. The trick here is to balance the cooking of the veg so when you've finished the dish all are to your liking.
Whilst the veg are cooking you need to make the sauce. Fry up some smoked bacon (or pancetta if you're posh) in a saucepan and maybe some garlic, etc. when browned turn the heat out, allow to cool a bit and then knock up a mix of Delia's white/béchemal sauce in the pan with the bacon, to which I always add the first of my 2 mystery ingredients....
Yep... I put mace in my white sauce. You only need a pinch - maybe 1/8 teaspoon - but it just adds a little something that goes with a cheesy sauce so well. Since I fancied it I also chucked some smokey paprika on the bacon bits as they fried this time.
Having tried this "recipe" (its really more a method) with lots of different cheeses, the best for this kind of thing its got to be Reblochon. Its a bit like Brie but has its own mild creamy cheesy flavour, and it cooks wonderfully.

Luckily I just happened to have one to hand!

You can add as much or little cheese to the sauce as you like at this stage. Make sure your veg are not cooked to death by the time your sauce is ready. If you've any doubt, make the sauce then put the veg on.

When they are ready drain the veg well and artistically dump them in an oven proof (daft phrase) dish. Its better if the veg really don't carry much water at this stage so drain well and remember timing here is important e.g. the broccoli is still raw at this stage, it'll get all the cooking it needs in the oven.

Pour the sauce all over the veg and add some slices of Reblochon and if you like, tomato or whatever - choriso works well. Art is important here, so take your time arranging - sorry I meant dressing the dish .....

Then into the oven for 20 - 30 mins and.....hey pretso, diner is served!!!

Easy, innit? Who says they can't cook?

Thursday, 30 April 2009

There again, not always

I've been having a bit of a debate with myself recently - which in itself is a challenge cos not only am I always right but I tend to challenge stuff that doesn't immediately stack up, so it all gets a bit frustrating. I mean its hard when you are arguing two different points of view and you know both are both right and wrong at the same time and so need to convince yourself that you really are right....or half left.

Anyway what was I talking about?

Going to work. Not a pretty subject so no photo's. Sorry.

I have a choice of transport. For the last 10 years or so I've split the year in two travelling differently during Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time.

In the summer I commute the 16 miles on a motorbike, whilst in the dark nights of the winter I've taken the rather less convenient approach of getting Jean to give me a lift to the station, train and walk.

Then last year after much soul searching I bought a little car, largely so I could go fishing without marooning Jean, and justified it by saying I could use it in the winter to get to the station (or as near as you can park without paying £6.50 a day) so saving her a lot of dashing about, etc.

I don't like the train - its horribly crowded and the people push and shove and get cross and frustrated, etc. Whats worse is half of them don't buy tickets and all in all its pretty miserable. Add to that the new "improved" service introduced a few months back which improved things by making the trains a lot smaller and not having all of them stop at our station!!!! But the good news is you can get to London 10 minutes quicker (so in just under 2 hours) if you are unfortunate enough to have to go there. That said the trains have been reasonably reliable this winter.

So as Spring approached I started thinking oh goody, time to get the bike out.

But I haven't.

Because its just such hard work.

Let me tell you about the average ride to/from work. Its 16 miles and includes..... a mere 38 sets of traffic lights and about 10 miles of dual carriageway and another couple of miles of unrestricted main road.

There are 8 sets of lights between the edge of Chesterfield and the start of the Chesterfield bypass(?!!!) (about a mile). The traffic is heavy but generally I can ride past the queueing cars without too many incidents. Then off up the bypass (another set of lights on the first island) and round another too big and dangerous roundabout and onto the Dronfield bypass where the lunatics amongst us think it clever to drive at 3 figure speeds just because they can't get out of bed, etc. Then we hit the real traffic on the way into Sheffield. Huge queues of some very angry people and traffic lights every few yards. Yes there's about 30 sets in not much more than a couple of miles.

Entertaininly Sheffields transport policy states that because they cannot make public transport a viable alternative particularly in terms of journey times and convenience, they have decided to make private transport slower, less convenient and more costly to make public transport a more competitive alternative. Not a very Green approach but then its Sheffield.

So perhaps you can see one of the reasons why I want to retire to France....the roads really are like Simon says. Its true that if I was retired I wouldn't have to commute, but the traffic and importantly the angst of those caught up in it, is terrible all day long. From LGP you've got to drive a long way to find a traffic light - Loches or Chatellerault - both a good 20 miles away.

So anyway, no final decisions or anything but I'm still using the train despite the expense and inconvenience, but I suppose the exercise is doing me good. Just goes to show, Sheffields policy may not be popular, but it works!

Ho hum, I'm getting old!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Mornings Can Be Fun

Believe it or not, mornings can be fun, despite having to get up at some ridiculous time. the routine is, alarm at 6:30, shower and up in time to take Lulu out by 07:00 for a run around (her not me, I'm too old for that kind of thing).

[Note for new readers: Lulu is a dog, not just any dog, but a Standard Poodle, not that there's anything standard about her. And she's only 9 months old, so should be calming down in another ten years].

I digress, the purpose of this blog is to show you some snaps I took last week on our morning strolls through the woods in the beautiful countryside we are lucky enough to have on our Derbyshire doorstep.
First we walk through a couple of fields with some open views......

Then over the style......

Fabulous photography eh? Actually it took weeks to train Lulu to stay still in mid air like that. If only she'd do it sitting down in the house...
Through the first wood where the bluebells are out

Then across another field and into the woods on its left........

For a run and sniff amongst more bluebells and wood anenomies.

You'll notice that its real wild woodland, with a big mix of trees, flora, etc. and not just conifers (or anything else) planted in neat rows.

Its a great way to start the day. Almost makes it worth getting up....except of course I then have to go to work - assuming I can catch Lulu!

More Decorating

A man's work is never done, partly because we never know what to do next. Or First for that matter!

In our little chateau, like all french chateaux we have some questionable wallpaper, which is really surprising.

The stairs ceiling and wall where its not wood clad has been carefully papered with what Jean likes to refer to as chinese restaurant wallpaper.

Whats more the bedroom is done in a pink birds in a cage floral type of theme.

Now it is france so perhaps not that surprising, particulalry considering it was probably done in the 70's, but bearing in mind the shower room was not even undercoated

not to mention the kitchen,

I find the loving care with which the paper was obviously put up with, a bit of an oddity. Still at least its there.

Question is, now what do I do?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What's Wrong With My worms

When I first met Alex he was wearing a fisherman's shirt. I can't remember the name emblazoned on it (half the time I can't remember my own so its not that surprising) however I rcognised it and therefore him as a fellow fisherman.

Well thats not exactly true.

Alex actually is a fisherman, I'm more of a bloke with fishing tackle.

Anyway we've promised each other (or to be more precise, suggested to our wives) that we go fishing and after much merging of schedules over the months, Easter Sunday was the appointed day.

So on arriving in LGP I hurried down to the florists/garden store/gun shop/fishing tackle suplies shop (its important to have more than one string to your bow) and purchased my 2009 Permis de Peche, duly filled out in triplicate and embelished with my photo and inside leg measurement in traditional french style.

Due to logistics I was appointed Bait Monitor and so acquired a quantity of astigots and ver de terres (trust french maggots to have a fancy name) for us both. So we'd would be using the same bait.

Sunday came and off we set, Alex wit a rod, coupe of bits of tackle in a small bag and a stool, me with the entire contents of Fishing World stuffed in a huge bag and nothing to sit on.

After half an hour Alex caught my usual prey...an anchovy. It might not actually have been an anchovy, but it was the right size.....I of course caught nothing.

Time passed without stopping to say hello and so we moved to my favourite hot spot, where Alex caught 3 trees to my two. Suddenly I was feeling encouraged, perhaps I'm not that bad at this after all..........

So we moved again to a lovely spot on the river down by the station. We changed tactics from astigots to ver d terres and chucked our tackle in as they say.

Alex caught 3 proper fish whilst I caugh a leaf and a bit of weed. We were 15 meteres apart using the same bait, etc.

Makes you wonder, what is wrong with my worms?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The wonder of Crepi

A funny thing happened to me on holiday......I discovered Crepi.
Now I've heard whispers of its virtues but never actually knowingly laid my hands or eyes on any, and certainly never bought any from round the back of the supermarket.
Anyway if you like I didn't know, Crepi is one of a family of textured paints sold in France and this holiday I was feeling rash and a bit on the edge, so decided to go in for a bit of extreme decorating. Push the envelope, that kind of thing.
The thing is in a 250+ year old country cottage, not all the plasterwork is pristine and in the bedroom we have what you might call a "problem wall". Actually there are two of them, or possibly four but we'll get round to them later.
In this case its not even plasterwork. It seems to be splattered concrete on bits of stone and flint, painted sometime when my ganmother was young in strangely durable white stuff. All complete with with cracks, holes and lots of places for spiders to hang out.

What should I do? Ideas ranged from selling, to plasterboarding, chipping it off and re-building and....Crepi.

So, as we wandered around Mr Bricomarche I spotted the baffling array of Crepies (or should that be Crepii) available. After much deliberation I picked the cheapest tin which was labelled Tont Pie (turns out to mean natural stone colour), to use as a bit of an experiment. After all I could hardly make matters worse and for a tenner I thought it worth a try.

So on Monday, fortified by a rather decent Easter Lunch at Grand Ma's I set about the wall. Nicole had explained that she'd used a brush to apply the stuff to one of their Gites, whilst Barrie suggested a trowel. Knowing my skill as a plasterer I opted for the brush.

Prising the lid off I discovered that Crepi is basically paint with sand in it. How much depends on the grade, etc. but this stuff was pretty thick.

And it worked a treat.

It filled the cracks and holes and smoothed the lumps. Not a fine plastered finish of course - the wall is still pretty rough and the surface is a bit like coarse sandpaper or chaux, but its quite a transformation, and I can always paint it with something finer to finish it off.

Obviously my trial size bucket of the stuff wasn't enough to fill the holes in our bedroom wall, but I'll be back for some more in May to finish the job off.
I was so excited by the result we had to call at Leroy Merlin's in Tours on the way home to check out their encouragingly vast array of similar products. Forget boring matt/silk emulsion on your oh so dull smooth walls, they have loads of texture based products...and I'm iching to try a few more!

The only question in my mind is why isn't B&Q stuffed with this kind of stuff?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Can't Wait

If you think my blogging has been a bit thin of late, you're right. I'm new to this you know and slowly getting inspiration - I've never even kept a diary. And the keys on this keyboard are in a different place to the one at work which drives me nuts. Why do they do that?

Anyway the thing is we're off to LGP in a day and I've been getting my head round the packing, loading, sorting and generally cramming the car with everything we might want to take. Its important we get all the big stuff for the year and most of the small stuff as next time Lulu will be coming with us. Her passport isn't valid till mid May so for this trip she's going to Barnsley for her holidays, no doubt John and Kathleen will spoil her rotten.

Now I've got to get back to being excited about what Alex and Nicole have done in our absence, and remembering how much I love being in our cottage, walking roud the village and fishing in the Claise. Oh and making plans for the decorating that somehow I might just not get round to. After all, I do need a holiday.

Spring Cleaning

The rear of our house in Derbyshire faces south, and so eCheck Spellingnjoys all the sun there is. We installed a patio/terrace some years ago when I built the pond and since then its been extended as we've developed the "garden room" as those trendy folk would have us call it. Anyway the thing is that despite all the sun, etc. we do get quite a bit (24 inches or so a year) of rain. And being in the Midlands, its dirty rain. The leaves on the bay tree get a black covering and need scrubbing before use, the terrace gets mucky and then over the winter starts to go green.

In previous years I've got the pressure washer out and squirted off areas, brushed them, etc. and frankly its hard work. I once did the whole lot in a long day and couldn't move for days. Yes I'm obviously getting old.
Anyway when I was walking Lulu a couple of weeks ago I spotted a van with Patio Cleaning emblazoned on the side. After the usual diligent enquiries a week later the deal was struck and the work commissioned. I have to say I was a bit dubious when the guy said it's take an afternoon, but he seemed happy with the deal so we asked him to get on with it!
He used a sort of hover mower rotary cleaner thing and it cleaned the slabs in no time, and didn't use any detergent which is important for the pond or spray water and muck everywhere either.
I don't know where he got the thing and have never seen one before but wish I'd bought one years ago!
We now have a sparkling paved area, pond wall and conservatory, all done in half a day by a bloke with the right equipment! Here's the finished job, just waiting for the return of the clutter. Brilliant. How easy was that!

Monday, 30 March 2009

Street Art

I was leafing through (if thats what you do on a computer) some oldish photos and was reminded of the gite we had 3 years running in Avoine. Its an odd place for a gite in some ways - not that much of a tourist spot, just a neat village on a rather busy road. Thing is its between Chinon and Bourgueil, just by Savigny and Beaumont en Veron. All of which are rather well known for producing excellent wine. Whats more you hardly notice the nuclear power station.

The Gite was quirky in a way but comfortable, private, comfy and very quiet, despite being only yards from the road round the back of the tabac. Anyway its surprising what you find in these places.

Avoine has a lovely park on a musical theme which is lit up at night.....the pictures don't really do it justice...

We also drove through Avoine at Christmas (wine shopping again) and just had to stop and admire this lot...

And then there's the trendy south coast.....we found this blockhead in Nice....

You just never know what to expect, do you?

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Snap Happy

Being an up to date, happening, 21st century kind of guy - I mean I even blog a bit - I've long since abandoned that ancient media...film. Yep, I'm all digital these days, I'm on my second digital camera, a super little thing a quarter of the size of my last one.

Jean however has been lagging behind. She got her first digital a year or so after me and I've just upgraded her to a mega thingy (i.e. smaller one). Its actually very nearly the same as mine, except being a year newer its much better.
Its pink.
Anyway the thing is, they take great photos.....of houses, fields, even the odd flower, like this one of a distant view of Hardwick Hall

which has been there for hundreds of years and doesn't move very much.......

But not dogs!!!!
Here's Lulu at puppy school doing her 1 minute sit still.....

And why is it you get a pause between pushing the button and it actually taking a picture? How long am I expected to hold the camera still?
Lulu sitting looking cute in the doorway of her den........

And why does it make a little annoying tinkly sound when you switch the thing on? All it does is wake the dog up and tell her to move from her oh so perfect pose........

Here's Lulu asleep with her paws crossed.......

Ho hummmm!

Still, at least you don't have to get all the duff ones printed out, and suffer the knowing look and the "that was a waste of money" smile from the assistant when you go and pick them up......

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Where's your telly?

One of the great joys of the prospect of retiring to France is the entertainment we'll get from just being there.
In less civilised countries you might for example expect on receiving your demand for payment of a TV licence, to be able to simply advise that as you have no TV, you don't need a licence. Not so in La Belle France.
First you fill in the council tax form and send them the dosh (minus the TV licence fee of course) plus a polite letter advising that we haven't got a TV so don't need a licence.
Next we get a letter asking us to advise if we've got a TV. No problem, we still haven't so write off in our best Googlaise to say no! So...we then get a letter to say, Oh well in that case, forget it, we won't charge you. Yippee, jobs a good un.......as we say.

Well almost.

So last week another rather scrappy note arrived with a tear off bit at the bottom asking us to tick a box to say we've no telly (or to be precise had no telly on the all important 1st an 2009). As with all official communications I duly took the letter for a second (and perhaps more learned) opinion form a colleague who due to the accident of birth just happens to actually be French, even if he's not lived there for some time. Anyway it turns out all I need to do is tick the box and send it back, unless of course I have got a telly in which case...I should not send anything back.

Now this is where it gets difficult.

You see I put the letter on the kitchen worktop next to the box of miscellaneous post waiting filing ready for Jean who knows how to print an envelope to organise. There it stayed for a couple of days, then poomph, it disappeared.

We've looked everywhere, even been through the recycling and can't find it. Which only leaves one suspect......


(this is Lulu's idea of training)

Which brings me to the point of the blog, does anybody know the french for, "I'm sorry but our dog ate your form, please could you send me another one?"

Sunday, 22 March 2009

My Back Aches

What is it about springtime that makes your back ache? Could it be sniffing daffodils? Or collecting your home grown saffron?

Nah..of course not, its the digging, clipping, mowing and general getting ready for the glorious summer that we know we're going to have this year.

So thanks to the BBQ induced springtime euphoria, I've mown the lawns...well whats left of them thanks to Lulu's toilet training, hacked/pruned some rather prickly roses and pyrocanthia (most things in our garden are prickly) and weeded and rotivated most of the veg patch ready for Jean's seedlings. Phew!

Its been so dry and sunny recently the lawn almost looks summerish!
You can also just about see the temporary keep Lulu ff the Veg patch fence. More of that to come....!
I've even bought some rather cunning "bio-degradable grass seed impregnated paper" to mend Lulu's zillions of brown patches. It sounds like a good idea - we'll see how it works.

All this makes me even more excited about our next trip to LGP. We planted loads of bulbs last October and Nicole and Alex have been working hard to create something other than a rather neglected patch of weeds around the wonderful shiny new terrace they've installed. I can't wait to see what it looks like.

And we've even got our first Camellia out, how good is that?

It'll probably snow tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Where's my Shorts?

Forget cuckoos, the real sign of spring is that primeval kitchen, the BBQ.

Yes, its true. We've been enjoying some unseasonably good weather in Blighty this last week or so, sunshine, 12 - 14 degrees C, it even doesn't get dark till 18:30, and I'm beginning to feel distinctly spring like. We've even got some tulips out......

On Friday Jean had a day off and mid afternoon rang me to say, "its another lovely day lets make the most of it, how about a BBQ?" Now bearing in mind its dark and cold within half an hour of my getting home, you might think the answer would be ......are you mad?

However...you forget.......I am!

And there's the Championship Internationale du Monde to consider as well.....more of that later.

So Friday 20th March saw our first full on, oudoors evening barbeque of the year and just another new experience for Lulu, who helped out with the rushing around.

Jean made 3 fish kebabs. Confusingly there were 5 of them. Tuna, salmon and I think cod with an interesting lemon and olive rub, plus a few assorted tomatoes, courgettes and mushrooms. She even found some sweetcorn from somewhere and a couple of toasted shallots topped it off. These were to be followed by some lovely goats cheese and washed down with Chablis (appero) and a Pinot Noir from somewhere down south.

So I fired up the Weber (definitely Mans Work) and the Chiminera (ditto) and.....we had the best evening ever...or at least for a while. There's something very special about sitting around a fire in the dark with a few candles going and the stars out above. Plus of course the twinkly lights and the rattle of the waterfall on the pond.
For the cheffy reader(s) I also cut a sprig of sage and one of rosemary and chucked them on the coals then cooked the fish with the lid on. Yummy.

Dining in style is important and being outdoors in the dark is no excuse for an exception! It might have only been 5 degrees, but it felt like .... well like every camping holiday I can remember, and yes Jean had her woolly hat on.

Anyway after the goats cheese and brie and a Lavazza espresso it was time for the next round of The Championship.

For those of you that are not sports fans, The Championship Internationale du Monde is a bit like the World Series, in that its played outdoors. And cricket in that its a series of games played all over the place but nobdy really uderstands why. What is this olympean sport you cy....well Scrabble of course!

Now I wouldn't describe us as Scrabble fans or addicts or anything, but we do like a game outdoors by candlelight, and preferably away from home. Strangely having the handicap of being a bloke and therefore 10,000 words a day short of the average woman doesn't seem to have to much bearing on the outcome.

So it was that after 3 hours of play I was able to lift the prestigeous Brass Monkey Challenge Cup as winner of the first game of the year. Superb!