Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rüdiger Nehberg

Rüdiger Nehberg, also known as 'Sir Vival', (1935 – 2020) was a German human rights activist, author and survival expert. 

Nehberg described himself as having "No astrological sign, no church, no hair, and no clip in the ear (the latter means: he is a maverick)".

Nehberg initially became a pastry chef by trade, but increasingly turned his attention to outdoor survival. He would finally sell his three bakeries and live from his books and lectures.

In 1972, together with two friends, he became one of the first to travel the length of the Blue Nile in a home-made boat. Since 1980, he has been involved in defending the interests of the Yanomami Amerindian tribe. With his enterprise, "The Tree" (crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a fir-tree in 2000), he contributed to the provision of a protected reservation for the Yanomami. In 1981 – followed by a camera team – he crisscrossed Germany without any special equipment and relying for his sustenance solely on what he was able to find in nature. In 1987, Nehberg crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a pedal boat.

In September 2000, he founded the human rights organization TARGET to prevent the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). For his commitment to endangered peoples, Nehberg was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz ("Federal Cross for Merit"). In November 2006, TARGET organized and financed a conference under the patronage of the Egyptian Great Mufti Ali Gomaa at Al-Azhar University of Cairo. As a result of the conference, leading authorities of Islamic law denounced genital mutilation.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mervyn Bishop

Mervyn Bishop (1945) is an Australian news and documentary photographer. 

Joining The Sydney Morning Herald as a cadet in 1962 or 1963, he was the first Aboriginal Australian to work on a metropolitan daily newspaper and one of the first Aboriginal Australians to become a professional photographer. In 1971, four years after completing his cadetship, he was named Australian Press Photographer of the Year.

He has continued to work as a photographer and lecturer. Bishop is a member of the Murri people.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Herman August Kähler


Herman August Kähler (1846 –1917) was a Danish ceramic designe, manufacturer and early adept of the beret who ran the Kähler ceramic factory (Kählers Keramiske Værksted) in Næstved, Denmark.

His daughter Sigrid married the painter L.A. Ring (the painter of Kähler with beret).

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Werner Tübke


Werner Tübke (30 July 1929 in Schönebeck, Germany – 27 May 2004 in Leipzig, Germany) was a German painter, best known for his monumental Peasants' War Panorama located in Bad Frankenhausen. 

He was one of the most important painters in the GDR and belonged to the so-called Leipzig School with Bernhard Heisig , Wolfgang Mattheuer and Heinz Zander.

He is one of the few East German artists who gained recognition in West Germany.

Tübke was a known wearer of berets, as often depicted in his self portraits. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020


Hilda (also known as Hildafolk) is an award-winning British children's graphic novel series written and illustrated by Luke Pearson.

The graphic novels are set in a fantastic world resembling a late 20th century Scandinavia and are drawing inspiration mainly from Scandinavian folklore and folk tales and the Moomins.

The titular character is a small beret-wearing girl, who in the first two books lives with her mother in a cottage on a plain surrounded by mountains and forests, but later moves to the city Trolberg.

Hilda's world is inhabited by regular people and fantastical creatures like trolls, giants, elves and spirits. In the fourth book, Hilda joins Trolberg's Sparrow Scouts. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Klompen (2)

Roelof Westerhof passed away in February 2017 in his hometown of Tynaarlo. He was 83 years old.

Roelof Westerhof was one of the last traditional clog makers. At the end of 2001, Westerhof donated the inventory of his clog-making workshop to the De Wachter Windmill Museum in Zuidlaren. Westerhof then worked there as a volunteer, to demonstrate his beloved profession.

Thursday, September 24, 2020


A klomp (plural klompen) is a whole-foot clog from the Netherlands.

Approximately 3 million pairs of klompen are made each year. They are sold throughout the Netherlands, with a large part of the market for tourist souvenirs.

However, some Dutch farmers, market gardeners, and gardeners still wear them for everyday use. Outside the tourist industry, klompen can be found in local tool shops and garden centers.

The traditional all-wooden Dutch clogs have been officially accredited as safety shoes with the CE mark and can withstand almost any penetration including sharp objects and concentrated acids. They are safer than steelcapped protective shoes in some circumstances, as the wood cracks rather than dents in extreme accidents, allowing easy removal of the clog and not continued pressure on the toes by the (edge of the) steel nose.

Klompen are typically made from willow or poplar.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Jean-Guilhem Xerri

Jean-Guilhem Xerri is a psychoanalyst and medical biologist, who has developed a practice of controlling our thoughts.

“The Desert Fathers, Christians who took shelter in the deserts of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, and Palestine between the III and VII centuries, lived as hermits in huts, caves, in trees, or even on top of a stone pillar.

They searched for a life of solitude, manual labor, contemplation, and silence, with the goal of growing spiritually. Convinced of the intimate union between the body, soul, and spirit, the Desert Fathers—who we could also say were the first therapists—developed recommendations to heal the “sicknesses of the soul.”

According to the Desert Fathers, uncontrolled thoughts are the origins of some of the sicknesses of the soul. They identified eight non-psychological sicknesses of a spiritual origin, classified by the monk Evagrius as: greed of any sort, a pathological relationship to sex, a pathological relationship to money, sadness, aggressiveness, acedia (an illness of the soul expressed by listlessness, boredom, laziness – a precursor to slothfulness) vanity, and pride. These eight generic diseases have a pathological source: narcissism, which the Fathers called philautia, excessive self-love.

Guarding the heart, in Greek nepsis (vigilance), is being attentive to everything that happens in our heart. It is a spiritual method which aims to free man of bad or passionate thoughts. It invites us to observe the thoughts which penetrate our soul, and to discern between the good and the bad.

Thanks Thomas

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sjeng Fransse

Jean Keulen, aka Sjeng Fransse, is the troubadour of the (Dutch) Limburgian Heuvelland. 

He celebrates his 80th birthday with a new CD full of Limburgian dialect songs: "Rundje Limburg".

Monday, September 21, 2020

Raymond Westerling

Raymond Pierre Paul Westerling (1919 –1987) was an infamous Dutch military officer of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army. He orchestrated a contraguerrilla in Sulawesi during the Indonesian National Revolution after World War II and participated in a coup attempt against the Indonesian government in January 1950, a month after the official transfer of sovereignty. Both actions were denounced as war crimes by the Indonesian authorities.

Raymond Westerling was born on 31 August 1919 in Istanbul. He was the son of a Greek mother and a Dutch father, whose family had lived there for three generations. He grew up speaking Greek, Turkish, French and English, and later wrote: "One of the few Western European languages that I didn’t speak a word of was my mother tongue: Dutch." When World War II engulfed Europe in 1941, he went to the Dutch consulate in Istanbul and enlisted in the Royal Netherlands Army, much to his father’s dismay.

Westerling was twice the subject of official inquiries. Dutch historian Nico Schulte Nordholt stated: "...his actions had the approval of the highest authorities, and in the eyes of the Dutch authorities, he was successful at the time. Determant and effective". In 1949, the Dutch–Indonesian agreement on transfer of power stipulated neither country would call the other on its wartime offences, thus ruling out any attempt by Indonesia to press for Westerling's extradition.

From the theater production 'Westerling'

Via Belgium, Westerling reached the Netherlands, where he settled down with his Indonesian-French wife in a small town in the province of Friesland. Westerling later studied voice at the Amsterdam conservatory. His début as a tenor in Puccini’s Tosca in the city of Breda in 1958, however, proved unsuccessful. He moved to Amsterdam, where he ran an antique book store. 

Westerling died of heart failure on November 1987.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

US Made Elsa Beret

There are not many US manufacturers of berets, and Elsa is likely the smallest of all. 
Elsa Wool is a farm based knitwear company from Colorado. 
The berets are made from the wool of purebred Cormo sheep. Originally a flock of 200- 300 in Colorado (no longer in existence) and a flock of several hundred owned by a family in Montana. 
The Cormo breed was developed by a geneticist and a rancher in Australia, from Corriedale rams and Superfine Merino ewes. Cormo wool is as fine as average Merino, but it's longer-stapled, and noticeably softer than Merino wool of the same fiber diameter.
There are two breed associations in the US.; their fleeces are prized by handspinners and others who appreciate the beauty of fine wool in black, brown, and various shades of gray.
Cormo wool is fine, longer-stapled than most fine wools, very elastic, and exceptionally soft. It also is among the warmest of wools.
The picture below shows the insulating properties of Cormo wool. The snow on the sheep has not melted; the body heat is close to the sheep.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Patrick Maurin

Patrick Maurin is a city councillor of Marmande who went on a 250-kilometer-long walk between Le Touquet and Paris to draw attention to the problem of suicides among French farmers.

Farmers are over-represented in suicide rates. A phenomenon which has lasted "for at least forty years" but which remains taboo.

The suicide mortality of farmers in France is 20% higher than that of the general population and 30% for dairy cattle breeders alone.

According to the survey, there is a farmer suicide almost every other day, mostly men aged 45 to 54.

While agricultural incomes are already among the lowest in the country (350 euros per month for more than 30% of them), the study underlines that the greatest number of suicides "was observed during the months when prices of milk were the lowest ".

Friday, September 18, 2020

Jean Lassalle

Jean Lassalle (1955) is a French politician serving as an Independent member of the National Assembly since 2002. He was a candidate in the 2017 presidential election under the banner of Résistons! and received 435,301 votes (1.21%).

Since 2002 Lassalle has led the World Mountain People Association, an international network of mountain-dwellers active in more than 70 countries. He also leads a Haut-Béarn cultural association.

In 2003 Lassalle stood up in the National Assembly during questions to Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy and sang the Occitan anthem Se Canta in protest at an announcement by Sarkozy concerning the housing of 23 gendarmes tasked with guarding the Somport tunnel, which links France with Spain through the Pyrenees. The village closest to the French end of the tunnel is Urdos, but it was announced that the gendarmes would be housed in the nearby town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, on the grounds that their wives would become bored in Urdos.

As he explained in an interview with France 3 later that day, Lassalle took exception to what he saw as a slur on the Pyrenean village and decided to interrupt the minister with his song. The protest was met by laughter from other deputies, disapproval from the president of the Assembly, and bemusement from Sarkozy.

In 2013, Lassalle walked around France for eight months from April to December to meet people. He was afterwards quoted, “Everywhere I went I witnessed a crisis in the standard of living, a loss of identity and the loss of a sense of a common destiny”. He found the situation equally bad in the cities and the countryside. Scepticism about globalization, distrust of politicians and latent racism were common among people he spoke to, he said.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

"Tour Eiffel", by Sylvain Chomet

For non-French speakers the woman at the beginning says : "What's your name ? Don't look at your parents, look at the camera. So, what's your name ?" The kid answers : "Jean-Claude" The woman asks : "Then Jean-Claude, how did your parents get together ?" "In jail" "In jail..? Ok, and tell me their story" "My father was sad because he didn't have wife, and each morning he was alone in his house"
Merci Régis

Wednesday, September 16, 2020