Monday, April 23, 2018

Morante de la Puebla

I am not much of a bull-fighting fan (to state it mildly), but boineros are boineros and since I am the self-appointed chroniquer of anything beret, bullfighting has it’s place here.
José Antonio Morante Camacho (1979) artistically known as Morante de la Puebla, is a Spanish bullfighter.
Morante is a baroque bullfighter, known for his very particular style. For example, he is the only current matador to wear a natural coleta; his clothes show great originality and are aesthetically at a high level (for bullfighting fans, that is).
Morante de la Puebla, withdrew from the ring due to mental problems in May 2004, acknowledging that he had been under treatment for a year and a half. He returned to the ring of Reyes in 2008, but announced his definite retirement on 13 August 2017. His main reason that he is bored and society is not in favour of bullfighting (anymore). 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Real Men Wearing Berets

The things one comes across, researching berets on the web...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Berets and Marinières

Say ‘French’ and most people will conjure up a picture involving stripey tops, baguettes, a cigarette and yes: a beret.
A cliché that took hold in (especially the Anglo-Saxon) worldview and researching berets on the web, it’s the most common result I usually come across: a fashionable girl in a marinière with beret.
And although I quite like my own marinière, the constant questions “are you French/artist?” really put me off from wearing it.

Picasso is often pictured in cartoons or referred to in texts as wearing a beret and a marinière, but I still have to find a photo of him wearing both at the same time.
Then there's the image of Anthony Quinn and Anna Karina on the set of Guy Green's 'The Magus', from 1976:
For me, the combination is best to be worn "privately", sailing at sea far away from commenting speech...

Friday, April 20, 2018

Jaraé Holieway

Meet Jaraé Lenore Holieway, Freelance model, artist, stylist & Boinera.
“Born and raised in Southern CA, most kids get into acting or modeling at a young age. When I was 10 I attended a modeling school, like the ads you’d see in the back of a teen magazines. I wanted to be a star, because I didn’t see too many girls like me on TV. 
As I got older my interests changed, I focused more on visual arts and sports. Now here at the beautifully blooming age of 23, it’s funny how things have come full circle! I tell people “I want to model, and style”, “I want to be a change in the fashion industry” but it’s deeper-rooted than that. 
I want to be the ROLE model that I never had growing up–I want to bring something real, fresh, and genuine to the fashion industry that women can relate to!”

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Arturo Di Modica

Arturo Di Modica (1941) is an Italian artist, born in Vittoria, Sicily who became a US citizen. He is best known for his sculpture Charging Bull (also known as the Wall Street Bull, in reference to Wall Street), which he installed without permission in front of the New York Stock Exchange in December 1987. 
The work cost US$350,000 of the artist's own money. The three-ton bronze piece is in its current location on loan to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
A statue of a defiant little girl, created by American artist Kristen Visbal, was placed in front of Wall Street's Charging Bull to challenge the 'traditionally male environment' of the industry, on International Women's Day. 'Know the power of women in leadership', reads a small plaque on the cobblestones near the statue’s feet. 'SHE makes a difference.' The project was arranged as a message to their fellow Wall Street entities: Hire more women.
Visbal was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying: 'Wall Street is a traditionally male environment and it says, ‘Hey, we’re here’. In 2017, Di Modica opposed the installation of the Fearless Girl sculpture across from his bull, calling it an "advertising trick" created by State Street Global and the advertising firm McCann.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mogobe B. Ramose

Mogobe B. Ramose’s  area of research is philosophy, political science and international relations. A focus of his work is ubuntu, the southern African concept in which philosophy, ontology and ethics are combined. 
He derives his views on reparations to be paid for crimes committed under colonialism from ubuntu conceptions of justice. Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term meaning "humanity". It is often also translated as "humanity towards others” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".

In Ramose’s  view, the ubuntu African understanding of justice as balance and harmony demands the restoration of justice by reversing the dehumanizing consequences of colonial conquest and by eliminating racism.
Professors Mogobe B Ramose and Boaventura de Sousa Santos

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

St. Vincent

Anne Erin "Annie" Clark (1982), better known by her stage name St. Vincent, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
After studying at Berklee College of Music for three years, she began her music career as a member of the Polyphonic Spree. Clark was also a member of Sufjan Stevens's touring band before forming her own band in 2006.
St. Vincent's work has received consistent praise for its distinct musical style, which blends soft rock, experimental rock, electropop, and jazz influences. Her debut album was Marry Me (2007), followed by Actor (2009), Strange Mercy (2011), St. Vincent (2014), and Masseduction (2017). She released a collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012 titled Love This Giant. 
Clark also contributed backing vocals for Swans on their 2014 album, To Be Kind. Her fourth solo album, self-titled St. Vincent, was released on February 25, 2014 and was named album of the year by The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, NME, and Slant Magazine, as well as second best album of the year by Time magazine. The album won her a Grammy for Best Alternative Album, her first Grammy award. She was the first solo female performer in 20 years to win a Grammy in that category.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jean de Riquer

Artist Jean de Riquer was born in Oloron-Sainte-Marie in 1912 and died there on April 15, 1993, the son of Alexandre de Riquer, 7th Earl of Casa Davalos, known for his "art nouveau" works and leader of Catalan modernism.
Jean de Riquer was mobilized in September 1939 and became a sergeant in a battalion of Chasseurs of the Pyrenees. He fought from June 5 to 24, 1940, and received the Croix de Guerre. Demobilized, he resumed his duties at the town hall of Oloron and becomes a member of the Resistance.
He creates a group to help fugitives providing identity cards, food, a passage to Spain through the valleys of Roncal and Isaba. His group is active from mid-1942 to March 1943, when the group, but not Jean, is arrested by the Germans.
Dachau, by Jean de Riquer
In 1944 he becomes chief of the Oloron company of the ORA, but is also arrested by the Gestapo in Pau. First he spent time in Fort Hâ in Bordeaux, later on he is deported and to Dachau and released on April 30, 1945 by US troops.
After the end of the war, he resumed his duties at the town hall of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, continues his artistic activities and exploring.
In 1950, he participated in an expedition of Paul-Emile Victor in Greenland and In 1952 he ascended Mount Ararat in search of Noah's ark.

Saturday, April 14, 2018


With the many posts and references on this blog to coffee and berets, one could easily forget that one can drink tea too and wear a beret...
(Real) tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub (bush) native to Asia.
Tea originated in Southwest China, where it was used as a medicinal drink. It was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. 
Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to Europe during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India to bypass the Chinese monopoly.
The term herbal tea refers to drinks not made from Camellia sinensis: infusions of fruit, leaves, or other parts of the plant, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, or rooibos. These are sometimes called tisanes or herbal infusions to prevent confusion with tea made from the tea plant.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Blue Berets Coffee

Being a bit of a coffee purist, I had to think twice about publishing a post on Nespresso-like coffee capsules...
The Australian Blue Berets coffee capsules are an alternative for the wasteful Nespresso originals; aluminium containers that turn to waste after one cup of coffee. 
Still, far from a substitute for the freshly ground Cuban beans by the Havana Coffee Works from Wellington; the daily fare in my espresso maker. 
After all, coffee comes with attitude, and a beret!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Eiffel Tower & le Béret

With the béret, the Eiffel Tower is the most used stereotypical cliché where it concerns Frenchness.
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel; whose company designed and built the tower. 
Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. 
The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


I have posted before on the "Despoblados", the forgotten towns that were submerged to create hydro lakes in the Spanish mountains under Franco's dictatorship - often a revenge on the "Reds" who lived there.
Vegamián is one such town and unlike many others, was not demolished or cannibalized before the water took over. 
In 1983 the lake had to be cleaned up (removing dead trees and other debris, so as not to block the turbines of the power station). What emerged under layers of mud was a village that was very much intact.
This (above) is the school; every brick still there, windows and roof in place.
 Above two neighbors of Vegamián in front of the Hermitage of San Antonio, below 'after the flood'.
Julio and Millán in what was their town:
Read the full article here