Monday, February 20, 2017

An Evolution in Berets

Yep, that time of the year again - my birthday. 54, thank you very much. Celebrating it here with my life's evolution (so far) in berets.
And yes please, make my day and buy a beret!
The oldest beret photo of myself I seem to possess. An old Royal Netherlands Marines affair from the local army surplus store in, I believe, 1984. 
A Chechen 'boivik' (fighter) beret; a gift from my Chechen bodyguard Issa when leaving the medical project in Chechnya.
Driving our old Triumph TC2000, wearing my large diameter Bakarra on our organic farm Fossil Creek (2002?).
Again at our farm Fossil Creek, in Afghan clothes, wearing a pakol.
This must be my first cotton beret, a boina Tolosa Tupida from Argentina, Belmont Park, 2008.
Long haired old hippy at the beach at Paekakariki, somewhere around 2010, wearing a sun-washed green boina Tolosa Tupida.
A cold clear winter's day, a couple of years ago, wearing a German Baskenmuetze with the volcano Mount Ruapehu in the background. 
Present day's artist impression by my friend Jean-Claude Pertuzé.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rey Gitano

Rey Gitano is a 2015 film, directed by Juanma Bajo Ulloa. 
José Mari and Primitivo, two unemployed and failed detectives with conflicting ideologies know a rogue and seductive gypsy who propose them a crazy mission. After that, their luck will change for the worse.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fred Holland Day

Fred Holland Day (1864 - 1933) was an American photographer and publisher. He was the first in the U.S.A. to advocate that photography should be considered a fine art.
Day was the son of a Boston merchant, and was a man of independent means for all his life. Day's life and works had long been controversial, since his photographic subjects were often nude male youths; his private life however was a very private matter.
Day spent much time among poor immigrant children in Boston, tutoring them in reading and mentoring them. One in particular, the 13-year-old Lebanese immigrant Kahlil Gibran, went on to fame as the author of The Prophet.
There is a photo "Portrait of F. Holland Day in Arab Costume, 1901", while he travelled Algeria, by Frederick H. Evans. But more interesting for us boineros is the famous photograph of him wearing a large diameter beret by Edward Steichen in 1906, named “Solitude”.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Blood of the Beasts (Le Sang des bêtes)

Many berets in 1949’s Parisian slaughterhouses, but be warned, this film is most unpleasant to watch (understatement).
Blood of the Beasts (Le Sang des bêtes) is a 1949 short French documentary film written and directed by Georges Franju. It is Franju's first film and is narrated by Georges Hubert and Nicole Ladmiral. 

The film is a special feature on The Criterion Collection DVD for Franju's Eyes Without a Face (1960).
Alas, if posting this makes even one more vegetarian, that's a gain!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chasseurs Alpins and Goats

Faithful followers of this blog know not only of my love for (large diameter) berets, but of a similar affection for goats and, to a slightly lesser extent, beret badges of the French Chasseurs Alpins.  
Coincidentally, these three subjects all come together very nicely, with many (vintage) beret badges carrying a goat (or ibex, chamois, etc).  
The 30th Chasseurs a Pied, for instance, and the 22nd Chasseurs Alpins.
A really nice example is the badge of the 47th battalion of Chasseurs Alpins
But best of all, is the 96h battalion of Chasseurs a Pied, with their motto "Bigue-Les". My French being insufficient, I had to resort to my friend Jean-Claude, who gave me this beautiful lecture:
"I didn’t know the word ‘bique’ on the badge, but I found it. Actually it isn’t exactly French, it’s Arpitan or Franco-provençal, the form of Occitan spoken mainly in the Alps (and almost disappeared, except for single words used in French, like this one). So the verb ‘biquer’, from Occitan ‘bicar’, means ‘give a kiss’, exactly like the French ‘baiser’ that means first ‘give a kiss’ but has now the meaning of ‘fuck’. So ‘bique-les’ means ‘kiss them’, or ‘fuck them’ (the enemies). Just choose."
Thank you, Jean-Claude. I love it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Andres de Irujo Ollo

Andres de Irujo Ollo (1907 - 1993) was the son of lawyer Daniel Irujo y Urra, pioneer of Basque nationalism in Navarre and defender of Sabino Arana and the brother of Manuel de Irujo y Pello Irujo .
He joined the Basque Nationalist Party at age 16 and studied Law at Madrid.
Andres de Irujo Ollo was one of the signatories of the "Republican Manifesto" of the Ateneo de Madrid which was headed by Manuel Azana.
At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War he moved to San Sebastián and was named commissioner of the Interior on the Board of Defense and participated in reorganizing the Brigade of Public Order where he was responsible for guarding prisons of Ondarreta and Kursaal, avoiding arbitrary executions. He supervised the orderly evacuation of San Sebastian before the Nationalist columns entered the city.
In 1937 when his brother Manuel was Minister of Justice, he was secretary of the ministry.
Initially he went into exile in France and became there the Basque Government representative. After the German occupation of France, he left for Argentina .
He participated in the founding of the American Institute of Basque Studies and Eusko Kultur Etxea - House of Basque Culture.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Peggy Blumquist

Peggy Blumquist (Kirsten Dunst) is a fictional character in the second season of the television series Fargo, an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created and primarily written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the 1996 film of the same name written and directed by the Coen brothers
Peggy Blumquist is a hairdresser in Luverne, Minnesota who is married to her high school sweetheart, local butcher Ed Blumquist. One night, she accidentally runs over Rye Gerhardt after he wondered onto the road after spotting a UFO. 
Peggy brings Rye back to her house instead of calling the police. Unbeknownst to Peggy, Rye is a member of the Gerhardt crime family. The second season deals with the repercussions of her and Ed's actions in covering up the hit and run.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson

Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson (1840 –1922) was an English artist and bookbinder associated with the Arts and Crafts movement.
Sanderson attended a number of schools including Owen's College (Manchester University) and then Trinity College, Cambridge to study law. He left without taking a degree, and entered Lincoln's Inn as a barrister. In 1882 he married (Julia Sarah) Anne Cobden, a socialist, and they both took the surname Cobden-Sanderson.
A wood engraved portrait of Thomas James Cobden-Sanderson by Barry Moser 

Persuaded to take up bookbinding, he opened a workshop in about 1884, abandoning his law practice. In 1887 Cobden-Sanderson suggested a new group be named the "Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society," and in so doing gave the movement its name. His wife was concerned that his interests were too abstract and she encouraged him to become a bookbinder. In 1893 he set up the Doves Bindery in Hammersmith, London, naming it after a nearby pub, The Dove. It was his wife who took credit for keeping the business running. By 1900 he had established the Doves Press. Emery Walker became a partner in 1900 and oversaw the creation of the Doves Type used for all of their books. They produced a number of letterpress books, including the famous five-volume Doves Bible.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Jews from Tunisia

The history of the Jews in Tunisia goes back to the Punic era. The first Jewish settlers settled in present day Tunisia long before the destruction of the First Temple in the 6th century BCE and there have been communities in Tunis and the island of Djerba ever since.
As of 2011, 700 Jews were living in Tunis and 1,000 on Djerba. The most famous synagogue in Tunisia is the El Ghriba synagogue in the village of Hara Sghira on Djerba. The current building was constructed in late 19th or early 20th century, but the site is believed to have had a synagogue on it for the past 1,900 years.
The Jewish community has two homes for the aged, several kosher restaurants and operates numerous primary and secondary schools, as well as a yeshiva.
Tunisia's first Jewish museum opened in 2012.
Symbol of the peaceful coexistence of Jews and Muslims is the chechia, worn by Jews typically in Bordeaux (maroon).

Friday, February 10, 2017

Franck de Lapersonne

Franck de Lapersonne (1963) is a French comedian, actor and theatre director.
A genealogy enthusiast, he researched his ancestry back to the early 14th century, a very “French” ancestry with connections to nobility.  
This month, de Lapersonne declared his support for the right wing Front National, among other rubbish stating that “Victor Hugo has not learned Arabic, and it makes me happy to know it”.
If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny to look at him in his role as Monsieur Valle (in the controversial film Survivre avec les loups – Survival with wolves), playing a member of the fascist French Milice. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pipes and Berets

A man without a pipe is like a man without a beret, as the old saying goes and South Pacific Berets now offers a small collection of traditional pipes to make that perfect accompaniment.
In a time and age where smoking is frowned upon (to say the least), it is good to remember that smoke from a pipe is not inhaled and instead of fulfilling a need for nicotine, pipe-smoking is all about enjoyment, contemplation and achieving a few moments of serenity. 
The very act of lighting the pipe, holding and smoking it will take the mind of troubles and induce a relaxed frame of mind.
And yes, these qualities mix very well with the sentiments behind wearing a beret; even the old beret labels testify of this relationship.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Not only a fantastic picture, you really need to read the accompanying text!
The beret and the beard help. But blue jeans are as vital as North light to his creative spirit. Jeans are standard equipment with a lot of unusual people. Wranglers are the jeans they choose. We can’t promise you a one-man show at the Metropolitan, but we can give you the same lean, slim fit, the same sure-sizing that every artist wants. Pre-shrunk to the right size before they’re even sewn together. In sizes for all the artists in your family. From $2.49 to $4.29.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Marine Le Pen

Bad enough as it is, unfortunately, it is not just the US and the UK.

Marine Le Pen, France's far-right presidential candidate, has formally launched a campaign echoing many of the themes that propelled Donald Trump to the White House and sounds frighteningly similar to British populist politicians pushing for Brexit.
Yes, Marine Le Pen wears a beret, but the sinister reasoning behind that is only a public showing of "Frenchness", of believing in French heritage and manufacturing which -on her terms- comes at a very high cost.
Le Pen said that Trump's recent US election win and Britain's vote to leave the European Union had given the French a "reason to vote".
Envisioning a thriving nation "made in France", the 48-year-old said she is the "people's candidate" as she outlined her aspirations for a state with its own borders to guard, its own currency to spend, its own defence and its identity unchanged by immigrants, refugees and globalisation.
Apart from propaganda photo sessions like these, I'm glad to know Ms Le Pen is definitely not a boinera.