31 December 2009

Happy New Year

30 December 2009

I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash)

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

23 December 2009

La plus belle aventure du monde, c’est la nôtre !

Scottish Rite

I acquired my first pipe in 1997. An Austrian friend from boarding school bought it for me from a tobacconist in Covent Garden. The model was called 'The Prince,' so named for the Duke of Windsor who was partial to the style. After a period of experimentation I settled on a favourite tobacco, Black Cherry Cavendish, and soon learned that Davidoff and J.J. Fox offered a premium supply. I even attended a few meetings of the Pipe Club in London. From my social circle I was introduced to a fellow pipe enthusiast, an elderly English gent in a trench coat who wrote action novels. Pipe smoking is an experience that introduces one to a world of pleasure, mental lucidity, and self-transcendence.

22 December 2009

Fad Gadget

19 December 2009

Hackett à Paris

© 2009 Monsieur

Nicky Haslam: Redeeming Features

Nicky Haslam has found himself at the centre of the most interesting circles wherever he is--at parties, opening nights, royal weddings. In London in the late '50s he crossed paths--and more--with Cecil Beaton, Francis Bacon, Diana Cooper, Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Noel Coward. In the '60s, in New York, he encountered Dorothy Parker, Cole Porter, Andy Warhol, Jack Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe while working at "Vogue" and "Show" magazines, before decamping to a ranch in Arizona to raise Arabian horses, when he wasn't commuting to Los Angeles to decorate for the stars. Back in England in the early '80s, he attended the wedding of his cousin Diana Spencer and designed for everyone from James Goldsmith to Bryan Ferry. Haslam is a gifted and exuberant storyteller with an exacting eye for the telling detail. "Redeeming Features" is a fascinating look at our culture, a compelling and wholly singular document of our times.

Nickly Haslam on cuff links:

"...I hate cufflinks. I think they're very ageing. And also, cufflinks were meant for when the cuffs of the shirt were stiff, and you couldn't do up the buttons; for evening wear. You should never wear cufflinks in the day time. It looks terrible."

The Observer, 11 May, 2008

17 December 2009

Northern Sons Under Southern Skies


Manhattan, München, & Martini

Manhattan, München, & Martini

Für den Fall, daß du einmal in die Situation gerätst, einem Barkeeper oder einer Aushilfsbedienung erklären zu müssen, aus welchen Zutaten sich deine Bestellung zusammensetzt und wie dein Drink zu sein hat und wie nicht. Immer öfter nämlich werden, so irrtümlich wie fließend, Grenzen verwischt oder, wie jüngst in einem nicht nennenswerten Schickimicki Establishment der Stadt (welches sich um internationale Größe bemüht), wo ich einen Martini Classic Dry bestelle und damit schon das System der Barkeeperin überanstrengte, die einfach nur auf Prosseco Caipi und Champagner programmiert war - und mir nach gestreßter Ratlosigkeit schließlich ein normales Standardglas präsentierte, das sie zur Hälfte mit Martini auffüllte und fertig.

Echte Barkeeper--davon gibt es in keiner Stadt zuviel. Man muß wissen, wo sie walten. Man kann und darf ihnen vertrauen. Sie wissen, was sie tun, - sie leben nach ihrer Berufung und müssen an kein Studium denken, während sie in alchimistischer Würde den Drink bereiten, der dich erhebt.

Classic Dry Martini/Martini Cocktail

2 cl Martini Extra Dry
7 cl Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin

Den Martini Extra Dry und den Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin in einen mit Eis gekühlten Shaker geben. Schütteln und dann in ein gut gekühltes Stielglas gießen und mit einer Zitrone oder Olive garnieren. (Wir empfehlen grundsätzlich die Olive.)


4 cl Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
2 cl Martini Rosso
1 Spritzer Angostura

Zutaten in ein Rührglas mit viel Eis geben und verrühren, ohne die Eiswürfel in ein vorgekühltes Martiniglas abgießen.

Manhattan Dry

4 cl Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Whiskey
2 cl Martini Dry
1 Spritzer Angostura

Zubereitung wie Manhattan. Eine grüne Olive mit dazugeben.

Modern Drunkard: In Defence of Drink

16 December 2009

Larkin on England

I thought it would last my time -
The sense that, beyond the town,
There would always be fields and farms,
Where the village louts could climb
Such trees as were not cut down;
I knew there'd be false alarms

In the papers about old streets
And split level shopping, but some
Have always been left so far;
And when the old part retreats
As the bleak high-risers come
We can always escape in the car.

Things are tougher than we are, just
As earth will always respond
However we mess it about;
Chuck filth in the sea, if you must:
The tides will be clean beyond.
- But what do I feel now? Doubt?

Or age, simply? The crowd
Is young in the M1 cafe;
Their kids are screaming for more -
More houses, more parking allowed,
More caravan sites, more pay.
On the Business Page, a score

Of spectacled grins approve
Some takeover bid that entails
Five per cent profit (and ten
Per cent more in the estuaries): move
Your works to the unspoilt dales
(Grey area grants)! And when

You try to get near the sea
In summer . . .
It seems, just now,
To be happening so very fast;
Despite all the land left free
For the first time I feel somehow
That it isn't going to last,

That before I snuff it, the whole
Boiling will be bricked in
Except for the tourist parts -
First slum of Europe: a role
It won't be hard to win,
With a cast of crooks and tarts.

And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There'll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.

Most things are never meant.
This won't be, most likely; but greeds
And garbage are too thick-strewn
To be swept up now, or invent
Excuses that make them all needs.
I just think it will happen, soon.

Going, Going, Philip Larkin (1972)

15 December 2009

Photographic Arts: Dafydd Jones

If you were to add the name Dafydd Jones to the list of illustrious society photographers including Cecil Beaton, Lord Litchfield, and Slim Aarons, you would be quite correct. Daf Jones is a British society photographer whose art has chronicled the goings-on of the cocktail party set in Britain and New York since the 1980s. He has worked for, amongst others, the Tatler, Vanity Fair, New York Observer, Talk, and the Sunday Telegraph. His picture archives are grouped under various headings such as Art & Fashion, Tatler Party Pictures, and English Social Season. My favourites include Dangerous Sports Club and Piers Gaveston. If he had an archive titled Drunk Chaps Wearing Tweed, I would be in it.


14 December 2009

Voilà (Francoise Hardy)


The Matador

Lampedusa: The Siren

The highest prize

Den Kramern lasst ihr Gold,
Den Ruhm den Schlächtern,
Bekkent Euch zu den Verächtern,
Die schwertlos ringen um den Hohen Preis.

Ein bißchen Goethe, ein bißchen Bonaparte (France Gall)

13 December 2009

Bocelli: con te partirò

We attended a Bocelli concert tonight. It was an occasion I will not soon forget.

Buy Nothing Christmas

12 December 2009

La Forme Physique

Every man dedicates his life to an ideal, a cause. A strong, well-balanced body is essential for dealing with the hazards and variable processes that nature, and the modern world, impose on us. Every individual’s situation is different, but achieving a condition of exceptional fitness is key to operating in a demanding environment, be it jungle, desert, suburbia, or modern society. It provides a constant support system for your own will and actions. The body is an instrument that one uses every day; and as with any instrument, it needs to be checked on, repaired, given adequate nourishment, and used with prudence. With a strong, fit body, you are in a position to enforce your will and realise your aims. Tomorrow belongs to you. ~ A.C.

Aedificabo et destruam: Yukio Mishima and Bodybuilding

11 December 2009

Trench Coat Chat

One of the drawbacks of living in Southern California is the dearth of occasions on which I can deploy my heavy outerwear. I am referring to trench coats and overcoats. When friends back East complain about the rain and the snow, I mourn the loss of opportunities to take my coats out for a spin. In the past, my preferences on the whole have been equally divided between the two, depending on purpose and season. The relatively light-weight, military style of the trench coat appeals to me. The trench is perfect for long train commutes into the city or for taking a Saturday stroll along Park Avenue in early November. It is also useful if you are stalking up-to-no-gooders through the grimy streets of the 15th arrondissement of Paris. Below, I have added a brief history of the Trench Coat for your perusal:

The Battle of the Classic Outwear
by Tom Stubbs
Finch's Quarterly Review
Autumn 2009

A brief history of the Trench Coat. When the Crimean war broke out in 1854 new fangled cannon technology made charging about on horses shamefully ridiculous. Nouveau war mainly involved scrabbling about in muddy trenches. This required innovative lightweight kit and clobber, with characteristics such as freedom of movement, protection from the elements combined with elegance worthy of officer types.

Outfitters began devising suitable garb. John Emery founded Aquascutum taking its name from the Latin words for water and shield, and had begun devising shower proof wool coats. Meanwhile in Basingstoke, Thomas Burberry was putting his rainproof ‘Gabardine’ fabric to good use too, just in time for the Boer war to begin, partly inspired by the dynamic belted outwear worn by farm labourers in his area. Now components were combined to produce a versatile and multi functional technical garment.

By the time the Great War began the Trench coat had been contrived. A distinctive Raglan sleeve was used, already invented for Lord Raglan minus his arm. Additional features included a top stitched belt with D rings to hang military paraphernalia from, a storm flap fastening against wind along with a hook and eye collar fastening device, epaulettes for bag straps, and a cape styled shoulder yolk all cleverly coalesce to deliver a uniquely recognisable item of outwear. The oblong leather buckles on the belt and sleeve fastenings and two rows of horn buttons are also very much part of trench DNA.

The officers needed to look dashing as they marshalled the slaughter, so key trench coat protagonists fashion an elongated and striking looking affair. Charged with style, the cache of brave modern soldiering and excellent rain repellence, the trench became a peacetime hit, adopted by icons of screen and notables of society. The abundance of design details and form to play with has given modern designers endless scope to tweak. From very classic to extraordinary hybrids in unexpected fabrics, the trench is as rampantly important this season as any. My favourites are the more pert versions that have a set in sleeve, flaunting Raglan tradition. Stake your trench claim in our battle of the outwear.



AK81: Always Ready

10 December 2009

Reds Don't Surf !


Do you work under a female boss? I am not referring only to the bedroom, but to the office. Women managers, I have found over the years, are easily influenced and manipulated. They are highly susceptible to flattery, and easily swayed.

Female bosses are unfocused. It is a result, I think, of multi-tasking. In one bank where I worked, I knew a group of male analysts who, on being approached by the female department head with some large task in hand, would immediately ask about her weekend, or ask about her daughter who was away at boarding school, or compliment her on her hair. After a while she would leave, flattered and flustered, apparently having forgotten why she wanted to talk to the analysts in the first place. I have seen this technique work time and again.

In the past, when I had a female boss, I was usually able to use my charm and good looks to get my own way, or to obtain preferential treatment of some kind, including office sex. The trick with a female manager is, never make her forget that she is a woman first and foremost--even if she looks like your Aunt Phyllis.

Jean Raspail Collection

Jean Raspail (1925-): Frenchman, writer, traveller, explorer, thinker, King of Patagonia, prophet of demographic disaster. This (above) is how a man of the West should dress. The Beast, by contrast, is identified by his t-shirt, hoodie, white sneakers, and baggy denim trousers. As the world around us continues to slide into the muck--like a fat chick on Spring Break in Baja entering a jacuzzi with beer and nachos-with-extra-cheese in hand and a lascivious grin on her distorted face--it is a duty incumbent upon us to hold the sartorial line. For it is later than you think.

08 December 2009

Hemingway on Mackinaw Coats

The Three-Day Blow (1925)
"Nick stopped and picked up a Wagner apple from beside the road, shiny in the brown grass from the rain. He put the apple in the pocket of his Mackinaw coat.”

“Nick put on his Mackinaw coat and his shoes. His shoes were stiff from the drying. He was still quite drunk but his head was clear.”

Islands in the Stream (1970)
“He got up from the floor and put on moccasins and an old Mackinaw coat…”

The Last Good Country (1972)
“He kissed her but she did not wake and he put on his old Mackinaw coat and felt in the packsack until he found the pint bottle of whiskey.”

“In the night he was cold and he spread his Mackinaw coat over his sister…”

07 December 2009


Parlez Nous a Boires (Dewey Balfa)

Legacy (Mansun)

New York Stock Exchange 1963

06 December 2009

Léo Malet

05 December 2009

Still Life: The Afternoon Of

la virilité d’un peuple

"Affaiblissement des valeurs de courage et de virilité, au profit de valeurs féminisantes, xénophiles, homophiles et humanitaires.

L’idéologie occidentale hégémonique accomplit cette dévirilisation des Européens, à laquelle ne succombent pas les colons allogènes appelés “immigrés”. L’homophilie actuelle, comme la vague féministe de la fausse émancipation de la femme, le rejet idéologique de la famille nombreuse au profit du couple nucléaire instable, la chute de la natalité, la valorisation spectaculaire du Noir ou de l’Arabe, l’apologie constante du métissage, le refus de la valeur guerrière, la haine de toute esthétique de la force et de la puissance, ainsi que la lâcheté généralisée sont quelques-uns des traits de cette dévirilisation.

Confrontés à l’islam qui prône par-dessus tout des valeurs de virilité conquérante, les Européens se trouvent moralement désarmés et complexés. Toute la conception du monde contemporaine, qu’elle provienne du législateur, de l’éducation publique, de l’épiscopat ou des médias, s’emploie à culpabiliser la notion de virilité, assimilée à une “brutalité fasciste”. La dévirilisation serait un signe de civilité, de mœurs raffinées, ce qui est un discours paradoxal de la part d’une société qui sombre par ailleurs dans le primitivisme et la violence.

La dévirilisation, qui est également liée à l’individualisme narcissique et à la perte du sens communautaire, paralyse toute réaction envers les menées des colonisateurs issus de l’immigration et du parti collaborationniste. Elle explique la faiblesse de la répression envers la délinquance immigrée, l’absence de solidarité ethnique des Européens face aux allogènes et la “peur” pathologique qu’ils éprouvent devant eux.

De surcroît, la notion de “virilité” ne doit en aucun cas se confondre avec celle de “machisme” ni avec la revendication stupide d’un quelconque “privilège social masculin”. Dans leur comportement quotidien, beaucoup de femmes se montrent plus “viriles” que bien des hommes. La virilité d’un peuple est la condition de son maintien dans l’histoire."

Pourquoi nous combattons: manifeste de la résistance européenne, Guillaume Faye, 2001

Les Nouveaux Dandys

© 2009 Monsieur

04 December 2009

Love Plus One (Haircut 100)


Hackett, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris

03 December 2009

Mouthful of Rocks (Christian Jennings)

Christian Jennings attended Downside School. In 1984 he started a military career as a paratrooper in the French Foreign Legion. In this memoir, he recalls the training, the vicious routine beatings, the boozing and whoring during off-duty hours--and the scathing xenophobic views freely expressed by the various nationalities with which he soldiered. Posted to the African Republic of Djibouti, Jennings was mercilessly bullied by his immediate superior, a Spanish corporal, and went over the hill. Captured by bounty hunters while wandering across the East African desert, he found life in jail preferable to active duty in the 2nd Parachute Regiment. Given a second chance, he accompanied the regiment to France on field maneuvers and took advantage of another opportunity to desert. Successful this time, he was subsequently arrested on forgery charges and served a nine-month sentence. For the last ten years, Jennings has been a foreign correspondent covering military interventions, Special Forces operations and world conflicts in thirteen different countries. From 1999-2003 he was based in Kosovo and the Balkans and from 1994-1998 in Central Africa, where he reported on genocide, civil war, and humanitarian disasters from Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Congo. Currently, Christian Jennings works and lives in Sarajevo.

02 December 2009

Corvus Corax

01 December 2009