Dominic de Bonhomie

I think it was about 7 years ago that we bought a house in southern France. 3 houses actually. The primary house on the village square in an ancient fortified town going back almost a thousand years, was build in about 1760.

Right behind that used to be an alley where people would bring their horses into a barn. But in the ensuing years, the alley got blocked off and claimed by each respective house along the square creating a very small courtyard for each house.

That ‘barn’ was a three story structure built in the 14th century. From the main house a ‘bridge’ was build to connect it to the first story of the barn. Thus we called that building, ‘The Bridge House’ and it was the first part we renovated. It hadn’t been occupied for decades, if not 100 years. We lived there whilst renovating the main house on the square. It’s now our primary AirBnB house.

Beyond the Bridge House was an old ruin. No roof. Only 3 storey-high stone walls with empty windows. We later bought that and connect the Bridge House to it by punching through the wall of the Bridge House to the new property. And we made the ‘ruin’ into a private garden terrace.

To do all this we enrolled in the Workaway Program ( as hosts. It’s a very successful international program where people who want to travel the world can enrol and post their own profile as to the sort of thing they are looking for (gardening, construction, eco projects, you-name-it). Likewise hosts posts profiles listing what they are looking for.

We’ve had over 50 workaways over the past 5 or 6 years and without them we never could have renovated this house by ourselves. They’re also just great fun to have around. They become part of the family.

We’re pretty highly rated as hosts because we treat them well. Good food, wine, beer, local outings and all that sort of thing in exchange for 25 hours of labour.

Dominic Harley was one of the early workaways.

It was his first.

He had earlier walked across France at the young age of 20 something. With him he carried a large leather-strapped tome into which he scrawled long-hand notes of his adventures, intending one day to write a book. His plan was to go off to somewhere in France on the Workaway program, and in his off-time he’d write that book.

So he came to us.

Indeed, he’d sit on the terrace after hours writing away, but alas, being a gregarious fellow, found much merriment in the village and made many friends. Long nights at the bar and other things tended to drag out the book writing. But he slugged on, albeit slowly.

One of his distractions was an ancient piano forte in our living room. He must have played the same song a thousand times.

Then there was the wheelbarrow race in a local hamlet the boasts itself as the international centre for wheelbarrow races.

These things and more take time.

He stayed many months, and I think a year or so later came back again to work on the book some more.

Eventually it was done.

And then my wife Laury sat down with him for weeks more to edit it.

Dom, as we call him, is an interesting mix of modern and ancient. He tended to invent words (like Shakespeare did) and occasionally to use the wrong word when it meant something else.

So he and Laury had to battle it out for some time until she considered (and he begrudgingly agreed) it was ready to publish.

Meanwhile he did another walk through Normandy France, this time to visit all the WWII sites–another book in the making to be sure.

Before he left I advised him to do a video diary. Long ago I had seen a documentary with Ewan McGregor called ‘The Long Way Around’, about a motorcycle journey with a pal of his around the world. Each day ended with a video log of the day and it was quite fascinating.

I think I gave Dom a few tips on how to go about it, and I’ll be damned, he did it and did it well. He did dozens of videos, and honestly I only had the time to watch a few of them, but boy were they good. Absolutely anyone would enjoy them.

So if you’re interested in travel and history and would like an insight into what it’s like to strike off into a foreign land on foot with nothing but a backpack (and GoPro!), I assure you that you would enjoy Dom’s adventures immensely. He’s quite the story teller, artist and adventurer.

He’s already ‘famous’ here in Chalabre. Every one knows Dominic. He’s been back here several times and we always look forward to it.

The book is done. It’s published.

You can find it here: Fair Stood the Wind for France

And for a good take on excellent video blogging, I highly recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel here.

‘By the way his pen name , ‘de Bonhomie’ is from French, ‘de bon homie’, (the good man). I’ll attest to that.

This, I just discovered was one of his early videos describing the beginning of the journey of writing a book featuring, in good part, our house and village in southern France…

28 Videos for a Healthy New Year

My very first client, Zenus Global Health, hired me 11 years ago to do a corporate video for their flagship health product, then known as ‘Optimum Detox’, now Microbiome Boost (pictured centre above).

He (Doug Widdifield) became good friends with my wife and I, but when we moved to England and later to France, we really lost touch.

Last September I got a message from him asking if I was available for a series of new videos. He had a budget. I told him ‘for that you can have me for a month’. And so I went back to the U.S. in November of last year–Las Vegas to be precise.

Doug is a real character. The kind you immediately like. And he seems to know EVERYBODY. Not much of an exaggeration, but the number of big names in Vegas (not to mention other parts of the U.S. and Canada) that he knows is a bit staggering. In fact, I met a few on both trips.

Anyway, turns out that in the last 11 years, unsurprisingly, he made a lot of new friends and contacts. One enthusiastic new friend, who worked for Netflix, wanted to do some videos for his products. He told the guy, ‘no, I’ve already got a video guy’. That’s when he contacted me again. Jeez! To me, that original video was slightly embarrassing (mainly due to video and sound quality at the time), but apparently it had done its job.

So I returned to ‘Joy City’ and did videos for each of his 6 products (including a long and short version of his flagship product), a bunch of short videos derived from the main interviews, a bunch of testimonials and a bunch of ‘shorts’.

In asking about his social media campaigns I found out that he hired an outfit in San Diego who were well recommended with high ratings. But clearly they were doing the bare minimum to get their pay check because it wasn’t impacting his statistics in the slightest. So he dumped them and asked me to take it on.

Me and my big mouth. (just kidding).

Aside from the meager success of my blog several years ago and un-promoted YouTube channel, I’ve had little to do with social media for a few years now. I’ve only just re-signed up for FB and LinkedIn. My next task it to take on the Zenus social media sites and get them working. As part of that, I’ll create a blog for Zenus. Then I’ll start connecting up and engaging with relevant groups in the Wellness arena while launching videos and articles starting with shorts to get the interest of the actual public who might find benefit in Zenus’ offerings.

If you’re still with me, I’d like to start the process right here and hopefully get some feedback.

Following will be some of the shorts I plan to use to get the attention of those who find these subjects or comments interesting or intriguing. That will be be followed by the long version of the flagship product (which starts off with a bit of its history and ends with testimonials). I’d be appreciative of the feedback of anyone who watches all of this. And for those who do and also find interest in the subject, there will be a link at the end which is my affiliate site for Zenus. My first affiliate site! Boy I’m really getting modern.

Anyway, following are some of the shorts, one testimonial (of several) and the long version of the flagship product that includes a bit of its history and testimonials at the end.

By the way, can anyone tell me why you can’t pick thumbnails for YouTube shorts or what the work around is?

Alternative Medicine?
You Are What You Eat?
What Are Vitamins
Microbiome Boost Testimonial
Microbiome Boost, Long Version with some history and testimonials

For anyone who is interested in the product here and what else Zenus has to offer, following is my affiliate link.

BTW, before everything was known about (as covered in the video) it was being used to handle arthritic patients with great success as it’s also a very effective natural anti-inflammatory.

Zenus Global Health

About the Photo

By the way, curious that no one asked about that photo (which I’m now using as my FB banner).

Yeah, after a 5 year hiatus, I got back on FB, but mainly to promote to the locals where I live (in case they want some old retired guy to do some personal or business related videos for them.)

Also got back on Twitter and LinkedIn. Gawd ‘elp me.

Anyway, in 1995 I was in Prague for a video. That was shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Most of the city was still BLACK. They had just started cleaning the town centre revealing some of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe. My wife, who’s travelled much of the world had never been and always wanted to visit Prague. So we went a couple weeks ago for a few days, staying in the ‘Grand Hotel Prague’ in the old town centre directly across from the famous ‘Astronomical Clock’, a marvel created over 600 years ago.

When I first visited Prague, I was impressed with the famous Charles Bridge, lined with statues (then black as soot). Many paintings, post cards and other graphics depict that bridge, often in Black and White with a single red colour (such as an umbrella). I always wanted to do that.

So the photo you see up there is ‘The Video Whisperer’ on the Charles Bridge wearing an actual red scarf. Yes, slightly treated for effect, but job done. If you look at the cover of the book “Run ‘n Gun Videography’, (there’s an ad for it on the right side bar) you’ll see a connection. No, I’m not carrying a camera, but there is an iPhone 13 in my right-hand pocket.

By the way, it’s a damn good book. Yeah, needs to be up-dated, but most of it is timeless and needs no update, so I won’t bother.

But I might finally get around to making it available in soft back.

I’m back.

It’s been a year since I published anything here and not much in the 2 Covid years before.

It’s time I got back to work.

Like many, I had a 2 year drought during Covid. In fact I had ZERO commissions. But I was busy renovating a couple houses here in Southern France anyway.

Then things picked up a few months ago in England and I even had a big job to do in the US which I recently returned from, so there’s lots to share.

Let’s start with something non-corporate.

Jennie is a good friend of ours. 25 years ago she started a high end deli in London called Bayley & Sage. When we met her she had 2 stores, the original in Wimbledon and the second in Parson’s Green London. I think she has 12 now, but I lose count. If you live in London, you must visit one of her stores.

10 years ago Jennie was diagnosed with a serious case (Stage 3, I think) of ovarian cancer. It’s a killer almost 100 percent of the time, even if knocked into remission once or twice.

Well, Jennie is unkillable. If you know of anyone with this challenge, send them the video I did of Jennie 10 years ago (second video below). It’s inspiring as well as informative.

This first video done last September was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Bayley and Sage, and the 10th anniversary of her dog Bayley and 10 years of Jennie being cancer-free.

She invited all her friends her house in St Remy de Provence in France for a 3 day bash during the famous Bull Run in St Remy.

I just shot B roll for 3 days, then asked her for her favourite songs.

This is just an assembly edit using those songs.

I wouldn’t expect everyone to watch the whole thing because these people mean nothing to you, but it is a good study in what you can do with that simple formula: Candidly capture wonderful moments and edit to the person’s favourite music, copyright-be-damned. (you’ll just get stuck with ads appearing on the video)

That said, please do at least watch a few minutes from the 10 minute mark. It’s one of the magical things where a transition in music (a BeeGee’s song used for the disco party) to a slow motion sequence of the bull run (where I almost got gored!) couldn’t have been more perfect.

And here’s the one from 10 years ago:

Still cancer-free 10 years later

Chalabre, France | Four Seasons from the Air

Chalabre, France | Four Seasons from the Air

The funny thing about taking a year to do a video of the 4 seasons is that no matter how hard you try, with all the rest of life going on, you don’t get all the shots you want. You run out when conditions seem right, shoot a shot, and then find out a half an hour after you left there was a dramatic sky with rainbows….that sort of thing. In the end, I used what I got, and in a few cases there, I actually got what I was looking for.

Social Justice Warriors

This is a statue that my wife, Laury Dizengremel, was commissioned for.

I will link to two of my videos, one all about this statue, and a more general one about my sculptor wife, which includes snippets of this commission.

Anyway, it was commissioned for the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Jersey in the United States. This guy, Sir George Carteret, born 1610, served as Baliff on the Isle of Jersey off the coast of France. He was involved in all sorts of things quite commendable, but sorely covered in the Wikipedia article I just read. But to one small point, the reason he was granted a piece of land in the U.S. by the new King Charles, was that Carteret defended the young Charles during a tumultuous period of the English monarchy that eventually led to the beheading of his father, King Charles the 1st. And Carteret was the first to proclaim young Charles the new King of England when it wasn’t so popular at the time to do so. Anyway, Charles became the next king of England and as a reward for Carteret’s shelter and support in an environment of anti-royalty and hanging kings, King Charles II gave Carteret a tract of land in the New World, which Carteret, the Baliff of Jersey, named ‘New Jersey’. (which happens to be where I grew up).

It was also back in the days when slavery was a hot source of labor for the elite of the time.

Anyway, if you think modern history and international relations are complex now, this was back in the wild, wild, west of international relations. And if you think I’m defending monarchy and all that went along with it, no. That’s beside the point. It’s just history–something that social justice warriors have no understanding of except what they are spoon-fed by various agenda pushers and financiers.

And Sir George did indeed dabble in it a bit.

So, as you can imagine, with the various shenanigans going on in the U.S., with mass protests amazingly coordinated and financed by people like George Soros, which have been exported to other countries around the world, George’s statue was vandalized twice. The photo above was the second time in a month or two. That’s blood on his hands and chains at his feet.

So let me make a couple of points.

  1. Who amongst us is aware of what our white ancestors have done that isn’t considered humane or polite today? Any of us have Vikings in our family tree somewhere. Vikings who raped and pillaged villages? Any of us have Catholics in our family tree who, as members of the Spanish Inquisition tortured and killed non-believers? Hey, I live in Southern France. An entire Christian religious sect called the Cathars were wiped out by the Inquisition. For defense, they build castles on the tops of impossibly steep rocky mountains. They’re scattered all around here.The Inquisition and their armies would camp at the base and starve them out over many months. One near here, Mon Seguir, wound up in sort of a truce. They were given the chance to come down and relinquish their beliefs or walk into a funeral pyre. Many walked into the fire and died rather than do so. What about modern religions in the Middle East where stoning to death for imagined transgressions is still practiced? What about the various genocides that have happened around the world? In other words, who amongst us doesn’t have ancestors guilty of crimes against humanity.
  2. But more to the point, RIGHT HERE AND NOW IN THE PRESENT DAY about 40 millions people are trafficked by human traffickers. Mainly women, but 40% are children. Why isn’t the media and all the social justice warriors all over this??

Just because slavery existed a couple hundred years ago for Blacks and they can sort of point to relatively recent heredity to say they had a great or great, great grandmother/father who were slaves doesn’t justify the complaint that they are owed anything now. Black slavery in the modern western world hasn’t existed for a couple hundred years. Many generations. Yeah, it was bad, but people did bad things back then. Get over it. It ain’t happening now.

But child slavery and female slavery and other sorts are happening RIGHT NOW and it affects millions RIGHT NOW. You want a cause? Get onto that one that matters right now. Sorry if your great, great grandfather was a slave. You aren’t. You’re just a slave to some unsavory characters who favor anarchy and have the money to finance your movement and the toppling of governments. Don’t think that these ‘spontaneous’ protests and riots just happen. They are organised and paid for.  You’re a slave to them and you’re just a slave to the media who are owned by these sorts.

Wake up. You’re fighting the wrong war.

History was then. Learn from it.

What’s really happening in the present is far more important.

Here’s the story of the Sir George Carteret statue and why it was deemed a significant historical monument. Incidentally, neither my wife or the official on Jersey who commissioned it was aware of any slavery connection at the time, despite research and consultation with historians.  So maybe history was white-washed a bit in this case. But when isn’t it? It comes down to who writes histories and what they want to be known and remembered. Very much like the main stream media who write stories they want you to know and remember. If it doesn’t fit the narrative, you don’t hear it.

Like George Flyod. You heard and saw what they wanted you to hear and see.

Interestingly, it was the BBC in England that first released the full police bodycam footage of the entire event. Not the U.S. media and, (forgive me if I’m wrong because I don’t live there now), it wasn’t released by the mainstream there either–because it didn’t follow the narrative. BUT. with that footage and the autopsy report, the whole ‘I can’t breathe’ narrative takes on an entirely different look. Listen, if you’re stuck on it, fine. But if you want to know the whole story of what really happened, tragic as it was, dig into it. The data is there on the web. If you’re really interested, I can point you in the right direction, but I shouldn’t ‘t have to.

And here’s a little video I did for my sculptor wife some time ago before the media descended upon her to demand her reasoning for making a statue of Sir Geoge Carteret.








Well, this happened yesterday with my YouTube channel.

I knew it was going to happen, but then got caught up in something and came back to find I’d missed it. (I was going to film the screen live and capture it).

Anyway, it’s a bit humbling. I’ve never really promoted the channel, and strangely, most of the 350 or so video are the corporate videos I’ve done with a handful of music videos and documentaries thrown in.

Then there are those series of camera reviews I did on the NX30 and X70 which account for about a third of all the views as well as a few other odd tutorials.

The Sony X70 review I think surpassed all other camera reviews on the internet in terms of views  and comments. It’s an old camera and is still being watched every day as my top video and is sitting around 180,000 views.

The only thing being seen in bigger numbers these days is DRONE REVIEWS! And I don’t plan to get into that as the field is very ably covered, I assure you.

But I do have a drone now (DJI Mavic Pro Platinum), so that’s something you’ll be seeing more of here in the next short while.

If you thought I was gobsmacked with the NX30 (in its time) and the X70 (in its time), the DJI Mavic Pro technology is beyond “pure frickin’ magic'” by a lightyear or two.

Anyway friends, THANK YOU for being there and following me or putting up with me or whatever it is that you’ve been doing.

I will be entering my next phase soon and it’s likely to be a new platform ( It will be introduced by a new video (featuring me–like in the old review videos, and some splashy drone footage shot around here where I live in Chalabre, France). It’ll be cool.

I had hoped for that to coincide with the million views, but that didn’t work out. I hope to get around to it very soon.

I’m actually retired now, so this will be my retirement phase. It will be more aligned to giving you guys what you want rather than me shoving down your throats what I’ve done and why.

It will be fun, and soon I’ll invite you all to be part of it.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year.

And thank you for sticking with and occasionally saying nice things about me these past few years. (insert winking smiley face here–apparently not a WordPress option)




Family Stuff


I found myself in England with a week of downtime between a couple of other videos, so spent a couple of days doing this one. Most of the time was fishing through 15 terrabytes of drives digging out the material. Laury’s back in France. I’ll be going back there tomorrow.

Unusually, this one started off with a piece of music that I had bought and never used. I liked it and thought it might work for a short promotional/mini-bio piece on my wife’s work.

Laury doesn’t follow this blog, so this is between you and me.

At the end I’ll be asking you a favour.

What’s with that picture?

That’s Laury being ‘pushed into her new life’ by the Chief of the Blackfeet Indians, ‘Earl Old Person’.

That’s our wedding in Montana where we lived for about 18 months before moving to England.

I asked Earl Old Person if that was always his name. You know, even when he was a kid. Yes, that was his name, even as a kid.

The ceremony was a mixture of Blackfoot and English. When he pushed Laury (who didn’t know what was going on) she resisted. (that’s our Laury)

The Chief’s secretary had to whisper from the sidelines, “He’s pushing you into your new life.”

“oh, cool.”

See that feather in her hair? He had me put that there. It’s a American Bald Eagle feather. We were both given one.

One of the concessions the US government gave the American Indians was that only American Indians could possess eagle feathers. (they’re a significant part of their spiritual culture). It is actually a crime with a $10,000 fine for a white man to possess or try to sell eagle feathers.

We think Earl Old Person got in trouble for that. But that’s another story.

We also were given Indian names, which we didn’t expect.

Me: ‘Mountain Walker’

She: ‘Bird Woman’

Another long story.

Anyway, there’s a bit of the background to the ‘in the Rocky Mountains of Montana’ part of the video.

In the 18 months there Laury joined an artist group called the ‘Alpine Artisans’, of which Jennifer, the master basket maker was a member.

Laury made lots of friends no matter where she was. And she got involved in art projects and sculpture, no matter where she was. There’s practically no place on this earth where she doesn’t have friends to visit or stay with when she’s travelling. Believe me, I’ve stayed with many of them.


There’s Mountain Walker getting pushed into his new life.

Anyway, the video?

It’s just another run and gun video. At least all the footage was. A ‘compilation’ video is probably the proper term.

I’ve been practicing with my Mavic Pro Platinum, so there’s that.

Also, near the beginning there are a couple of short ‘dolly shots’ (handheld with the Sony X70). Those are a couple of statues she did near Dublin, Ireland about 10 years ago. One of my recent videos was in Dublin. I made the short trip to Drogheda to see the statues and sent her a selfie with me and her work, to which she replied, “OMG!” (I didn’t tell her I planned to go there).

Attention: Justin Opinion. (follower of this blog). If you see this, contact me with your details. I’ll be in Texas first week of December. I’d like to visit.

And, as always, it was fun making it.

Hope you enjoy it.

And that favour I was going ask of you, my few loyal followers:

Please share it on your social media with whatever excuse.

She wants to make more steel sculptures, and who knows; maybe one of your friends will find the perfect Christmas present they’ve been looking for.


Off-Topic Rant

I like good police dramas; ‘The Killing’ (Danish version), ‘The Bridge’ (Swedes?), ‘The Money Heist’ (Spanish), and many others. And things like ‘Breaking Bad’ (best of the best in my opinion). I think I’ve written about each in this blog.

Now I’m watching an Amazon Prime series (Bosch), a US police drama because, it seems, I’ve already watched just about everything else.

It’s good and I am enjoying it. Excellent characters and acting across the board along with an excellent and original storyline.

But why, oh why, in EVERY single drama I’ve ever seen are the obligatory scenes of ‘protests’ always so unconvincing?

It seems there’s a must in contemporary scriptwriting to include protests scenes involving ‘social justice warriors’.

I know the drill. I used to direct.

They hire extras and make up a bunch of prop signs and ‘stage a protest’.

If everything else is so good (acting, characters, etc.) and they feel so obligated to stage scenes of social justice warriors protesting, WHY are they always so unconvincing, including the casting and acting of the principle actors of the protest? Why do they always give it such short shrift, assign to ‘Second Unit B roll directors’ or whatever.

Is it because all these protests and movements are so fake and sponsored by unseen vested interests hiring paid bad actors to begin with?

It’s hard to believe Hollywood is so honest. Or so stupid.

Well, not really.

Just sayin’.


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