Music, Swords and Magic...

Here are all the old blog entries prior to the installation of a real blog system. I don't want to throw them away because it's part of the history of that website (I never throw anything away anyway... ask my mother, it drives her nuts!).


Jul. 14th 2008 / Japan Expo (part 1) /

volguen.com version 4.1.1

A few days ago, I went to Paris to spend some time and meet many friends at the Japan Expo. It's a really huge mange/anime/video games fair and it's a good oportunity for me to catch up with friends I only see once or twice a year. Anyway, this year, I decided to brough something back I'd share with you...

Basically, I recorded videos of card tricks I did to a few artists I met at the fair. You can watch these videos on my newly updated card trick page or watch a playlist I created on Dailymotion. Feel free to comment if you feel like it or if you were one of the people being tricked (in a magical way, of course ^^). There are a few more videos coming but let me already thank at lot: Maeva, Rann & Alix, Morigane & Minablue, La petite araignee and Fahr Sindram for their time. All the people who hold the camera for me (Sheron, Cyril, Nube, Saki and Edo for the ones I know...). And let me give special thanks to Paka because he was so hilarious and Virak because she was so kind!

I hope you'll like this new kind of videos. If so, let me know and I'll make some more. By the way, all the people you'll see in the videos are talented artist so, please do visit their pages as indicated in the videos. I'll list them all in my next blog entry.


Jul. 12th 2008 / Final Countdown /

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Final countdown to my... Ph-D. Basically, during the month of June, I had to make a few important decisions including some about the end of my Ph-D. So, the bet is that I might be able to make it on time. Which would be nice because then, I wouldn't have to work for free in order to finish but it also means that tight deadlines are coming and the pressure is rising. Basically, it also means that I might be Doctor Laruelle in about a year from now. I've seen so many friends going through this lately that I really want to see what it feels beside the stress, frustration and insane load of work required to finish in time. Anyway, on a side note, you can already be sure that sometime in June 2009, there will be a freaking hell of a party you don't want to miss around Utrecht if I survive the next 12 month of academic life. Of course, this is the ideal timing for an update of my website, isn't it? ;-)

The truth is that I don't like to leave my website without touching it for a long time like I just did. I often think that it may not be worth the effort considering the time it takes me, the fact that I seem to be unable to keep a blog up to date, the fact that I have so few visitors... But I'm kind of proud of this site, I had fun creating it, I have fun, updating it, and even if I only have a couple of visitors per day, it really makes me happy. So, here I go again, and time shall tell if I manage to keep regular updates or not but this website is here to stay! And there are quite a lot of things I want to share with you: new medieval clothes and videos, new card tricks (plenty of thoses in the next updates) and soon, new MUSIC! Yeah, that's the idea isn't it? So, stay tuned and see you soon.

One more thing: I temporarily remove the alternative designs from the website. I want to improve them and to stop carrying around unfinished stuff. Bottom line is: with this update, I removed things from the website... well... I swear it won't become a habit.


Jan. 2nd 2008 / New year /

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I won't pretend to be original today but I wish you a happy 2008. Even if I haven't been as regular as I wished in updating this website, I had a lot of fun doing it. I'm allways glad to get comments and feedbacks on my music, card tricks, recipes etc... so I'll keep providing new stuff and updates. I'll also try to keep on improving the webiste as such and I hope you'll like the latest update. Of course, I changed so many things at the same time that I expect a few bugs here and there so feel free to let me know about that. I'll do my best to be back soon with new stuff and I might tell you a bit about what I did lately but, right now, I just can't wait to upload the version 4.0 of my website ^^.

Enjoy the new year, let it be succesfull for you all and let's hope fortune and health will be on you side!

Nov. 5th 2007 / ICED EARTH + annilator + TURISAS /

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I went to a pretty cool concert last Thursday! I was quite sick actualy but a last minute conviencing call from Reinier and I don't regret. Iced Earth is really great live and Tim Owens has an amazing voice! I won't spend (waste?) too much time on Annilator which didn't impress me a lot but I want to share with you the surprise I had when I saw the first band Turisas


Watch and listen to this cover of Boney M's Rasputin and you'll have a fair idea of what I saw live!

I don't want to look like I'm lazily leaving my website so I upladed a few new videos of card tricks. However, the news of this update will be the creation of a Myspace webpage. A lot of people advised me to open a page on the site and it looks like an interesting comunity for musicians. So, if you also a myspace account, feel free get in touch with me and send a friend request. I'm not really familiar with the way everything works yet and I'll have to 'pimp up' my profile but, hopefully, I'll learn all this soon enough.
My 'standard' profile: http://www.myspace.com/volguen
My 'musician' profile: http://www.myspace.com/volguenmusic


Oct. 29th 2007 / Halloween /

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Once again, I work on big updates and my website doesn't change at all for a whole month... So, here's what I'm going to try to do: every monday, I'll update my blog regardless of any other modification on the website and when I have some more stuff, it will be part of the update as well. So, if I make a significant update, I'll send everyone a newsletter but I won't bother you if I just update the blog. That should also be a way for this to realy become a blog. Some friends on mine told me that they never really know what I've been doing lately. Now, you'll just have to read this and you'll know ! ^^
I don't know if you already celebrated Halloween and if you even plan to do so but I did on Saturday with my friends from the noorderwinds. Reinier and Veya organized a party where everyone was dressed and I was... Gene Simmons from Kiss (I supposed you already guessed thanks to the picture anyway)! I want to thanks again Shanna for this wicked idea and the make-up. This was hilarious and we ended up at the stairway to Heaven "dancing" on the stage on a playback of "I was made for loving you"... You know, I'm a pretty shy person usually and I'm still amazed by what we did, how much fun it was and how well people reacted to it (some even asked to be taken on picture with us ^^).

On a side note, I updated a bit the card trick and sword fighting pages but much more is to come with respect to the site... stay tuned!


Sep. 30th 2007 / Some new music... at last! /

volguen.com version 3.2.5

Here it is, at last! This website is meant to be a 'musical website' so it was time for me to come with new stuff. Today, I add a short symphonic/metal opening. That's actually the kind of music I like to write: a mix of heavy guitar and orchestral parts. I hope you'll like it as well. It's named overture because, on the long run, it might be part of a group of a few pieces with an 'opera-like' structure. It's just an idea for the time being so I'm not too sure yet about where I plan to go with that. Anyway, I have quite a few ideas at the moments and several musical 'projects'. This didn't happen in a long time and I'm very glad to feel again like the musician I used to be. Hopefully, there will be a few new pieces created before the end of the year and then it will be time to compare 2007 with 2006 which was, I have to admit, not very productive.

By the way, speaking of updates, I didn't update my recipe section in a long time and I feel like my card tricks aren't so popular... so what would like for the next update? A recipe for a desert or for a main course ? ^^

Now, I'm just adding something a bit more personal because I felt bad about that all week long. I lost on of my cats last week-end and it really hurts. This cat lived at my parent's so I couldn't see her (Chatran was her name) very often anymore but I'm really going to miss her. I wasn't even in high school when we got her and she lived for such a long time that I forgot that, one day, I'd come home and she wouldn't be there anymore... So long Chatran.


Sep. 20th 2007 / Still alive... under a Quiet snow /

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Actually it's not snowing at all here even if the summer already seems long gone. I just want to talk a bit about the work of a friend of mine who kindly drew this picture for me. What about the snow then? Well, her website is named Quietsnow and it's worth a little visit. She's been drawing since... a while and a large collection of her work is gathered in her galleries featuring original characters, collaborations, fanarts and even some old comics (in French). There's really a lot of content and you'll see how her style improved, especially over the past two years. Some pictures from several anime/manga conventions she attended are also collected (since 1998!). If you keep browsing around, you'll find a satellite where she describes a universe she created and some galleries of characters coming out of her imagination. Well I guess I should stop here so that you still have some things to discover when you visit her website, have fun!

Now, I guess I owe some apologies for this break of almost a month without any update... I guess I can just say that I've been quite busy with my work and in a mood to rest more than anything else whenever I had time. I also had quite some trouble finishing up a music I've been working on for a while. However, I finally found out how to wrap this up so it should end up online pretty soon. Now, I also have my fancy new cards from ellusionist and I'll change my card trick page soon. In the meanwhile you can have a look at a new video I recorded with one of my new decks. It's called 'clean up' and... well, go and have a look, will you?

Now, I have a funny (and very cute) game for you if you want to give a try (click here). You have to help the bunny climbing as high as possible. I once managed to score 123560 points but I think I was lucky because I never got any close to that since then (but I made a screen capture if you don't believe me. If you like this game, feel free to tell us what is you best score in the comments. ^^

PS: The first album of my friend Maëva, 'Les elfes de la Miloria' is still on sale. More information is available here, go and buy it if you live in France, you have no excuse!


Aug. 22th 2007 / Mercury and sword fighting (yes, again) /

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Noorderwind again... I guess most of my summer was to be spent under the protecting shadow of a sword this year. ^^ After the huge fun I had all 4 days long with my fellow dutch knights during CastleFest, the second highlight of my summer was the summer school of medieval sword fighting organised by the Noorderwinds. This was a really cool experience and I had the chance to take part (to some degree) in the organisation by being the mentor with Thierry of a group! I really liked the whole atmosphere and was impressed by the level achieved in only 5 days by some of the participants. Looking forward to do it next year again and 'Go Tigers'.

The only drawback of all this is that I didn't have much time to spend working on music lately. I still have something going on right now but I can't quite manage to finish it properly. I expect to be done with it this week-end. Anyway, I couldn't leave my website too long without any update so I quickly recorded a card trick lat night. It's a slightly modified version of 'Mercury'. I actually thank Thierry for giving me a precious idea about this trick. I tried to make somewhat of a video clip with some music and credits at the ends but I think it doesn't look so great unfortunately. So, any comment is welcome to help me improving this. Anyway, I'm going to chance the whole 'Card Trick' page in the near future and record videos with a better quality and... much better cards ! Look at these cards! I'm going to buy a whole bunch of them, I think they really look terribly sick!

On a side note, I would like to draw the attention of everyone who lives in France to the fact that TOMORROW (i.e. 23th of August), the first album of the talented illustrator Maëva hits the stores. It's named 'Les elfes de la Miloria' and the scenario was written by Ylric. More informations are available here but don't miss this gem!


Aug. 10th 2007 / Castlefest again /

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Yes, I know, Castlefest again... But man, that was cool! And, so that I can share it with you, I created a new section on my website (how nice, isn't it? Ok, this was already planed ^^). Anyway, from now on, I'll have a few galleries with pictures of the last medieval fair I attended, the last country I visited for a conference or... well, we'll see what ends up there... Of course, my first thoughts were for the noorderwinds and the three first galleries gather photographs taken during our last outings in Rijswijk (twice) and Castlefest, last week-end. Unfortunately, I don't have any picture of our shows but I suppose it would have looked somewhat awkward to see one of the guards shooting with a camera.

These 4 days in the middle age were really great. The shows went quite well (as far as I can judge since I spent half of my time lying dead on the grass ^^). I thank Shanna and her family for their hospitality. The weather was really nice (I won't dare to say too hot because, in the Netherlands, every sunny day is good to take). I'm just a bit disappointed because I didn't find a sword I really like and I guess I'll have to order online something that really suits me. Anyway, except this little detail, CastleFest 2007 was really great for me (Yeah, I put a link there in case you still don't have any clue what I'm talking about). Looking forward to next year...


Aug. 1st 2007 / Castlefest /

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Hi everyone, I wish you all a merry August! I'm in a cheerful mode and a bit stressed at the same time actually. Tomorrow, I go to Lisse for the final rehearsal of the Noorderwind's show before Castlefest which takes place this week-end. This is (partially) the reason why I won't have time to make any significant update on the website this week (just corrected a couple of mistakes and added a new link). However, I thought I still could post a new entry here because... well that's my blog after all. ^^

Joking aside, I've been looking forward to this event for a long time and I think we're going to have a lot of fun there. Hopefully, I'll come back with plenty of pictures and videos so that I can share this with you all. Since this medieval stuff looks a bit weird to some of my friends, I don't expect anyone outside my sword fighting group to come along and not so many of my friends in France really looked receptive. However I thank all those of you who showed interest in this. As usual, you know who you are/aren't and I love you (cheerful mode, I warned you!). By the way, I installed this system to allow comments about two month ago and I have to say I'm quite pleased to see that it's actually being used. ^^ I barely ever post myself on other people's blog and I thought I didn't have enough visitors to really justify this system. Obviously you proved me wrong and I'm really glad about that as well.

All of this to say that I expect this month to be a cheerful one and I wish you all again a merry August. See you next week with -hopefully- pictures, videos and not too many scars


Jul. 26th 2007 / Some music and a few changes /

volguen.com version 3.2.0

It's been a rather busy week (and it's still far from being over actually ^^) but I managed to find some time to work on my site and this week's update is a big one. First of all, I have a new music for you. It's a cover from Metallica that I slightly modified my way. I actually added a few classical instruments to the song 'Fade to Black' and you can download the result from the music section. I hope you'll like it and, for those of you who don't this famous metal standard, I really encourage you to find and discover the second album of Metallica. I also spent some time on the design of my website and I would really appreciate to get some feedbacks from you about this. I think it's a funny feature to have three different lay-out available and I'm curious to know which one you like best. Obviously, the one named 'simplicity' wasn't looking so great until now but I hope you'll like the modifications I made.

On a side note, today was a great day for me because I got my guitar fixed! For several month a low noise has been growing louder and louder to a point where it was a real pain. I've been pretty unlucky with my music for the past year and a half actually. First, I work for month on a project without being able to produce anything that really satisfied me (a very very frustrating experience), then my computer was stolen with several years of my musical work (I know, I know... make back-ups dummy) and finally, my guitar freaks out... So, I'm glad now because everything starts getting better. I found again confidence in what I can create, I'm catching up with all the work I lost and I start making new mp3 again (reason why I what this site to look decent ^^). With my guitar fixed, I'm finally back and ready to rock the world again (yeah, I know, I'm getting a bit carried away but this is my blog after all, isn't it?)!

Last thing, as you can see, I now have links towards other blogs of friends, colleagues, hippopotamuses... so if you're interested in a link exchange (or if you're angry because you expected your blog to be in this list already, just let me know! Have fun and see you next week with more music now that my precious Ibanez is ready again to get loud! ;-)


Jul. 16th 2007 / Medieval Sword Fighting /

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The update of this week was one of the pages I already had in mind when I started to create my website. I want to tell you about 'de Orde der Noorderwind', a group of medieval sword fighting and reenactment I joined a couple of years ago. Actually, the first week-end of July, we were at this event in Gorinchem and it was really nice. People were very friendly, the public (and especially the kids) were very enthusiastic during the fights. All in all, a really great experience for me even if I'm pretty desappointed with my personal performance... well, I'll d better next time! ^^

On a side note, I added a new card trick. I think the quality of the video is better (even if it's not quite yet a paramount production) and I hope you'll like it. I'd like to make a bit of video editing before putting those videos online but I don't know much about this so if you have a software to suggest me, please leave me its name on a comment. I also added a new link in my acknowledgments section which could be useful to whoever wants to learn about html, css, php and all these topic... but you have to understand French unfortunately. There's no English version of this website for the time being.


Jul. 11th 2007 / Meetings and Maliki /

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It's funny to see how we meet people. Unexpectedly in a train or purposely at a conference and sometimes, you go somewhere to meet some people and end up meeting someone else... I'm "talking" about this today because I experienced pretty much all of this during the last few days and I have to say that I never get bored of it. First, I thank 'Laurent du train' for this unexpected, nearly endless and really nice discussion in the train on my way to Paris. One of those meetings you could never plan but makes life so fun. So, what the hell did I do in Paris by the way?
I went to Japan Expo. It's a large french manga/anime/video games convention were I meet many friends every year but it's also the opportunity for me to meet new people: cosplayers, young french illustrators, german mangaka... this year was again full of beautiful surprises. So, if you were at Japan Expo or in one of those trains, feel free to drop me a line and be sure that it was really nice meeting you!
Now, I also want to tell publicly how glad I am that I got a dedication from Maliki at Japan Expo and how much I thank Christelle for helping me to get it. This website is in french but it really is worth a look. Every Tuesday, there is a new strip with the funny or touching adventures of Maliki and her silly cats. So, thank you Souillon if you ever drop by this webpage and Maliki, you rock!
Last, partially because of Japan Expo, I didn't update my site last week so I now upload a new recipe (a cake with peers and chocolate nuggets) and I'll add a new page in the miscellaneous section this week-end. I've had this page in mind for a while (hint: swords, knights and wind should be good keywords for this new page ^^). I'm also going to add a whole bunch of links soon so, if you're interested in a link exchange, let me know!


Jun. 28th 2007 / The salmon and the sword /

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Let's be honest, this title is ridiculous. I first thought it could sound a bit like an old tale featuring dragons and brave knights and swords and... a salmon? O_o In fact, I chose this title because I essentially want to talk about two things today: salmon and swords... First, the salmon because, as you can guess with this picture, the update of the week is a new recipe with salmon. I was very glad to get comments about the previous recipe so I'll keep on adding some.

The sword is related to the update of next week. I want to add a new page to tell you about the Noorderwinds. It's a group of medieval sword fighting and re-enactment I joined about two years ago. I hope this can be of some interest for you and, as a teaser, here is a short video of our last practice. This is also, for those of you who were worried, to show that my toe and my elbow are getting better. ^^

Let me just add that, while my dutch is fairly bad, it's not quite as terrible as it sounds on the video. It was done on purpose and you will have all the explanations next week with the next update and, hopefully, much more stuff. I also plan to add new links during the next update and particularly some links towards blogs that I will put on this page. So, if you could be interested in a link exchange, just let me know.


Jun. 22nd 2007 / Let's cook /

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Something stupid happened to me last week-end: I fell in my bathtub, breaking one of my toes and injuring my left elbow in the process. Actually the worst feeling in all this is that you feel really ridiculous to hurt yourself that way. ^^ Anyway, this prevents me to make my update of the week that I'll dedicate to three persons: Claude because it's her birthday today and Roxane and Marinka because they've been waiting for this for some time now... So, here comes the first (but certainly not last) recipe of this website. Check out the miscelanious section. As a matter of a fact, I had to start with one of the most popular dish of my region: 'Le Far Breton'. Hope you'll enjoy it!

The second update of this week is a piece of music I wrote for my friend Tenshi a few years ago. It's a sort orchestral . To me, it sounds a bit like Xenodios I wrote about a year and a half later. It's not at the top of the list in the music section and it will appear in the radioblog soon.

By the way, for those of you who are still waiting for asiatic recipes or some of my dishes with salmon, don't worry, it will come shortly. I just have to figure out a bit how I want to organize this miscelanious section... For now, I hope you'll enjoy the far (pride of my region) and this new piece of music.

Jun. 13th 2007 / Time for a new skin /

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There's something I finally figured out: having a website is a good thing but knowing what you want to do with it is even better... I think it wasn't very clear for me at the begging how much I would want to put in this website in terms of personal information as well as time. In the end, I found the experience quite interesting and enjoyable, modifying my lay-out and my code whenever I could while my html and css skills were improving. I also noticed that I appreciate to be able to say: "By the way, have a look at my website if you want to know more about my music...".
So now, what ?

I obviously don't have time to produce musical pieces every week and, if my only updates are music-wise, this website is bound to be rather inactive. It won't be the interactive place I start to dream about where I get comments from people and where I can share my interests way beyond. Moreover, I like the idea of sharing cooking recipes, pictures, card tricks and stupid jokes with whoever wants to listen to me... So, from now on, that's what I'll to do! Don't worry, I'm not meaning just fooling around all over the place.

Every week, I'll try to provide a new update which will be either musical (and this will remain the main purpose of the website) or something else I'll put into the miscellaneous section. For instance, this week, I'll start with two card tricks and next week, it will be a couple of recipes because I promised to Marinka and Roxane that I would do so... ^^ And some more music will come soon, plus some more surprises.

One could argue that such a self centered attitude of mine could turn this website into a simple blog... Well, maybe but I prefer to see it as a personal homepage where I just try to be myself. Moreover, even a fluffy Hippopotamus can have a blog so why shouldn't I ? ^^
Anyway, I'll do my best to let you feel at your ease here and to make sure this internet place is a welcoming one. As an example, you now can chose between three layouts for the website depending on your tastes. I hope you'll enjoy this new feature and feel free to let me know which lay-out you prefer... Oh yes, by the way, you now will be able to leave comments after each of the news... I hope you'll enjoy the new feature as well!

Feb. 11th 2007

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This one will be a minor update but I'm glad to add in my list of link one of the websites of an old friend of mine. Yann actually gave me a couple of precious advice to create my own website. I wanted to link him since the beginning but he did have at that time a website which he could use a gallery of his work. On his new website, La Bannière de la Liberté, he's presenting a role-playing game based on the universe of the famous mangaka Leiji Matsumoto. He introduces characters he and his friends play and you will find chronicles of their adventures.

I also fixed a few bugs with my new layout but I'm not done yet with the modifications on my website. So, see you very soon I hope!

Feb. 1st 2007

volguen.com version 2.0

I'm glad I finally managed to update this website. I've been working on this for a long time but my computer was stolen a few month ago and I lost quite a lot of my music and all my work related to my website. The current update is mainly technical with a slightly improved layout and the implementation of .css sheets in stead of the frame system (I know you don't care too much about this last part but I'm really proud and I thank Yann for giving me a hand on this ^^). Hopefully, some new content will arrive soon and I hope you will enjoy it (silly pictures, medieval stuff, new music...).

Now, let me thank everyone who visited this website so far or listened to the radioblog. I registered about 4000 connections since the site is online and that roughly twice the size of the town where I grew up... Maybe not so much compared to some other sites but I'm still quite impressed and very touched. So I wish you all a fantastic year 2007 and I thank you again.

Oct. 7th 2006

volguen.com version 1.2.0

    This time, I add a Radio.blog to my website. Thanks to this, you can listen to my music in streaming while browsing on the web. I hope you'll enjoy this new feature. I also added a couple of links to my link list, including one to the website of my friend Marine. Check it out !

Oct. 1st 2006

volguen.com version 1.1.0

Here is a real update: new layout and the addition of a newsletter ! Well, truly speaking, changing the layout was a need... And actually, one of the reasons why I really wanted to turn my layout into something decent is that, MyriaM kindly linked me on the homepage of her website. So, I felt like I had to do something so that visitors (you for instance) feel welcome here. Thank you again, MyriaM !
The second major update is that I now have newsletter here. I used a free and easy to install system named NewsleTux which, so far, looks really nice. Feel free to subscribe and you'll receive an e-mail each time I upgrade my website... well, ok, I guess you know what a newsletter is. ^^ Anyway, I plan to put more and more of my music online so I hope some of you will register.
    Let me finish with this: I thank a lot everyone who showed and still shows interest in this website because it's always a great pleasure for me to get feedbacks on what I'm doing here (especially when it's as unexpected as what happened lately). For this reason, I am always looking forward to getting comments and/or suggestions to improve this website (in particular the graphic aspects) so, feel totally free to drop a few lines in an e-mail to give me your impressions. I will be grateful.

Aug. 21th 2006

volguen.com version 1.0.1

A couple of spelling mistakes, one dead link corrected, some pictures resized... Not much but I'm working on larger modifications for the near future. I also added two new links to the websites of Subculture and Feliane. Check them out ^^ !

Aug. 9th 2006

volguen.com version 1.0

Well, I guess I have to truly launch this website at one point so why not today ?
Hopefuly, this current version is only a first step towards something wider including much more music, pictures, new sections and... well, a lot of other stuff ^^. Nevertheless, I foresee that the way to get there will probably be very progressive and quite slow. Still, I hope visitors will find more and more content that interests them as time goes.
For the time being, feel free to send me an e-mail if you want to provide me with feedback and/or suggestions.
I already would like to thank Vincent, Shutan, Maëva, David, Iana, Yann, Danièle and a couple of people I certainly forgot for their helpful and friendly advice which helped me to get this done.

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