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Newsletter for 3rd May 2024

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  • Newsletter for 3rd May 2024

    Electric Scotland News

    Getting my House power washed as I compile this newsletter. In Canada many houses have siding around a wood construction so unlike Scotland where most homes are either stone or bricks these do need cleaned from time to time. As I am on the corner of two roads this means I really need to do this every other year. You can see a picture of my home at:


    I did some analysis on the site search engine and find that I am missing a lot of files and so looks like my site map might not be working as expected. Over the next week I am going to be doing some trials to see if I can improve this.

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers

    I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    Here is what caught my eye this week...

    Don’t forget Armenia
    Armenians, once the target of genocide, are under threat again

    Read more at:

    Conrad Black: Washing away the climate lunatics
    Canada at risk of turning into Europe

    Read more at:

    Humza Yousaf resigns as First Minister with SNP plunged into all-out chaos
    Humza Yousaf has resigned as First Minister of Scotland just days after he dissolved the SNP's coalition with the Greens.

    Read more at:

    Swinney set to be first minister after Forbes backs him
    John Swinney looks set to become Scotland's next first minister after Kate Forbes confirmed she would not challenge him for the SNP leadership.

    Read more at:

    Survey reveals one in five shops in Scotland’s regional cities lying empty
    The DC Thomson data team have been tracking the health of Scotland’s high streets for almost a year. They now track the vacancy rates of more than 2,000 retail units across half of Scotland’s eight cities, covering Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and Perth.

    Read more at:

    Who is John Swinney? The SNP veteran tipped for the top job
    The longest-serving deputy first minister has said he is ‘actively considering’ running for SNP leader.

    Read more at:

    John Swinney will lead the SNP into oblivion
    The expected coronation of John Swinney, a 60-year-old yesterday’s man, as SNP leader is bleak news for the independence movement. When Swinney – a three-time loser if ever there was one – was last leader, he took the SNP to 20 per cent in the 2003 European elections. In the 2004 general election the next year, the SNP was left with only six MPs against Scottish Labour’s 41. That was his legacy.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    My Canadian Experience
    Report for February to April 2024 - More medical reports and new heat pump installed and attic insulated.

    You can read this at:

    Friendly Reminiscences of Donald Cattanach, Esq.
    Dedicated to his worthy wife, and his children and grand-children by Mrs. A. MacDougall (1884) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Royal Military College of Canada
    Added the June 1929 issue of their proceedings which you can read at:

    Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada
    Added the volume For the year 1892 volume X which you can read at:

    Canada: The Story of Us
    Inventors and entrepreneurs dream of uniting the country through the latest design and technology – and make their fortunes. An extraordinary generation will revolutionize transportation, engineering and communications – making Canada the high-tech superstar of a newly-wired world.

    You can read this at:

    Added some videos about Vietnamese life in Canada
    You can watch these at:

    Ontario Public School History of Canada
    Authorized by the Minister of Education for Ontario (1912) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Constitution of Canada
    By J. E. C. Munro, of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Law, Professor of Law, Owens College, Victoria University (1889) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Thoughts on a Sunday Morning - the 28th day of April 2024 - Defining Love
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Royal Canadian Air Force Centennial Commemoration Panel
    The Memory Project proudly presents our Royal Canadian Air Force Centennial Commemoration Panel in commemoration of the RCAF's 100th anniversary. Added this video towards the foot of our Armed Forces page.

    You can watch this at:

    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
    Added the 1923 edition which you can read at:

    Electric Scotland

    Clan MacDuffee
    Got in their Spring 2024 newsletter which you can read at:

    Bomber Harris
    Bomber Harris is a 1989 BBC television drama biography based on the life of Arthur Harris, who was Commander-in-chief of RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. Added this towards the foot of our Scottish Regiments page which you can watch at:

    I might add that I added this due to the wars in Ukraine and Israel as he was called out for many civilian deaths during WWII so thought it might add some perspective.

    Clan Iver
    An article from the Celtic Monthly magazine volume XVI (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Dwellings of the Labouring Classes
    Their Arrangement and Construction; with the essentials of a healthy dwelling, illustrated by references to the model houses of the Society for improving the condition of the labouring classes, of his Royal Highness the late Prince Consort, of the Royal Windsor Society, and other recent buildings, with plans and elevations of dwellings adopted to towns and to rural districts by Henry Roberts, F.S.A. (1867) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    A History of Glasgow Harbour
    Added a video to the foot of our Glasgow page which you can watch at:

    Clan MacIntyre Memorial at Glen Noe
    A plea for donations which you can read at:

    The Hamilton Papers
    Letters and Papers illustrating the political relations of England and Scotland in the 16th century formerly in the possession of the Dukes of Hamilton now in the British Museum edited by Joseph Bain FSAScot in two volumes (1892)

    You can read these at:

    The Caledonian
    An American Magazine founded in 1901. 1918 edition. (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Celtic Garland
    Translations of Gaelic and English Songs and Gaelic Readings, &c., &c., by Fionn (second edition) (1885) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Extracts from the Council Register of the Burgh of Aberdeen
    From 1398 onwards which you can read at:

    An Elegy in Memory of The Rev. John M'Alister
    By Peter Campbell in the Gaelic language (1853) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland
    Edited by George Powell M.Neill, M.A., LL.B., Vol. XXII. a.d. 1589-1594 (pdf)

    You can read these at:


    Sir Colin Campbell and the Ninety-third Sutherland Highlanders
    By George Murray Campbell

    On the initiative of The Daily Telegraph a strong committee has been formed, with Field Marshal Earl Roberts as chairman, to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Relief of Lucknow by a Christmas Dinner in the Albert Hall, London, to such of the Mutiny veterans as survive. It is a “far cry” from London to the Highlands of Scotland—especially at that time of the year, and few Highland soldiers may be able to attend. It has, however, been thoughtfully arranged that a Christmas hamper is to be sent to all those who, by reason of distance, old age, or sickness, may be unable to attend the dinner. But whether the Highland veterans attending the dinner be few or many, it will not be forgotten that at the Relief of Lucknow, and in the suppression of the Mutiny, the regiments they represent covered themselves with glory that shall never fade as long as there is a man left to wear the tartan.

    Highlanders may also be proud of the fact that in the darkest hour this Empire ever knew; when our' Rule in Hindustan was trembling in the balance; when every mail brought news of fresh disaster, and massacres of women and children, which sent a thrill of horror through the land, the one man to whom the Queen and country turned in the hour of need was a Highland soldier


    Old and war-worn though he was, his response to the call was worthy of himself and of his warlike race. He offered to start for India in a few hours. It was only the Queen’s strong desire to see him and wish him Godspeed, that delayed his departure till next day.

    Sir Colin Campbell was not favoured by fortune, or helped in his career by family influence. What he was, was due entirely to himself. At the age of sixty-four, with forty seven years of active service, from Vimiera to the Crimea, Sir Colin might well think that he was now entitled to an honourable repose. But there was, with him, no thought of repose when his Queen and country had need of his services.

    When Sir Colin, in his stirring farewell address to the


    before leaving the Crimea, used the words: “I am now old and will not be called on again to serve,” he little thought what was looming in the near future, or how soon he would be again leading one of the regiments he was then addressing—his favourite “93rd”—in a more arduous struggle than anything they had been through in the Crimea.

    During the progress of the war in the Crimea a feeling grew up between Sir Colin and the Highland Brigade, much like the old-day feeling existing between a Chief and his Clan. It began at the Alma where, under his leading, the Highland Brigade contributed so largely towards the glorious result of that day. Since then, alas! we have seen a Highland Brigade, put under the orders of a man who was utterly out of touch and sympathy: who, when they had done all that men could do, and were swept down by companies, with their heroic Brigadier killed at their head, had not a sympathetic or kindly word to say to them, though his unfitness to command caused the disaster.

    Ever since that day in the Valley of Balaclava when Sir Colin drew up “the 93rd” in that famous


    to meet the onset of the Russian cavalry, and showed his faith and trust in his Highlanders by saying to them: “There is no retreat from here; you must die where you stand,” receiving the cheery reply, which showed the regiment’s confidence in him, “Aye, aye, Sir Colin, we’ll do that!” the regiment was singled out as the object of his special regard. As a boy, I often heard a Sergeant Mackay, who was present, describe the scene. The dark mass of the Russian cavairv fast moving down on them. Sir Colin, till the last moment, riding up and down in front of the line to keep it steady. Not to prevent any unsteadiness towards the rear, but to prevent the eager soldiers from rushing forward to meet the advancing squadrons. He knew how much depended upon their steadiness—the momentous issues at stake. The possession of the harbour of Balaclava, and the food supply of the army, depended that day on Sir Colin and “the 93rd." Mackay used to say that every man expected to be ridden down, for receiving a charge of cavalry in line was then a thing unheard of. But Sir Colin had to make the most of his men in order to cover the length of space he had to defend; and he knew “the 93rd,” and they knew, and absolutely trusted him, and the result did honour to both.

    When Sir Colin arrived in Calcutta to take up the command-in-chief, in India he found a state of things gloomy and desperate enough to try even his iron nerve. Delhi, the historic Capital of the Mogul Empire, was in the hands of the mutineers. The besieging force, weak and badly equipped, was hardly able to hold its place on the Ridge, and its command was in weak hands.


    And a large number of helpless women and children, were shut up in the Residency with weak defences and short supplies. Havelock, who had arrived in Cawnpiir too late to prevent the awful massacre, had made several attempts to relieve it, but had failed, and was now at Cawnpur waiting for reinforcements. Agra was completely cut off from all communication, Calcutta itself was almost bare of military stores. But on the other hand, John Lawrence held the Punjaub and was sending every man he could get together under Nicholson, who was himself a very tower of strength, to Delhi. By the unparalleled devotion of a subaltern of Artillery, Lieut. Willoughby, who was in charge, the great magazine of Delhi was blown to the skies to save it from falling into the hands of the mutineers.

    Willoughby’s Heroic Act

    was of priceless value. It saved the stores; it struck terror into the hearts of the rebels; and it filled the heart of every white man in India with pride, and set an example of supreme soldierly devotion before them. Death alone was to be the limit of men’s devotion, and it was this feeling that saved India. The fortress of Allahabad, with large stores of all kinds, was in our hands. Sir James Outram, who had left Calcutta before Sir Colin arrived, gathered together all the force he could, anf joined Havelock at Cawnpur. This combined force, about three thousand men, under Havelock, in whose favour Outram had waived the command, made another attempt to relieve Lucknow. They fought their way in, but only to reinforce, not relieve, the garrison.

    Until the 27th October Sir Colin was in Calcutta getting stores together, forwarding troops as they arrived, and arranging transport and commissariat. He then left for the front. In the meantime he had the glad news that the head-centre of the mutiny (Delhi) was once more in British hands. He gave orders that all the troops who could then be spared from Delhi should form a camp at Bantrea, between Cawnpur and Lucknow, and there await his arrival. He arrived at Allahabad on the 1st November, Cawnpur on the 3rd, and at the Bantrea Camp on the 9th. Here he met another distinguished Highland soldier—Hope Grant—in command of the Ninth Lancers.

    Before the advance on Lucknow began, Sir Colin had his small army drawn up for inspection, No holiday or complimentary parade this, but a real inspection amidst


    What an anxious moment it must have been for him, on whose shoulders all the responsibility rested, and who well knew the desperate work his small force had to do before Lucknow could be relieved, and the women and children rescued from horrible massacre! Dead silence reigned as Sir Colin advanced along the line. Be sure every eye was fixed eagerly on him. Many of them knew something of the work before them, for they had just come from the Siege of Delhi. Few of them had ever seen him, and they were anxious to see the man whose lead they were to follow. Yet their anxiety could not equal his to see the men on whom so much depended.

    First came the guns from Delhi—black and war-worn, but with horses and men in perfect fighting trim—then Hope Grant’s Lancers and the Sikh Horsemen, then what was left of the 8th and 75th and some other infantry detachments; then two regiments of Punjaub Infantry—Nicholson’s Heroes—wild and fierce of aspect, swift on the march, foremost in fight and loot. As these fixed their eager gaze on him as he passed, some may have thought this is the fierce old warrior of the West, who fought and conquered our fathers at Chillian-walla and Guzerat, and the thought that be was now to lead them, would strengthen their hearts for the coming fight. But there comes a sudden change—it is no longer dead silence— Sir Colin has come to where there stretches away towards the left a


    and waving plumes. There stood the “Sutherland Highlanders”—his own favourite “93rd,” nine hundred strong. What a rousing cheer they gave the Chief they loved so well—how his rugged face lighted up as he acknowledged their Highland greeting—how it must have lightened his burden of care to feel that he had them again with him. The few words he spoke to them were indicative of the warm feeling existing between him and them. “Ninety-third! you are my own lads. I rely on you to do yourselves and me credit.” In reply, a voice gave expression to the feeling of the regiment: “Aye, aye, Sir Colin, we ken you, and you ken us. We’ll bring bring out the women and bairns or leave our ain banes there.”

    At daybreak on the 4th December the march to the relief of Lucknow began.


    has been so often described that its main features are now common knowledge. But it may interest your readers, especially those who are Cuttich, if I recall some incidents connected with Sir Colin and the Ninety-third which show the distinguished share the regiment took in the relief. Over and over again, when he found himself in a tight corner, and things looked black, Sir Colin called on “the 93rd" to open the way, often, it was hinted, to the exclusion of other “corps.” Well, if he did appear to show any partiality for his Highlanders, who can blame him! His mind was always fixed on the ultimate objective. He knew he could depend on “the 93rd.” He had tried them hard, and never found them wanting. The other troops were strangers to him; he could not risk failure. Think what failure, or even another check, might mean. He had with him, after leaving a force to hold Dilkoosha Park and other points in his rear, but three thousand bayonets, and between him and the Residency there were sixty thousand desperate men, well armed and drilled, fighting behind walls. Well might Sir Colin call out to “the Ninety-third,” when their eagerness to rush forward almost reached insubordination, and he hastened to their front to steady them,


    Every man of you is worth his weight in gold to England to-day.”

    The first serious check came when the column was jammed up in a narrow lane leading up to the rear of the Secundrabagh, from loopholes in which, and from the houses on both sides, a murderous fire poured. Sir Colin pushed guns to the front in order to make a breach in the walls. It was here, while the infantry were lying down behind an embankment waiting for the guns to do their work, that Sir Colin had to restrain the eagerness of the 93rd in the words I have quoted. While watching the work of the guns Sir Colin got a severe bruise from a bullet that had passed through a gunner. Without waiting for orders a Sikh officer rushed forward, followed by his men, and made for the breach. He was killed, and two European officers fell badly wounded. This stopped the advancement of the Sikhs, and Sir Colin, knowing the danger of any check, at once called to the colonel of the 93rd,


    Up sprang the 93rd, and rushed for the breach. The first man to get through was Corporal Donelly, killed on the instant. The next was a Sikh Subador, followed by Sergeant Murray and Captain Burroughs of the 93rd. Then the gate was forced open, the Highlanders and Sikhs rushed in, and the awful carnage began, and lasted for hours, till not a rebel was left alive. They fought with the courage of despair, for there was no escape from the death-trap in which they had been caught. The effect of the loss of so many priceless lives on Sir Colin’s temper may be gauged from his reception of Col. Ewart of the 93rd when he came to report that the place was in our possession, and present the colours he himself, wounded as he was, had taken. “Damn your colours, Sir, it is not your place to be taking colours; go back to your regiment this instant.”


    of all was met with at a great mosque, the Shah INujey, some distance further on. Peel’s guns, though splendidly served, had little effect on the strong wall which surrounded it, and his men were under heavy fire from the mosque and outlying enclosures, and many fell. Barnston and Wolseley led a gallant attempt to clear out these enclosures, but their men were raked by shot and shell, and the attempt failed. Sir Colin ordered Middleton’s battery to come up. This it did, with a rush through a storm of fire, close up to the wall, and poured in round after round, but with small effect. Matters were becoming grave—a crisis was at hand. Then Sir Colin rode back to where the 93rd were holding the village, and in a few stirring words told the regiment that at any cost the Shah Nujetmust be taken, and that he himself would lead them to the assault. With a cheer


    in grand style, with the hero of many battles at their head. The fire was terrible, and the men fell fast, but they neither stopped nor stayed till close up to the wall, which was twenty feet high and loopholed. There was no breach, and there were no ladders, and musketry fire had little effect. Truly, the crisis had come. But there was in the 93rd a Sergeant Paton who had that quality so priceless in a soldier, be he general or private, initiative. He searched along the wall in the jungle and scrub for a possible opening. He fortunately found one near the river. He brought the news to Hope, who got some men and rushed to the spot. Paton scrambled up first, then helped Hope and others, the men going in single file. The opening was then enlarged, and more supports rushed in, and the surprised mutineers fled. The great gates were opened, and the Shah Nujey was in our hands.

    Thanks to Sergeant Paton’s initiative the. crisis was over, and the relief of the garrison, which half-an-hour before was doubtful, was now assured, for the mutineers were now between two fires.

    Next morning, 17th, the Mess House, after being first well bombarded by Peel’s guns, was stormed by Captain Wolesley with a company of the 90th, and some men of the 53rd. Lieut. Roberts, who, in the very fitness of things, took the chair at the recent Christmas Celebration Dinner as


    hoisted a flag on the Mess House as a signal to the garrison that the relief was near. Welcome sight to those who held their own so long and suffered so much! Then the Matee Mahal was carried, and communication established with the garrison, when the historic meeting of Sir Colin, Outram, and Havelock took place.

    Sir Colin then made masterly arrangements for evacuating Lucknow. First the women and the children were got out to the Secundra-bagh; then the treasure, serviceable guns and military stores; and last of all, on the night of the 22nd, the garrison, the gallant Inglis, who had defended it so well, being the last man to leave the Residency. With such precision and quietness had all this been done that, after the garrison had left the Residency, the mutineers still kept up their fire, thinking it was occupied. On the 23rd the whole force was in the Dilkoosha Fort, Sir Colin himself remaining with the rearguard detachments till the last gun had safely passed in. On the 24th died, to the great grief of the army and his country, Sir Henry Havelock, one of the noblest heroes of the mutiny, where heroes were so many. On the 27th, after leaving Outram with four thousand men to hold the Alumbagh and keep Lucknow in check till his return for its reduction, Sir Colin started with the rest of the force, including the 93rd, to convey


    to Cawnpur, from whence they could be sent down the Ganges to Allahabad. For some days communication with Cawnpur had been cut off, and when from Bunnee heavy firing was heard from its direction Sir Colin had grave fears for the safety of Windham’s weak force, and especially of the bridge over the Ganges. Leaving the infantry to advance slowly, Sir Colin hurried on with the cavalry and artillery. But as the sound of firing increased so did his anxiety, and he galloped on accompanied only by an A.D.C. and his orderly. When he got near the bridge an officer reported Windham’s force as at “the last gasp.” Such language enraged the old Chief, and in very forcible language he asked the astonished officer how he dared to say that the Queen’s soldiers, with arms in their hands, were at the last gasp. He then galloped across the bridge. When the bridge guard, hearing the clattering, rushed out and recognised the foremost rider, they gave a cheer.

    The news spread like wildfire that


    the man who could hold the issues of battle in the hollow of his hand was in the camp, and that all would now be well. Tantia Topee, who had out-manceuvred Windham, knew it too, and all that it would mean for him. It is not given to many to exercise such influence as this. But what a power in war it puts into the hands of the man who has it. When his mere presence is a tower of strength, and his words are received and obeyed as if they were the very oracles of God.

    The Duke of Wellington, at one of


    told a story that well illustrates the influence of a strong man and a trusted leader. After the crossing of the Pyrenees, Hill’s Division was cut off from the main army by a sudden flooding of the rivers. One dark night Wellington crossed the river in a boat, accompanied only by an orderly. On arriving at the other side they were challenged by an Irish sentry, who threatened to fire if they did not give the word. This they could not do, but the orderly held up the lantern so that its light should fall on Wellington’s face as he stood in the boat. Just as he was about to fire, the sentry recognised the well-known features, and coming instantly to the salute, exclaimed


    I’d rather see it than ten thousand men.” The Duke said it was the greatest compliment he ever received in his life. And so it was, for the riches of the world could not buy it.

    Who shall forget the feeling of thankfulness and confidence with which the army and the country heard that the trusted leader who was in the chair at the Christmas Dinner had been appointed to the chief command in South Africa, when things were at their darkest. Highlanders felt that the Highland Brigade would then be again in the hands of a man who would know how to use it. Nicholson’s arrival on the Ridge at Delhi is another illustration of the same feeling of confidence and trust.

    Sir Colin found


    very grave. Windham had not adhered to the instructions he had received, and he was now shut up in his last intrenchments round the bridge-head, exposed to the fire of twenty-five thousand rebels led by Tantia Topee, the only real leader the mutineers had. Sir Colin contented himself with checking the rebels from molesting the bridge until the convoy from Lucknow had crossed, and was sent safely on its way to Allahabad. It took the convoy thirty-six hours to cross. On the night of the 3rd, women, children, and the wounded started in boats for Allahabad, and the “Relief of Lucknow” was complete. Here we will leave Sir Colin and the 93rd. They had to go through many a long march and severe fight together before Lucknow was relieved and the Mutiny suppressed. Of all the honours showered on Sir Cohn by a grateful Queen and country, those he prized most were a personal letter from the Queen, and an intimation from the Duke of Cambridge that he had been appointed Colonel of his favourite “93rd.” “I thought,” wrote the Duke, “that this arrangement would be agreeable to yourself, and I know that it is the highest compliment Her Majesty could pay to the 93rd Highlanders to see their dear old Chief at their head.”

    The following is an extract from the queen’s sympathetic letter:—

    “The Queen has had many proofs already of Sir Colin Campbell’s devotion to his Sovereign and country, and he has now greatly added to that debt of gratitude which both owe him.” But Sir Colin must hear one reproof from his Queen, and that is that he exposes himself too much: his life is most precious, and she intreats that he will neither put himself where his noble spirit would urge him to be—foremost in danger, nor fatigue himself so as to injure his health. . . To all European as well as native troops who have fought so nobly and so gallantly, and among whom


    Highlanders, the Queen wishes Sir Colin to convey the expression of her great admiration and gratitude."’

    To this touching letter Sir Colin replied :— “Sir Colin Campbell has received the Queen’s letter, which he will ever preserve as the greatest mark of honour it is in the power of Her Majesty to bestow. He will not fail to execute the most gracious commands of Her Majesty, and will convey to the Army, and more particularly to the 93rd Regiment, the remembrance of the Queen.”

    The Queen well knew the feeling existing between


    “More particularly to the 93rd,” wrote Sir Colin. We can picture the scene when Sir Colin paraded his favourite Highlanders to hear the Queen’s message, and also that he was now their Colonel. Honoured be the memory of the greatest soldier the Highlands of Scotland ever produced, and to his beloved “Sutherland Highlanders” the New-Year Greeting from a Sutherland lad is:—

    “Gum a alan, ’a gum a fallain,
    Le Gillean an fheilidh.”


    Scots in Burma

    We are indebted to our esteemed correspondent, Lieut. Iain Mackay Scobie, for a graphic account of the Caledonian Dinner held in Mandalay on St. Andrew’s Day, at which he and four native pipers of the 93rd Burma Infantiw discoursed pipe music “in appropriate fashion.” Durness will be proud of its scion. There were 42 Scots at that gathering, and between the haggis, usquebagh, menu quotations from Burns, and ”Highland Honours” on the top instead of under the table, these exiles from Auld Scotia seem to have had a particularly jolly time. Absence from home does not seem to have depressed them unduly! The Caledonians in Rangoon, Calcutta, Shanghai held similar gatherings, and altogether India and China seem to have had rather a wild time over celebrating Scotia’s patron saint. This event was actually attended by over 1,000 persons!


    Weekend is almost here and hope it's a good one for you.