Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A Celebration of Summer: Coffee-2-Go on SPECIAL!

This week on SPECIAL, the upcycled burlap coffee berets by Berlin based company ReHats. 
ReHats 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.
On Special for as long as stock lasts from $64.50 @ $50.00!
And, with any Coffee2Go beret, get a Beret-Attitude travel coffee mug at $15.00 only!


An ox (plural oxen), also known as a bullock in Australia and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control. Cows (adult females) or bulls (intact males) may also be used in some areas.
Oxen are used for plowing, for transport (pulling carts, hauling wagons and even riding), for threshing grain by trampling, and for powering machines that grind grain or supply irrigation among other purposes. Oxen may be also used to skid logs in forests, particularly in low-impact, select-cut logging.
Oxen are usually yoked in pairs. Light work such as carting household items on good roads might require just one pair, while for heavier work, further pairs would be added as necessary. A team used for a heavy load over difficult ground might exceed nine or ten pairs.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Vintage Postcards from the (French) Basque Country and Béarn

Basque family travelling to the weekly market of Biarritz
Riding the mule, date and location unknown
Basque dancers in traditional dress, 1934
After the hunt, Rhune
Salies de Béarn, Le Père Lanusse Doyen

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Le Paysan Basque et le Vieil Alsacien

Search and you will find: the Basque peasant and the old Alsatian.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Louis-Marie Désiré-Lucas

Louis-Marie Désiré-Lucas (1869 - 1949) was a French painter and lithographer.
His first work is La Jeune Ouessantine (1885). In 1889, he obtained a grant from the city of Brest that allowed him to enter the Académie Julian in Paris, where he was a student of William Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. Later on, he was admitted to the School of Fine Arts in Paris. He debuted at the Salon des Artistes French in 1893 with female portraits.
Désiré-Lucas is influenced by the paintings of Paul Cézanne. In 1920, he began working on the coast and landscapes on the Côte d'Azur, Spain, Italy and Belle-Ile-en-Mer. 
In August 1922, he stayed in Ouessant with his pupil (and from 1942 wife) Marie Réol.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Father Ferdinand Verbiest & Ferre QuadruppleBeer

Father Ferdinand Verbiest (1623 –1688) was a Flemish Jesuit missionary in China during the Qing dynasty. He was born in Pittem near Tielt in the County of Flanders (now part of Belgium). He is known as Nan Huairen (南懷仁) in Chinese. 
He was an accomplished mathematician and astronomer and proved to the court of the Kangxi Emperor that European astronomy was more accurate than Chinese astronomy. He then corrected the Chinese calendar and was later asked to rebuild and re-equip the Beijing Ancient Observatory, being given the role of Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory.
He became close friends with the Kangxi Emperor, who frequently requested his teaching, in geometry, philosophy and music.
Verbiest worked as a diplomat and cartographer, and also as a translator, because he spoke Latin, German, Dutch, Spanish, Hebrew, and Italian. He wrote more than thirty books.
During the 1670s, Verbiest designed what some claim to be the first ever self-propelled vehicle – many claim this as the world's first automobile, in spite of its small size and the lack of evidence that it was actually built.
Father Verbiest is honoured these days in a beautiful quadrupple Belgian beer: Ferre.
Thanks Frans

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Beyoncé's Leather Beret

Over the course of the 2018 Grammys weekend, Beyoncé has been wearing only all-black ensembles. 
Each look, while different in the choice of garments, featured a beret and retro sunglasses—an homage to the Black Panthers. While being fashion forward enough for Beyoncé 's wardrobe, these accessories have a political history that reveals a larger message behind her fashion.
For example, in honour the 2018 Pre-Grammy Gala, the Lemonade singer appeared in a leather beret by Eugenia Kim and named the beret 'The Carters' after the whole family. The beret sells at $295 here

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Happy 60th to the Beret Spy!

The Beret Spy, aka my brother Emile, reached a new milestone in his life today: 60 years old!
And instead of the usual posting of his work -photographing boineros and other beret wearing folk in the wild-, here a selection of portraits of the young man himself. 
Any kind wishes, I'll happily pass on to Emile.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More on Alpino's and Old Trucks

Following yesterday's post, here some more vintage material on Dutch berets (or alpino's/alpinopetten).
Mercedes, driver/owner Mr Bos
Beautiful old material of trucks, their drivers and their favourite headgear!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Alpino's or Alpinopetten

Krupp truck, loaded with drainage pipes
In most languages, the word for 'beret' refers to the supposed Basque origin (although of course, the beret's origin lies in Béarn). 
Magirus truck and trailer
In French Béret Basque, German Baskenmütze, Italian Basco, Norwegian baskerlue, etc. In Dutch however, the beret is called alpinopet (literally: cap of the Alps).
DAF truck, 1960
These days alpino's are rare to find in the Dutch landscape, but after WWII until the 1970's, it was one of the most commonly seen pieces of headgear.
Scania, 1960s
Over the years, I have posted regularly on Dutch alpino's, but it always bugged me how little visual information I could find. That changed when I found a website dedicated to trucks in the northern Netherlands; a treasure trove of photo's depicting old trucks and their proud drivers with alpinopet.
Ford, date unknown

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.