Sunday, July 22, 2018

Handia (Giant)

Giant (Original title: Handia) is a 2017 Basque-language drama film directed by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño. 
The film is based on the real story of Miguel Joaquín Eleizegui Arteaga, a 19th century man who suffered from gigantism and was known as the "Giant from Altzo". The film premiered at the 2017 San Sebastián International Film Festival, where it was awarded the Special Jury Prize.
After the First Carlist War, Martín heads back to his family's farmhouse, and he finds out with surprise that his little brother Joaquín is much taller than usual height. 
Martín becomes convinced that people will be willing to see the "tallest man on Earth", so they travel around Europe, and the wealth and the level of fame they achieve changes the family forever.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Siegfried (Kongo) Müller

Siegfried Müller (1920 – 1983) often called Kongo-Müller was a former German Wehrmacht officer-candidate who fought as a mercenary under Major Mike Hoare in the Congo Crisis.

Siegfried Müller was born in Crossen an der Oder, Germany (now Poland) in 1920. After Hitler Youth and Reich Labour Service, Müller joined the Wehrmacht in 1939, fighting in the campaigns in Poland, France, and on the Russian Front. He claimed to have held the rank of First lieutenant by the end of the war, but this cannot be verified. He was seriously wounded and captured by the Americans.
Released in 1947, he enlisted in the US Army Civilian Labor Group (CLG), an American Labor Service Unit of Germans; then became a Lieutenant in a CLG security unit. He was denied entry to the Bundeswehr in 1956, but found employment with British Petroleum, clearing mines planted by the Afrika Korps in the Sahara Desert during World War II.
Mike Hoare
Müller emigrated to the Republic of South Africa in 1962 and was recruited as a mercenary with the rank of Lieutenant for the Congo Crisis in 1964. At 44, Müller was the oldest of Mike Hoare's soldiers. He was promoted to Captain after a successful operation to seize Albertville (now Kalemie) and led 52 Commando, a sub unit of No 5 Commando comprising approximately 50 soldiers. He was later promoted to Major.
Mike Hoare (left)
Major Müller wore his World War II Iron Cross First Class on his operations in the Congo, which attracted the attention of journalists from Time magazine and Der Spiegel. Admitting that he had had too much to drink, Müller was interviewed by a GDR film crew for the 1966 documentary Der lachende Mann – Bekenntnisse eines Mörders. Müller also appeared in the film Africa Addio and the 1965 East German documentary Kommando 52.

Friday, July 20, 2018


The Isle of Man TT is probably the most famous – and most dangerous – motorcycle race meeting in the world. Since 1907, the event has been thrilling competitors and spectators who flock to the small island in the Irish Sea. And, in 1951 and 1952, Mick Mathers, of Meir Heath, was among the motorcycle fans at the annual event.
Winnie Bentley in 1947 on Dave Anderson’s Hanley Speedway bike 
Now aged 81, Mick recalls: “I was taken there by my cousin Winnie’s husband, Frank, along with their sons, Frankie and Freddie, and another boy called Roy. I was the youngest of the group. Mick has a photograph of his late cousin, Winnie Bentley (née Mathers), who was born in Queen Street, Fenton, in 1914. He says: “She’s seen here in 1947 in the side entrance to her property in Foley Street, sitting on a speedway bike belonging to Dave Anderson.
“Winnie is wearing her Potters’ speedway team beret (you can just about make out one of the five stars sewn on the top). Dave was the team captain.”

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mod Culture & Berets

Mod is a subculture that began in London in 1958 and spread throughout Great Britain and elsewhere, eventually influencing fashions and trends in other countries, and continues today on a smaller scale. Focused on music and fashion, the subculture has its roots in a small group of stylish London-based young men in the late 1950s who were termed modernists because they listened to modern jazz.
Significant elements of the mod subculture include fashion (often tailor-made suits); music (including soul, ska, and R&B); and motor scooters (usually Lambretta or Vespa). The original mod scene was associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs.
During the early to mid 1960s, as mod grew and spread throughout England, certain elements of the mod scene became engaged in well-publicized clashes with members of rival subculture, rockers. The mods and rockers conflict led sociologist Stanley Cohen to use the term "moral panic" in his study about the two youth subcultures, which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the 1960s.
By 1965, conflicts between mods and rockers began to subside and mods increasingly gravitated towards pop art and psychedelia. London became synonymous with fashion, music, and pop culture in these years, a period often referred to as "Swinging London." During this time, mod fashions spread to other countries and became popular in the United States and elsewhere—with mod now viewed less as an isolated subculture, but emblematic of the larger youth culture of the era.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tim Marsters

Tim Marsters is a retired architect who now has the opportunity to pursue his life-long passion for art. Over the past four years, he has begun to focus primarily on portraiture in pencil, charcoal, acrylics, and oils. 
While preferring to work when from life, he can work from photographs he takes of the subject or that are given to him by friends. He also works from photographs he finds in any number of places including old books, antique stores, and family albums. 
While working toward an accurate likeness, he aims to bring out what he sees as the essence of character and mood and the unique qualities of the individual. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


From a time that advertising for cigarettes was omnipresent (like it still is in Germany). 
Smoking and berets have a bit of a relationship; the stereotypical Frenchman wearing a beret, glass of Bordeaux in the hand (if not a baguette) and a cigarette hanging from the lip. 
So typical it was that there are even many beret labels depicting (and reinforcing) this picture and often berets (embroidered with Big Tobacco's logo's) were handed out at festivals. motor races and similar events. 
Different times...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Helge Thiis

Helge Thiis (1897 - 1972) was a Norwegian architect. He is most noted for being the architect of Nidaros Cathedral.
Thiis was head of the Nidaros domkirkes restaureringsarbeider (Nidaros Cathedral Restoration Work). In 1929, he had won the competition for the reconstruction of the design of the west front and central tower of the Nidaros Cathedral. It included the redesign of the main octagon tower, the helmet and the completion of the Nidaros Cathedral West Front.
Most of it was covered with recesses for statues in the French Gothic style. The reconstruction of Nidaros Cathedral thus became an important arena for many of the leading Norwegian sculptors. Many of Norway’s leading sculptors joined in creating the western façade, working for several decades. Thiis was appointed as the cathedral architect, a position he held from 1930 until his death in 1972.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Gâteau à la broche

The Gâteau à la broche, or cake on a spit, was first brought to France by Napoleon’s soldiers retreating from battle in Russia.
As a reminder that losing isn’t always bad, the soldiers carried the recipe with them after their defeat. Two hundred years later, the French cake tradition keeps on spinning.
Although the cake is considered rare, according to Slow Food, the tradition is alive and well in two French regions: Hautes-Pyrénées and Aveyron.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bastille Day (in South Africa)

Franschhoek is a small town in the Western Cape Province and one of the oldest towns of the Republic of South Africa.
It is about 75 kilometers from Cape Town and has a population of slightly over 15,000 people. Franschhoek's original inhabitants were the Bushmen.
In 1688 French Huguenot refugees began populating the valley establishing farms and businesses bringing with them their experience in agriculture. The name of the area soon changed to le Coin Français ("the French Corner"), and later to Franschhoek (Dutch for "French Corner"), with many of the settlers naming their new farms after the areas in France from which they came.
This heritage is shown today by the Huguenot Monument which stands at the end of the town. The Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village is unspoiled.
Franschhoek's weekend Bastille Festival has been celebrated every July since 1994, the year of the first South African general election with universal adult suffrage marking the end of the apartheid era.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Coffee2Go Berets!

ReHats from Berlin (Germany) is a new, young company that's shaking up the traditional hatters industry.
ReHats creates headgear from upcycled burlap coffee bags and unique colourfully printed material for linings; all are Oekotex100 certified.
ReHats creates headgear that is sustainable, made in Germany and at a fair price.
Adding to their range of fedora’s, trilby’s and flat caps, ReHats has now created a line of berets exclusively for South Pacific Berets.
The berets measure 25cm in diameter and are all handmade; no one model the same as another! Presently available in sizes 57 - 60 @ $64.50.

Valentin Vega #4




Thursday, July 12, 2018