,Hats fascinate me. To see people in hats that really suit them, gives my heart a little lift. And makes me wish I was a little braver. You get noticed in a hat. Well, not a baseball cap in my hometown as people wear them like second skins, ditto with toques, a winter necessity but people notice people in dressier hats. Straw hats or cotton wide brimmed hats are more common place now in summer due to increased knowledge about the sun's damage and heat stroke etc. So maybe I can start my hat wearing adventures in summer.
When I was 14 and 15 in Britain, I went through a distinct hippy phase with long skirts (my mam made them for me as they weren't really in fashion) and a couple of floppy hats--a sky blue gauzy one decorated with silk daisies and a wide brimmed, pink felt one. I wore them proudly all around town and loved how free they made me feel.
Ah and I also remember when I was 11 wearing a Scottish tam, mainly to hide the knots and tangles in the back of my long hair.
But I also loved everything Scottish after having just had my heart stolen by Scotland on holidays that summer. The next summer we holidayed in Wales. I had a crush on a boy a year older staying in our same B&B and he had a tilley-like hat covered in badges of places he'd been. Of course the next day, so did I. But we were still too shy to talk to each other and had to take our hats off for meals anyway so it was difficult to compare badges .
The hat I remember most was an ugly hand-knit beige-ish one that I was supposed to wear as a little girl. It had long straps that had to be tied under my chin. But all they did was itch. I probably squirmed and screamed when I was forced to wear it in winter or whenever there was a wind (I had ear trouble as child) because it felt so restrictive. Perhaps I knew how ugly it looked too. I love having long hair, always have, but when I was about 4 I had my hair cut, very much against my will. My long hair often tangled and I would only let my dad brush it then as he took great care with it and got the knots out gently. Mam and Nanna were far too impatient and rough. So likely they were the ones behind me getting my hair cut. I remember people saying it looked cute. But oh how I missed my hair swirling around my shoulders. I used to jump on the bed and dance whenever I felt happy or whenever I needed to get myself feeling happy. When jumping on the bed, especially, I missed the feeling of my hair flouncing around my face. So I took to wearing the ugly knit hat with the straps hanging loose.
Those straps became my long hair as I repeatedly flipped them over my shoulders. I just pretended I had long braids. Not a perfect solution, but tolerable.
I wore that hat all the time in the house waiting for my hair to grow. I wasn't allowed to wear it outside for a couple of reasons. Firstly I refused to let anyone tie the straps. Secondly it was summer and this was a winter hat. But I didn't care. Nor did I care that the hat was ugly any more. My spirit was so starved for my long hair. I admire now, how that little girl, me!, knew instinctively how she felt with short hair, no matter what anyone else said. And how creatively she solved the problem.
Perhaps that same spirit isn't buried too deep inside me. Perhaps she'll take me off hat shopping. Sooner rather than later.
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.