Sunday, March 24, 2019


Cellist, London
Hungarian Csaba Gal in München  (Munich, Germany)
Performers in Nice, France

Violinist Andrei Denga and accordionist Alexander Popov, Union Station, Toronto, Canada
Mark, New Zealand
Cello player, Riga, Latvia

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Christchurch - 15 March 2019

Like so many New Zealanders, and people across the globe, I am still trying to come to terms with the terrorist attacks on the two mosques in Christchurch, Friday a week ago.
Pain and an overwhelming sense of loss. Pain, for all those people who have lost their loved ones and the suffering of all those (critically) wounded people, fighting for their lives.
Loss, in the sense of loosing our innocence, this country that for so long felt like a last safe haven on this planet; far away from everywhere in the literal and metaphorical sense.
Police go (went) around the street unarmed, no checks for weapons when boarding domestic flights, my children who don't realize how special it is to have such integrated, multi-cultural schools and universities...
For many Kiwi's, one of the first reactions to the attacks was that all that would be over now. And some things will change, and already have, but what struck me most, is how this awful, senseless and cowardly deed, has actually brought this country together. Massive demonstrations against racism and xenophobia, vigils where 10's of 1000's show their respect and solidarity, a sweeping new ban on firearms that came just six days after the shooting (what a stark contrast to the political stalemate in the US), student societies who offer a taxi and escort service to Muslim women, hardened gang members talking about love and offering protection, etc., etc.
I found some pictures of beret wearers, but it doesn't feel right to publish these here and now. For once from me, some different headgear; our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in hijab (top) and this fantastic symbolic photo of Constable Michelle Evans in hijab with a rifle and rose outside the Christchurch Memorial Park Cemetery, as victims of the mosque shootings are buried.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Aoraki / Mount Cook

Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. 
Its height since 2014 is listed as 3,724 metres (12,218 feet), down from 3,764 m (12,349 ft) before December 1991, due to a rockslide and subsequent erosion. It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. 
A popular tourist destination, it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Aoraki / Mount Cook consists of three summits, from South to North the Low Peak (3,593 m or 11,788 ft), Middle Peak (3,717 m or 12,195 ft) and High Peak. The summits lie slightly south and east of the main divide of the Southern Alps, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the southwest.
 There was a large rock fall in 1991 that turned the summit into a knife-edge ridge and reduced the height of the mountain by an estimated 10 m or so at that time. Aoraki / Mount Cook was measured in 2013 to be 3724 m, which is 30 m down from its pre-1991 rock-fall measurement.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

José Moreno

When José Moreno was captured in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, he was sentenced to death by one of the commanders in Franco's army.
For reasons he says he never understood, he was spared that fate. He celebrated his 100th birthday in November.
“I should have died then — but here I am, feeling well enough to remember clearly all that I’ve endured,” said Mr. Moreno, with a big grin. “I still don’t really know why I wasn’t killed and instead sent to prison, so it’s very hard to believe that I have managed to live so long.”
Mr. Moreno was only a teenager when the civil war started, but it is a chapter of his life that he has not tried — or perhaps managed — to close.
While he watches the news in color these days, his views remain black and white, shaped by his wartime experience and his ardent support for Basque nationalism.

His latest concern is the resurgence of the far right. In December, Vox, a nationalist, anti-immigrant party, won its first parliamentary seats in an election in the southern region of Andalusia.
Mr. Moreno now shares an apartment with his daughter, Manuela, in the Bilbao suburb of Portugalete, close to the shipyards where he once worked. The apartment is filled with Basque memorabilia, including photos of Mr. Moreno meeting local politicians.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Professor Bill Mitchell

Professor Bill Mitchell holds the Chair in Economics and is the Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), an official research centre at the University of Newcastle. He also is a Visiting Professor at Maastricht University, The Netherlands and is on the management board of CofFEE-Europe, a sister centre located at that university.
He is also a professional musician and plays guitar with the Melbourne Reggae-Dub band – Pressure Drop. The band was popular around the live music scene in Melbourne in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band reformed in late 2010.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Eddy Harris

In 1985, author and explorer Eddy L. Harris paddled the Mississippi River from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its terminus in the Gulf of Mexico at the City of New Orleans. 
During his remarkable journey, he navigated both the difficulties of a living river and the challenges of being a Black man in America. Thirty years later, he made the trip again—this time, with cameras. 
Harris’ film, River to the Heart, paints an intimate portrait of what awaits those willing to venture out into the unknown world and discover all that it has to offer.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sir Charles William Feilden Hamilton OBE

Sir Charles William Feilden Hamilton OBE (1899 –1978), generally known as Bill Hamilton, was a New Zealand engineer who developed the modern jetboat, and founded the water jet manufacturing company, CWF Hamilton Ltd.
Hamilton never claimed to have invented the jet boat. He once said "I do not claim to have invented marine jet propulsion. The honour belongs to a gentleman named Archimedes, who lived some years ago." What he did was refine the design enough to produce the first useful modern jet boat.
Hamilton survived an aeroplane accident at Wellington Airport in poor conditions in 1936. The collision with the anemometer took the starboard wing off the Miles Falcon Six he was travelling in and killed pilot Malcolm "Mac" McGregor.
After a trip to England he became fascinated with motor cars and raced a Bentley. He decided to develop his own heavy machinery. He built a workshop, developed an excavator with an earth scoop and built a dam to supply water for a hydroelectric plant to supply power for domestic use and for his engineering projects, and started a manufacturing business.
In the 1950s Hamilton set out to try to build a boat that could navigate the shallow fast flowing rivers where he lived. The rivers were too shallow for propeller driven boats to navigate as the propeller would hit the river bottom.
When he took one of his early demonstration jet boats to the United States, the media scoffed when he said he planned to take it up the Colorado River, but in 1960 three Hamilton jet boats, the Kiwi, Wee Red and Dock, became the first and only boats to travel up through the Grand Canyon. The critics were silenced further when the boats went down river through the Grand Canyon to cache petrol just prior to the uprun.

Sunday, March 17, 2019


A beret for boineros in need of something different: the dinosaur beret (stegosaurus style). 
Some classic Jurassic wear found on American based website Apollobox.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Reflections on Berets & Pipes

Berets and Pipes have been a great combination in many ways. Just as common as seeing a boineroin European streets during the 1950s and 60s, it was to see a gentleman smoking a pipe. Then there is the added advantage of keeping your pipe semi-covered under a well sized beret, of course. 
upload_2019-3-15_12-29-17.png upload_2019-3-15_12-29-36.png upload_2019-3-15_12-29-44.png 
The b/p combination was solidified in many beret labels, depicting a boinero smoking his pipe. Interestingly, the same happened the other way 'round: pipes depicting a boinero!
upload_2019-3-15_12-31-35.png upload_2019-3-15_12-32-40.png 
The trigger for these reflections comes from a large order this morning; a pipe smoking club who bought 30 of the new berets with the (pipe-smoking) Chirola label - practically my whole stock (and this at a time that a pipe-smoker is pretty much a social pariah)! 
Despite my instant love affair with these new-vintage berets, this morning I went back to my trusted Elósegui Clásica in chocolate-brown; the perfect beret on one of those fall/spring days in between numbing coldness and hot summer weather. 
The label in these (Spanish Civil War remakes) is the authentic "super exposicion", the predecessor of the present-day Super Lujo model. On an online auction last week, one of these labels sold for 25 euro (US$28.40), that's almost 2/3 of the new complete beret at South Pacific Berets!


Friday, March 15, 2019

El cateto de pedos

El cateto de pedos, freely translates into "the Farting Bumpkin".
Breaking wind is always good for a laugh...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Why does Jamie Hyneman wear a Beret?

Already 9 years since I posted on the Mythbusters and Jamee Hyneman; a great advocate for the beret in the US.
But, you may ask, why does he choose the beret as headgear of choice? Watch this short video:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Police Berets #3

Turkish Police
Gendarmerie Haute Montagne, France
Royal Marechaussee, Netherlands
Mossos d'Esquadra, Catalonia, Spain
Gendarmerie National, France

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Police Berets #2

Ertzaintza, Basque Autonomous Police
Female Traffic Cops, Lebanon
Australian Military Police, accompanying the Duchess of Cornwall 
Somali Policeman
Policía de Carreteras a Policía Foral, Navare, Spain

Monday, March 11, 2019

Police Berets

Tribal Police Pakistan
Armenian police women
Egypt Tourist Police
Jammu and Kashmir police
Municipal Police of Bilbao, in 1934