Friday, August 19, 2022

Abbé Pierre at the Emmaus Community and Musical

Abbé Pierre at the Emmaus Community in Alfortville in 1999, which has become his place of retirement.

Rehearsals for the musical 'Le Bal Des Exclus' By Daniel Facérias at the Zenith In Paris., written by Abbé Pierre and implemented for stage by Daniel Facerias.

Thursday, August 18, 2022


It is the kind of news item I would make up for my April Fool’s day posts, but no, it’s not 1 April and dead serious – as published in La République of 16 August:

“The Laulhère factory in Oloron Sainte Marie, which has been making berets since 1840, has stopped regular production of the brown beret. From now on, it will only manufacture them on order in batches in sufficient quantity”.

The brown beret is traditionally the festive beret in Béarn. In the Ossau valley, it is traditionally worn by the population during village festivals, such as in Laruns, Béost and Bielle.

Luckily, boineros are not dependent on Laulhère; the very best French made berets are the Auloronesa and Orthesa Universels and both are available in a beautiful brown.

For summer wear, Le Béret Français offers the French made Printemps model in earth-brown.

For a few more days, the Grof (Count) models -also in brown-  by UČA is on Special at $27.50.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Samizdat in 2022's Hungary

In this photo, activist Anna Nemes holds copies of the "You Print, Too!" newsletter at Budapest's Keleti train station. 

The mini-magazine is considered a new kind of 'samizdat', the dissident publications from the communist era. It includes news not usually covered in Hungary's pro-government media and is being distributed mainly in rural areas. 

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban is stepping up efforts to silence civic groups critical of his government. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Karl Lagerfeld

British model Kate Moss (4th L), French Laetitia Casta (2nd L) and other models show off roughly suits, dresses and outfits on October 17, 1997 during the presentation in Paris of Chanel's Spring-Summer 98 ready-to-wear collection designed by German stylist Karl Lagerfeld.

Monday, August 15, 2022


A boinero with a CGT sticker reading "For a proper pension of the 21st century" poses during a demonstration to protest against the French government's plan to overhaul the country's retirement system, as part of a national general strike in Toulouse, southern France on December 17, 2019.

Tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets across France on December 17 over a pensions overhaul that has sparked a crippling transport strike.

9th interprofessional day of strike and demonstration against the pension reform on February 6, 2020 in Paris

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Sometimes I get surprised by finding a beret brand I haven't heard of before, even though these are often not berets in the strict definition of the word.

US manufacturer Noah is such a brand, berets that look very attractive (but at a steep price). The information below is supplied by Noah. 

"Noah is an American men's clothing brand founded by Brendon Babenzien and Estelle Bailey-Babenzien, based out of its store in Soho, New York City. Brendon’s free-thinking vision has long been at the heart of the movement merging the rebellious vitality of skate, surf, and music cultures with an innovative appreciation of classic menswear." 

"As a brand, Noah seeks to take a stand against many of the appalling practices of the fashion industry. Our clothes are made in countries, mills and factories where tradition, expertise and human dignity take precedence over the bottom line. We donate portions of our profits to causes we believe in. We speak out on issues we find important, and try to help give voice to the people and organizations we care about." 

"The interests and influences that inspire our clothing fall under a large, inclusive, cross-generational umbrella. Our ideas come as much from the possibilities we see in fabrics and designs as our commitment to living active, engaged lifestyles. We believe in doing things our own way, with conviction, according to principles we determine ourselves. That’s the definition of punk rock to us, and we’re interested in the endless ways people from all walks of life manifest this attitude. We invite you to join us, both in our flagship store and online, and tell us how you do it."

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Land Art D-Day

Green Beret veteran Leon Gautier poses 01 June 2006 on the beach in Ouistreham, next to a sand work of French artist Roger Dautais in homage to the 'Kieffer Commando', a detachment of 177 Frenchmen, led by French Lieutenant Philippe Kieffer, that formed part of Lord Lovat's 1st Special Service Brigade. 

Land-Art artists from France, Canada, England and USA perform during two days on several Normandy beaches for the 62nd commemoration of the end of WWII. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Weekend Special!

Sadly, I have to concede: a Reality Shield does not protect against COVID-19 (although, I'd like to point out that it took the virus a long time to get me...).


It struck with a vengeance though; rarely have I felt so miserable in my life... Hence, no updates on the website and a very late weekly SPECIAL (which now really means a "Weekend Special").

But, to celebrate my return to the realm of the living, the Flamingo Naturel Series sell at a 27.5% discount;
a range of custom-made, top-quality berets in natural, undyed AAA-grade Australian merino wool.
Ideal wool berets in cold and warm weather.
The manufacturing process involves extended rinsing in the blessed volcanic groundwaters of Mount Aso and brushing for an ultrasoft, pleasant to the touch feel.

Available with a size adjustable headband in a 28cm and 30cm model, as well as a Universel one-size model in 30cm.


A supporter watches the breakaway leaders during the 17th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Pau and Castelsarrasin, 26 July 2007

FIFA World Cup supporters
Handball supporters game Slovenia - France

Rugby supporters from Brittany

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Alison Teal

US surfer and adventurer Alison Teal jumps on her surfboard into the Seine in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, on September 19, 2017. 

After tackling wastewater in Mexico and a garbage island in the Maldives, the "protest surfer" has taken a dip in the river Seine in Paris to back efforts to combat climate change. 

Alison Teal travels the world with her pink "eco-friendly" surfboard to raise awareness about the environment, and it is no coincidence she chose France's capital for the latest stop on her campaign.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Americans in Paris, 1945

 American soldiers photographed in Paris, on May 16, 1945 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Paris in the 1960s

Bouquiniste, bookseller selling used and antiquarian books on an unspecified stretch of the Seine in Paris, March 1961.

A man and his dog, 1969.

A stall holder in a flea market or 'marché aux puces' in Paris, France, March 1961. 
A triporteur bicycle on a Parisian street, 1964.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Rachid Benhadj

Rachid Benhadj (1949) is an Algerian director.

Born in Algiers, it was in Paris that Rachid Benhadj first studied architecture at the National School of Decorative Arts, then cinema at the University.

He made several TV movies and documentaries. In 1992, he filmed Touchia, which in 1994 won the Audience Award at the 4th African Film Festival in Milan, Italy .

He moved to Italy and is a teacher in a school for film directors at the Academy of Cinécittà ACT MULTIMEDIA.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jacques Chirac Private

Former French President Jacques Chirac talking with a neighbor in the countryside of Corrèze.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Junko Morimoto

"I am Junko Morimoto."

"I now live in Sydney, but I was born and brought up in Hiroshima."

"When the bomb exploded on the morning of August 6 1945, I was a 13-year-old schoolgirl."

"I lived 1.7 kilometers away from where the bomb fell."

Friday, August 5, 2022

1930's Café Snapshot

A snapshot photograph of a group of women relaxing in a French pavement café, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1930. An older woman and two teenage girls are drinking soft drinks. Despite the sunny weather, the streets and café seem empty. Originally a shooting term, the word 'snapshot' was first linked with photography in the late 1850s, when it was used to describe a photograph taken with a brief exposure. Over time, snapshot came to mean any amateur photograph taken with a simple camera. The origins of popular photography can be traced back to George Eastman's (1854-1932) introduction of the first Kodak camera in 1888. Snapshots are informal, personal records of everyday life and experiences.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

French Sleepers

An unidentified, elderly man in a beret sleeps on the ledge of a barred window, a cane in his hands, Paris, 1936.
A man sleeping on a park bench in France, circa 1960.

A man takes a nap in a café next to a shoe shop in Paris, France, 1957.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Rugby Fans

A France fan wearing a beret looks on during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and France at Principality Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales.

French rugby fans hold a Breton flag ahead of a Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on October 11, 2015.

Rugby fans dressed in berets with garlic strings around their necks wait in the crowd for kick off of the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between France and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on October 11, 2015.