Sunday, October 31, 2021

War Veterans

War veterans wearing berets at the Remembrance Day Parade, London.

Saturday, October 30, 2021


Maerl (also rhodolith) is a collective name for non-geniculate coralline red algae with a certain growth habit. Maerl grows at a rate of c. 1 mm per year. It accumulates as unattached particles and forms extensive beds in suitable sublittoral sites.

Maerl is dredged from the sea floor and crushed to form a powder. It is still harvested around the coasts of Brittany in France and Bantry Bay, Ireland, and is a popular fertilizer for organic gardening.

Pictured here are Breton farmers waiting for the boats to deliver maerl, typically dressed in bleu de travail and beret.

Friday, October 29, 2021

New Zealand’s First Horse Powered, Organic Vineyard

Churton Wines is a New Zealand certified organic, family-run vineyard that has been producing beautiful wines for over 30 years.

The vineyard was started by boinero Sam Weaver and his wife Mandy and is now run by sons Ben and Jack. The Churton vineyard covers 22 hectares in Marlborough’s beautiful Waihopai Valley.

Churton Vineyard follows bio-dynamic agriculture principles and relying on fossil fuels doesn’t feel right. Taking a new step to become as sustainable and emission-free as possible, the vineyard has bought two draft horses, Xena and Gordon, who are going to do all the under-vine work once done by tractors. They’ll help keep emissions right down, keep the soils loose and tackle the weeds that stop vines flourishing. The grapes will be better, and so will the wine.

The horses are being trained by Emma Rossignol, who moved to Churton from France in 2020. Emma is a specialist in training horses to work in vineyards and already has big plans for both Gordon and Xena.

To pay for the costs of the horses and ongoing training and equipment, a PledgeMe campaign has been set up.

Please have a look at this page and contribute to this beautiful project!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Vintage Basque Postcards

Basque type (Ganiche de Macaye). Anonymous studio photograph for a postcard circa 1910
Basque-type. Bread carrier. Anonymous photograph, 1908

Grandfather (holding a baby). Photograph by Marcel Delboy for a postcard sent in 1918

Biarritz (Cote Basque). Harvesting resin in the Pignadas. Anonymous photograph for a postcard sent in 1919

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Pour Elle, 1940

Cover of the magazine 'Pour Elle' from October 30, 1940 (France). Cost at the time: 2 French Francs.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Crown of Thorns

A carving in oak by an anonymous artist, dated around 1540-1550.

Crown of Thorns, Christ sits on a couch with bound wrists between two executioners, who press a long stick on Christ's head with both hands, each leaning on the couch with one knee. Christ, in loincloth, wears a cloak hanging from the shoulders, which is tied together with a band in front of the chest and folded over the left knee. The left-hand man, with mustache, wears a beret, a pair of trousers and a shirt slipped from one shoulder, the other, seen from the back, has opened its mouth and is dressed in a jacket with short decorative sleeves and a short skirt. Both wear boots, the crowning with thorns: soldiers with sticks place a thorny crown on Christ's head and give him a rode (Matthew 27: 27-31, Mark 15: 16-20, John 19: 2-3).

Monday, October 25, 2021

Roberto Rey

Roberto Rey (1905 –1972) was a Chilean film actor who worked in Spain, appearing in more than fifty films during his career including the 1935 musical Paloma Fair.

He was an actor and director, known for El barbero de Sevilla (1938), Un caballero de frac (1931) and Fair of the Dove (1935). He died on May 30, 1972 in Madrid, Spain.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

'Canada Hat' Tweed Beret

This Harris tweed beret is an easy to wear beret, crafted by Canadian Hat from recycled tweed blazers. Each piece has its unique herringbone pattern and is reversible, achieving a classic black look for work days and a chic tweed side for weekend outings. 

Finished with vegan leather piping and fully lined for extra warmth. Available at the store of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Berets with Skulls and Bones

If there is one military badge universally associated with the Nazi’s, it must be the Totenkopf.

In the early days of the Nazi Party, Julius Schreck, the leader of the Stabswache (Adolf Hitler's bodyguard unit), resurrected the use of the Totenkopf as the unit's insignia. This unit grew into the Schutzstaffel (SS), which continued to use the Totenkopf as insignia throughout its history. According to a writing by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the Totenkopf had the following meaning:

The Skull is the reminder that you shall always be willing to put yourself at stake for the life of the whole community.

The Totenkopf was also used as the unit insignia of the Panzer forces of the German Heer (Army) and the German forces aiding Francoist Spain, the Condor Legion.

However, they were neither original or the only ones choosing the skull and bones.

The Italian Black Brigades for example:

Or, well before all these, the 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own) cavalry regiment of the British Army, raised in 1759 and notable for its participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.

Their motto, unsurprisingly, "Death or Glory".

Friday, October 22, 2021

Domenic Troiano

Domenic Michele Antonio Troiano (1946 –2005) was an (Italian born) Canadian rock guitarist, who was most notable for his contributions to Mandala, The James Gang, The Guess Who, and as a solo artist.

He was raised in Toronto and began playing guitar at age 15. As a professional musician, he was a guitarist for Ronnie Hawkins, James Gang, The Guess Who, and Bush, among others.

Troiano started a solo career in the late 1970s. He performed with the Domenic Troiano Band and scored his biggest hit with the 1979 Disco-themed We All Need Love. He also wrote music for television including the series Night Heat. His guitar work can be heard on recordings by Moe Koffman, Joe Cocker, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also had a Canadian release with the band Black Market with the original Independent label El Mocambo Records.

Troiano was strongly associated with the "Toronto Sound" of that era, contributed at least two songs to that genre: "356 Sammon Ave." (1972), a short, instrumental tribute to his parents' former home in East York, and "My Old Toronto Home" (1973).

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Green Beret

Green Beret is an India Pale Ale , brewed by Mac’s Brewery in New Zealand.

Powerful and precise, Green Beret packs an arsenal of citrus and pine flavours with a skilfully controlled explosion of hoppy goodness. Mac’s Green Beret IPA is named after the assertive punch of the US hops, but like any good soldier it also knows the virtues of discipline and restraint. The result is a well-balanced IPA that has a complex and rewarding flavour profile.

I found my neighbours may be potential boineros too, walking by on recycling day. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Curt Querner

Curt Querner (1904–1976) was a German painter.

Self-portrait in the attic (1948)

Querner was born in Börnchen, a village in Saxony not far south of Dresden. The son of a shoemaker, he trained in metalworking and worked for a time as a factory mechanic (Fabrikschlosser).

From 1926 to 1930 Querner studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts.

He exhibited for the first time at the Galerie Junge Kunst, of Józef Sandel, in Dresden.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Klaus Meine of the Scorpions

With more than 100 million records sold, the Scorpions are considered the most successful German rock band worldwide.

Klaus Meine, singer of the Scorpions, reveals why he always wears a beret; the background is a painful experience many years ago:
“During a concert, I jumped from the stage into the audience. Unfortunately, it was a little too high. I hit my head on a beam."
The fans applauded because they thought everything was part of the show. The rock star who lives near Hanover recalls: “I went straight from the stage to the hospital. There the wound was sewn, I was beaten up pretty badly. Since then, this beautiful headgear has been my constant companion."

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Gerhard Hertel

Gerhard Hertel (1924 - 2007) was a German tax officer, local politician, and homeland researcher.

In 1941 - although still a minor – he was drafted into the Wehrmacht and sent to Moldova. He did not return to his hometown until 1945 after the end of the Second World War, as a severely disabled person.

Unveiling of the Kaiser Friedrich II stele at Castel Fiorentino on December 13, 2000

Gerhard Hertel wrote several books as well as numerous essays and short stories, which mainly concerned the history of Freudenstadt. In the book Experiences, Views, Insights from 80 Years, published in 2006, he succeeded in combining his autobiography with the history of the city and thus concluding his life's work.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Hans Driever

Hans Driever (1919 - 1994) was a German sculptor and painter.

In 1939 Hans Driever was drafted into the Wehrmacht but deserted a short time later. After a few weeks in a psychiatric institution, he was discharged with the diagnosis “manic-depressive insanity” (Section 51). Further living conditions until the end of the war are unclear.

The artistic work of Hans Driever began in the 1950s, including the interior design of churches: sacred objects such as tabernacles, candelabras, baptismal fonts, door designs, figures of saints. He often together with his second wife, the painter Meta Driever.

In the last two decades of his life, Hans Driever began to increasingly create surrealist oil paintings. These were only exhibited once in a gallery in 1982, the estate is largely unknown to the public.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Paul Bernard

Paul Bernard (1898 –1958) was a French actor. He appeared in thirty-five films, including A Friend Will Come Tonight (1946).

Bernard often played men of sinister charm, usually negative or twisted characters. He was an accomplished stage actor who always preferred theatre to film.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

They are not Angels / Bataillon du Ciel

They are not Angels is a French film directed by Alexandre Esway, released in 1947, based on the book by Joseph Kessel who had stayed in the paratroopers camp of Free France, England.

On the eve of D-Day June 6, 1944, a French parachute battalion of the Special Air Service was dropped in Brittany to help the Resistance contain the enemy forces en route to Normandy. 

The 1st period tells the chronicle of a training camp in England, a SAS parachute battalion of Free France during the Second World War. 

2nd period: in France, the SAS parachute battalion parachuted into Brittany and sabotaged the German installations with the help of the Breton guerrillas. This is the fictionalized story of Colonel Pierre-Louis Bourgoin, Captain Pierre Marienne and the 2nd SAS Parachute Fighter Regiment.