A small-sized give away...

After several readers commented that they couldn't get Sew Hip magazine in their country/local newsagents/without leaving the house and having to tunnel their way through several feet of snow (delete as appropriate), I thought I might do a little giveaway of the issue that includes two of my articles (one a tutorial for a make-up bag, the other a long and geeky article on sewing machine feet) along with a little fabric goodness.

So as well as Sew Hip there are three polka-dotted Tanya Whelan fat quarters from her Grand Revival range and three half-metre long pieces of ribbon, picked for their delicious matchiness to the fabrics. I hadn't actually intended to match the little bundle to the title colours of the magazine, but regular readers will know how delighted I would have been when I noticed that I had done so inadvertently.

Last time I did a giveaway was a couple of months short of being two years ago and I asked what your favourite word was...I'm tempted to ask the same question again, as I loved reading the answers so much and because also such a list tends to be ever-changing. Last time Catherine named two of my own favourites (well, actually, they were new favourites, but on reading them my thought: was oh my goodness, how could I have not known that 'eiderdown' and 'marshmallow' were two of my most beloved words!) and for some reason it pleases me immensely to have my favourites pinned down.

However, so that I don't appear to be a complete one-trick-pony, I'm also going to ask you to tell me what your least favourite words are...those ones that make your skin crawl a little when you hear them for no apparent reason.

So anyway, before I go I ought to share with you my own liked and disliked words.

Favourite words: Eiderdown, Marshmallow (yes, yes, I'm a stealer), Lively (another favourite that I've adopted - this time from the little Teacakes), Bodkin, Rosy, Lemonade, Badger, Minty, Piglet, Apple, See-Saw, Cornerish, Wolf (because Dinosaur-boy says this word is the most delicious way - we often ask him to say it, just so that we can fall about oohing and aahing over it).

Least favourite words: Soothingly, Lotion, Stupid, Pleasure (even though I do occasionally use this word), Fronds, Dodgy, Miasmic, Bliss, Salivating, Cosseted, Stain....the list goes on.

Lurkers are most welcome to come out of the woodshed and announce themselves (without feeling bad for lurking at all, for I lurk on many blogs myself and know that often it is just through lack of time to comment, rather than a wish to hide in the corner...although sometimes it can be that too, for everyone takes to the corner occasionally).
I'm so looking forward to hearing your words and adding to my list of favourites...and not so favourites.


  1. hmmm, my name's Sara and I'm from Portugal. I follow your blog everyday. My favorite words are: strawberry ice cream, lemonade, trips, crafts, mother, laughs, summer and so on....

    less favorite: cold, sadness, deception, crying...


  2. hey two from Portugal :)))
    great giveaway, I wish I can win This :)))
    I really love the word Marshmallow, too!!
    and cheesecake, hedgehog,sweetness, hope,

    I don't like : envy, spew....
    This is not easy when it is not our birth language :)))
    hugs Isabel

  3. Oh gosh, Isabel - I hadn't even thought of that - of course - it's a more challenging question than I'd first thought - I'd love to hear any favourite words and what they mean from other languages too.

    I love the word hedgehog too. x

  4. Please don't include me in the giveaway as I have your lovely articles already but some favourite words are evanescence, clandestine, exhilarating, ethereal, delicious, cheeky and verisimilitude - especially since I looked it up to see what it means! Only un-nice word I can think of is bog (obviously the marshy sort!) Oh and pulchritude is an ugly word meaning beauty - I mean you wouldn't recognise it as a compliment if you were told you were pulchritudinous would you?

  5. I love your blog Florence - I managed to get hold of the latest copy of Sew Hip yesterday before the snow got bad, but I would love to get my snowy mits on the fab fabric and ribbons!

    Some of my favourite words include:
    vegetable (but only if you pronounce all the syllables!), conglomerate, discombobulated

    Least favourite words include:
    moist, luncheon and eggy

    Verity xx

  6. De-lurking!

    Words I like: bamboozle, turquoise, uproar, exude, cwtch, truffle, carousel, mousle (which may not be a word, but I like it all the same.)

    Words I dislike: rasp, tweeze, natty, guffaw, kiddies, folk, tresses, gyrate, lurk (!) ironically

  7. Ok, many words to think about

    Favourite - gumption, Bideford (love the sound when you repeat it quickly, try it!), love, giggles, Mariposa (don't ask!).

    Dislike - sick, ooze, palpate, pulsate (in fact anything that implies movement when there shouldn't be!)

    love the blog


  8. Goodness Siobhan - I don't think I've ever heard the word pulchritude in a context that would identify its meaning, so I'd always assumed that it meant quite the opposite.

    I can't believe I forgot to put in the word moist...I loathe that. I also dislike the word eggy, but hadn't really realised it.

    Jools - I'm with you on nearly every one of your disliked words - especially kiddies. However, I do quite like the word 'gyrate' as it's such a visual word that is so repugnant that I find it slightly comic. It makes me think of Ricky Gervais.

  9. Amongst others I can't bear the word 'groin' it just makes me go all crawly ....

  10. What delicious fabric, I'd love your giveaway. I always admire your projects.

    Fav words - hope, confuddled (do made-up words count?), ridiculous (just makes me laugh), giggle

    Words I'd rather not here - anything coarse!, nice, tasty

    Chris x

  11. I am also de-lurking (and I love your blog!)...

    I like the words: craft, billowy, wooly, la playa (the spanish word for beach), savanah, selvedge, feast, obfuscate...

    I don't like the following words: moist, mechanical, scratchy (makes me itchy), ratchet, lynchpin...

    I could probably go on forever, but I need to draw the line somewhere!

  12. My favourite words are twilight, gloaming, and westering - all beautifully evocative and poetic - and come to thing of it I love evocative and poetic, too.

    And my worst - well, I am not that keen on slang when it is used uncreatively, and I don't really like faux-genteel words like serviette, but there are very few words that I absolutely hate, because they all have their uses, but (and I am sure that this will reveal something deep and dark about my psyche) 'soiled' makes me shiver slightly with its connotations of prurience (and there's a slightly shivery word for you) - I much prefer 'dirty' or even mucky or grimy or grubby! And I mean that in the nicest possible way! Maybe grubbiness has to be Anglo-Saxon rather than Latinate - the Romans were a bit too obsessed with scraping off all that soil, I think, but I am sure that the Saxons just revelled in all that smoke and mud.

    Pomona x

  13. This is a really tough one, 'cos I think that when I like or dislike a word it's in my subconscious and at the moment I'm struggling to bring them to the surface!

    I like (and use) the word "fantastical" alot, I also like the word "Smoosh" as in when my daughter squahes her cheeks together and runs around the room shouting "Smoosh face!" and I like the word snuggle and Moople (which may or may not be a word, but I like it all the same).

    I dislike words like putrid, ooze, foul and phlegm. All those words that conjure up icky images. There you go, I like the word icky too :)
    (Are any of my liked words actual words?!)

  14. No Sew Hip to be had around here and still stuck in (more snow last night) so... Favourite words: furry, snuggle, elephant, smile, panda, rumble, bodgets (daughter's name for pockets when a toddler) twinkle. I also like marshmallow and a lot of other commenters' favourites

    Least favourite: Medication(especially when used pompously by Mother-in-law), nauseous, cringe, filth, slime. Definitely dislike kiddies and moist and particularly eggy.
    Will probably think of a dozen more once this has been posted.

    Husband is a teacher of English and classics who wrote a thesis on Medieval period so we also get some rather obscure words in use in our house!


  15. Hi Florence,
    Well done on matching the fabric and magazine so beautifully!
    My favourite word is luxury or luxurious :)
    My least favourite is clot, or clotted (just writing it makes me think of something cold and lumpy!)
    Gemma x

  16. I think I must be in a slightly magical mood, as the first three favourite words that sprung to my mind were bewitching, spellbinding and alchemy. I also love spindrift, grimalkin and talisman.

    The only word that really makes me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth is pullulate, possibly because I once heard something described as pullulating with maggots... I am a student, and am frequently irritated by my peers' linguistic laziness in using words such as 'jokes!', 'banter!' and 'standard!'.

  17. Oh, lovely goodies..

    Some favorite words are: antique, blossom, whisper, fairycake (even though they're called cupcakes over here),violet, baby, abundance and serendipity.

    My least favorites are carnage, pig and menstruate. I'm cringing just typing those!

  18. i have to say, i cringe every time i hear someone say "enthuse".

    i was just telling husband the other day about a word that i really liked, and now i've forgotten what it was! pooh. he was telling me, though, that he'd read some study somewhere (yeah, i know i'm being very specific here) about how in languages all around the globe, certain vowel sounds (the roundish ones) are correlated with words with "good"/"nice"/"pleasant meanings, and hard consonants are associated with the opposite sorts of words. isn't that interesting?!

  19. I would love to take part in your fine giveaway. :)

    My favourite English word is hippopotamus...and in Danish it's æbleblomst (apple flower).

    My least favourite English word is dandruff...and Danish word must smovse (which means eating sweets and snacks).

  20. Thank you for great giveaway!

    My favourite words are wild strawberries, anxious, sophisticated.

    And dislikes: penetrative, perpetual and cold.

  21. Hi there. Jennifer from Maidenhead here. My favourite words are picklebottom (I have two boy picklebottom's at home), pumpkinpie (my two boys are often called this too), Huggle and Snuggly

    My least favourite are:
    commute, geezer (I had a boyfried once that used this all the time....hated it!) and at the moment 'snow' - bah humbug I know, but we've had so much, I'm getting sick of it.

  22. I love the word perspicacity, but I always forget what it means.

    Among the words I hate ate moldy & moronic. I say among because I'm sure I could come up with more if I thought awhile!

    Love Sew Hip & don't see it often. The last time I found one I was so excited I bought it & got on a 5 hour flight home before I realised the patters were missing! Drat!


  23. Vanessa here from California...it's hard to think of favorite and least off the top of my head... for favorites: humuhumnukunukuapua'a (a type of Hawaiian fish)- I defy anyone to tell me that word is not fun to say! And least favorite, probably prune.

  24. I think one of my least favorite words is hate. I really don't like hearing my 5 year old daughter use this word. I live in the US but will be heading to the London area in April. I looked for this magazine last we were in England and couldn't find it. Any suggestions for shops that sell this and other English sewing magazines. thanks!

  25. I am a lurker in the UK. My Favorite words are love, mummy, snuggle, thankyou, oxymoron, turdgid!

    I dont like moist, spew, grate, kids (children all the way, kids are baby goats), Ta

  26. Please don't include me in the give away as I already have the magazine,although I wouldn't mind the material(something to use my new presser feet on).The words I dislike are kids,upcoming and babe,which always make me want to scream.


  27. I don't think I've got any particular favourite words but I don't like "gusset"!

  28. The word I love the most is...gorgeousness

    ....and the word I hate the most is phlegm (and now that yucky advert is on tv and has put a face to it!!)


    Sue xx

  29. My favourite word is ocean...

    My least favourie is vomit...

    I could go on in both catagories, but alot of the others have been said!

  30. Hello!

    My least favourite English words would have to be gooey and awkward. The latter mainly because I can't spell it correctly most of the time. :)

  31. Oh good grief where to start.
    Firstly my Nan says Frock and slacks instead of dress and trousers, hate those.
    Mucus, slug, sluggish, oh so awful
    My absolute most hated word in the entire world is `PUKKA` OMG I hate that stupid word.
    My husband hates when I say `pedantic`, so I am and say it a whole lot. He then hates it if I say he is a `pedant`. Oh I am awful. There are a few more but theres your starter for 10.
    If phrases count, I loathe 24/7, so annoying.

  32. hi, im a lurker (another nasty) my favourite words are;
    hove,grace,japonica,rowing boat.

    least favourite, tarantula, ghastly, nightmare, broken, dying. i cant think of a more awful word then dying.

    now im crestfallen, which seems more crest then fallen. xxx

  33. Ooh such a lovely giveaway Florence.
    Favourite words include dusk and twilight because of the connotations - fire lit, gentle light, birds singing themselves to sleep.

    Hate: moist, sludgy, damp...eughhh!

  34. My favorite word at the moment is Precious (which is what I call my children even though they are 25 and 29 now.) My least favorite word is Putrescence which means putrid matter - ick! (I learnt that one from The Princess Bride).

  35. I cannot remember, if I have ever commented on your blog, so I might be de-lurking or not. For many years ago I used to live in Tanzania and some of my favourite words are in Swahili. (yes, I still use them randomly). Here goes: Dudu (any creepy-crawly), takataka(rubbish) and swalapala(impala).
    I cannot think any of my least favorits just now...I do have them though.

  36. I despise the word retard. Hearing children use is at insults toward each other really makes me cringe.

    My two favourites are bosie, and snuggle. Bosie being a NE scots word for a hug.

    sal. x

  37. What a fun way to have a giveaway!!
    Favorites: Rad, lovely, horrible, vegetable, hope, monkey, conundrum(though I'm sure the spelling is off)
    Words I do not like:juicy & owie are all I can think of!

  38. Hi, I'm Melinda from New Zealand and I'm coming out of the lurking corner!

    My favourite words are sphagnum (as in sphagnum moss) because it is such a cool word to say and I quite like saying crisps because we call them potato chips here and again, I just like saying it.

    My least favourite is moist (I see I'm not the only one!)

  39. Hello,
    I do believe I have posted before but maybe not....I tend to lurk a lot. But am trying to get more comments down.
    Loving the RAK, those fabrics are gorgeous and as I am just starting out sewing the mags and fabric would be ideal for me.
    So my least fave word is Trump....oooh it makes me cringe just typing it. I cannot stand it for some strange reason!!! A fave word is vintage, maybe because I adore vintage items.
    Micayla x

  40. like - moribund and pekinese and chocolate (predictable - but said with a certain relish) - bonkers
    really don't like - arctic (v cold here at present) butcher - prudent - negligee - rat (yuk) - angle-poise - caricature
    Northumberland - (I like that word too!)
    take care

  41. Hi - and thanks for offering such a lovely give away.

    My favourite words include smile, giggle and chuckle (something we could all do more?)

    Least favourite, disingenuous. A long word for an ugly trait?

    Thanks very much, Helen

  42. I never think about what words I love and hate, but I will give this a try.

    Words I love: serendipty, dodecahedron, yummy,

    Words I hate: all curse words, f***, slut. I hate to even type these!!


  43. I must block all the words that I really, really hate as I am finding this hard. Three shockers that do come to mind are panties (ugh!), chrissie and pressie. The last two are particularly awful Oz abbreviations that get used way too much at this time of year.

    I once read that someone (Tolkein, maybe?) declared the words 'cellar door' to be the most beautiful sounding words in the English language. I've always remembered that even though I don't have much chance to use them.

    Thank you for the giveaway chance. And, I did love the igloo. It was just magical.

  44. great give-away ... great choice of words proceeding me ... my least liked/hated word is stupid, whilst my favorite is lovely ... love your blog ...

  45. Hi! Thanks for posting such a great give-away! I actually considered ordering a copy of SewHip to be sent to me in WA State, but decided the expenditure would be too much.

    My favorite words are: possibility (thanks, Emily Dickinson!), joy, vivacity, and scrumptious.

    My least favorite words are crouch (seriously, what an icky sounding word!), snack (sounds very unlike something I enjoy eating everyday), putrescence.

  46. Missouri gal here - I stumbled into your site a week ago and I am in love I must say.

    My favorite and least favorite words happen to be the same word. Just depends on the tone,the amount of whine, etc.

    My word is Mom.

  47. Hello Florence, I would like to participate in. My favorite English word at the moment is "penumbra"; I just like the sound of it, not the meanings. The word I do not like is "soothing" both in English and in Japanese. Thank you. Chloe Patricia

  48. Lurker FP Wear here:

    I like most words - except when they are used improperly, or inexactly.

    I do not like 'pith helmet'. And orientate. (what happened to orient??)

    Thanks for the fun blog!

  49. Easy. Some of my favourite words are:

    Tiramisu, lazy Sundays (oops ... two words), tadpoles, babies, love.

    And from my least favourite list:

    Awesome, global, male person (as in police description - what's wrong with "man"?).

    I bought a copy of Sew Hip a few months back while we were travelling through England. I've searched high and low here in Australia for a copy, but so far without success. I'd really love to read your articles, so hopefully I'll find a way.

  50. Hi!
    My favorite word is astounding and I don't like mushroom ^^
    Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

  51. Lurker here!

    Some fav words: Scrumptious, Toile, Chimera (strange one I know), Tickle, Pudding, Smidgen

    Worst words: Insentivise, Cunning, Sick (when used to describe something good), Anchovy


  52. Oh dear, I have just realised that I am a lurker - perhaps that should now become my least favourite word because it's not a very nice thing to be really, is it? Anyhow, in order to redeem myself can I just tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I've been reading it for about 6 months now and it's one of my favourites. Also, I read your article in Sew Hip on Sunday night, the eve of patching together a huge patchwork quilt and suddenly realised that I could not possible start until I had a walking foot. Off I pelted (fave word? Pelted) to my 'local' sewing shop (35 mile round trip- I live in the middle of nowhere) to purchase said foot - well, what can I say? Talk about a moment of revelation?! Have just spent 3 solid days patching and all the time marvelling at the difference it makes! THANK YOU so much for pointing out something which, after 25 years of sewing, I had yet to learn! It's my birthday soon and I may just ask for another foot - geek-tastic!!

  53. I'm so glad to see I'm not the only lurker!! I'm Alison from the UK and am lurking here on a regular basis - glad I got that off my chest!

    I may be too late for the giveaway but don't mind as I've been thinking of my fav and least fav words...

    favourite - (note the 'U') - meadow, spring, strawberry, gooseberry, tigerlily, humdrum, pearl, moon, moonbeam, snowdrops, robin.....

    least - baby, panties (my inlaws have taught this to my daughter for her knickers - was not impressed!), scrape, nice (must be a teacher thing), wallflower, waine (northern irish for baby)....

    will get back to my lurking now but promise to try and say hello once in a while - bit shy!!

  54. Hi there I'm also from portugal :), my name is Edite.

    Favourite words: Friendship (amizade), craft(artesanato), bright (claro), yellow (amarelo), warm (quente), cloud (nuvem).

    Less favorite: table (mesa), rain (chuva)

    I putted the translations of the words in portuguese, this way you can learn a few words :)



  55. Well as I'm both a lurker and someone who hasn't been able to get a copy of the magazine, I just have to leave a comment!
    Favourite word is: candytuft.
    Not too sure why, but I think it has something to do with a Topsy and Tim story.
    Least favourite: jargon - both the word itself and also when people engage in it. Such a waste of a wonderful language!
    P x

  56. Hi Florence, just come across your blog and love it!

    What a fab giveaway you have here. One of my favourite words is Tiggle - yes Tiggle! Both me and my sister say that instead of tickle, not sure why! It annoys my boyfriend no end which is why i think I like it sooo much!

    Least favourite word ..... tissue...not so much the word itself, but how some people pronounce it. There are several others like that too, they give me the creeps!!

    Rachel x

  57. HI Florence. I am a long-time lurker and find your posts and ideas very inspirational.

    My favourite words are: lullaby, blush and seashell.

    My least favourite words are: tardy, smart and luxe. I think I dislike luxe the most of all!

  58. Hi florence, I remember the last time you did this challenge to us, and it's even harder now.
    I choose love, quilt, and cheesecake which is a word my daughter uses all the time as a term of affection.

    I don't like expected, hate, and any complicated maths words that keep coming up in homework like parallelogram - bluergh....

  59. another lurker here! I really like your writing style, it's so easy to read and informative.

    pleasing words: duvet, fecundity, flump,

    unpleasing words: gusset - I never think bags, only pants / tights!

    By the way - I'd be really, really interested in a post on how to do neat purse ends on zippers, that I think you mentioned previously. I can never quite get them to sit right!

    peace x

  60. Hi Florence, I met you at wemake (one of the outcasts!) and then found your blog a little later, and have been lurking since then.

    I have skipped right to the end of the comments to add my contributions, so if these are repeats I apologise.

    Favourite words: onomatopoeia, and Scottish weather words such as dreech and haar, even though the weather they describe is miserable, the words sound beautiful!

    My most hated word isn't a word but an abbreviation (does that count?) - "Sat-Nav". Others include kiddies (so patronising), panties, gusset, slither.

    I will now go back and read everyone elses contributions.

  61. I just had to pop back and add the curse word that my son and I use so much but is perfectly acceptable and quite funny but really very satisfying.

  62. favourite words include hop pamplemousse
    least favourite - bleak gloomy

  63. I've just recently found you and LOVE what I've read so far. I'm going to try the make-up bag tonight, I hope.

    What a challenge to think of words I love and hate. Reinforces the fact that the words we choose are so important and yet we often don't give them much thought!

    Words I love: b-e-a-u-tiful (it is so fun to say spelled out this way and always helps me spell this word correctly), sweetness, LOVE, HOPE, and scrumptious

    Words I really don't care for: spew and vomit, as have already been mentioned, and functionality (because it sounds like a made-up word and it was overused in a copier training meeting once-upon-a-time) lol

  64. Hi Florence,

    I'm a lurker coming out the woodshed, from New Zealand!

    My favourite words are:
    hedge, countryside, pudgy, custard, moonlight, flotsam and jetsem... so many. I also love the way the French say, 'impossible'.

    I dislike the words,
    relict (very ugly word).

    Love your blog. Thanks for doing a giveaway.


  65. hi i found this really interesting and i have enjoyed reading all the comments,i like the words snuggles and cake and really dislike the children using the word stupid!

  66. Lurker popping out into the open!
    Hi - lovely blog.

    Funny as I don't actually like the word lurker!
    This is quite hard to think of words!
    Dislike: whateva!, scrape.

    I know need to think I need to find a favourite word!

  67. I'm from Baltimore, Maryland. I've never commented before. That Lego sewing machine is fabulous.

    One of my least favorite words is "super duper" - altogether too cheery for me.

    Thanks for your great blog!

  68. Another (Belgian) lurker comes out of the shadows..

    My absolute favorite word is shenanigans. Whenever I see the movie Juno and Ms. Page says the line "I mean I'm already pregnant so what other kind of shenanigans can I get into?", it just cracks me up.

    I never really thought about my least favorite word, but deadline is the first that comes to mind (January = college exams).

  69. Hello there!
    My favourite words are: depleated, slouch, monkey, onomatopoeia, zig-zag, lollypop, connotation, calculator, discombobulate (one of the most fun words to say in the English language, possibly a fact) I also like words that are great to add/change bits to like saying "edumication" and "spooniversity".

    The words I hate: a five lettered p word that isn't nice to mention (related to a cat), minging, moist, dyslexic, cancer, 'innit', 'deffo', 'mate', cringe, 'a-ma-zing', how American's pronounce aluminium (i'm sorry!).

    Sorry there is so many! I could go on but I feel like a should cut myself off hehe!

  70. Hi! A little note from the Netherlands. My favorite words are mesmerized, bamboozeled, lovingly and squirrel.
    Which is in Dutch: gebiologeerd, bedonderd, liefdevol and eekhoorn.
    And I like the way english speaking people pronounce my name. It should be pronounced as Mareeker though :)

  71. Words I like: dichroic, luxuriate, lambswool, cabochon, streamer, fluke, gateau (!)

    Words I dislike: cagoule, cashmillion (this really creeps me out, it doesn't sound luxurious at all!), clerk (I just don't feel comfortable trying to pronounce it), mousy (as in hair colour, just sounds so dull), shirk

  72. De-lurking! A relative newbie to your blog, but it's one I really enjoy reading.

    A number of my favourite words are sweary ones, but I'll spare you those! I also like brouhaha, soothe, havers (a Scottish word which means nonsense), quine (that's Aberdeen doric, it means girl or woman) and wibble (especially when said in a Blackadder style)

    I don't like corpulent, puce or 'ew' (especially when it crops up in American teen films)


  73. hey, i have two favourite words:
    callipygous - having beautifully shaped buttocks :P

    querido - (i think) means darling in spanish :)

    my least favourite are:
    grease - just the way it sounds

    aneuch - scottish for enough - im never sure how to pronounce it!:P

  74. Hi, I am one of the lurkers and would love to participate in your giveaway.. :D I'm a Malaysian residing in Japan.
    My favourite words currently are: kawaiiii (cute), summer and botang (button in English and butang in Malay language)
    Least fav words now are: winter, snow, cold...basically anything to do with winter.
    Love your work..you are an inspiration..

  75. Hello Florence. What a great posting; I've loved reading the comments.

    I can't bear kids, frock, slacks, posh, bosom or fag.

    Whereas comfy and potter are absolute favourites, closely followed by clutter, bumptious, glumptious and scrumptious! Blog or blogger is also creeping up there too! :-)


  76. Hi, another lurker here!

    Some fav words: tortoise, phenomenal, marshmallow

    Some least fav words: can't, feet, exactly



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Florence x