Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hats I Have Worn, Part 1

June 1988: The day I left school, my Dad drove me to John O'Groats. I don't know why; perhaps by taking me to the northernmost point of mainland Britain he intended for me to contemplate the finite nature of existence. Or maybe it was meant to mark the passing of a specific phase of my life. Or perhaps it was just a day out. In any case, he took a photo of me sitting at the end of the jetty, wearing his hat, which was some kind of jaunty, nautical peaked-cap affair.

I loathed the resulting photo, since it provided unwelcome and incontrovertible evidence of the fact that I look nothing like Kate Moss. My Granny, however, was determined that this photo should be on the cover of Vogue. Fortunately - for me and for Vogue - this never transpired.

To this day, my brother, my two cousins and I continue to disappoint Granny by completely failing to live up to her expectations. Over the years she's learned to get around this inconvenience by simply making stuff up about us. There's a whole coterie of elderly ladies in the North of Scotland who believe that I am a multi-millionaire property magnate with an army of servants, my brother is the art editor of Country Life, and the Divine Ms P is a strategic adviser to the Filipino government.

All evidence to the contrary (which, as you might imagine, is extensive) is explained away as wilful eccentricity on our part. Luckily wilful eccentricity is also an admirable quality in Granny's eyes, as it indicates a profound, Bohemian intellect. It's my Bohemian streak, for example, that prompts me to go around in jeans and scruffy cardigans when I could easily afford to wear a different Chanel suit every day.

My cousin M's glittering career is harder to fabricate, since he lives next door to Granny and quite evidently works as a team leader in a warehouse belonging to a dotcom company that sells outdoor equipment, but she does her best. Last I heard, he'd been invited to join the Board of Directors and was on track to become the youngest CEO in the FTSE 100.

More hat stories soon!


james henry said...

Not soon enough. MORE HATS!

patroclus said...

Hmm. Are you testing out your cyberworld superpowers by making me write stuff about hats? Because if so, I won't have it!

Although I did have another post lined up about a floppy black velvet hat I once had. So, er, more on that story later.

Dave again said...

And next time, we want pictures too.


patroclus said...

For pictures, you have to wait for Hats I Have Worn, Part 3. I have a lovely picture for that one.

Smat said...

I had a floppy black hat circa 1989 which *mysteriously disappeared* - you weren't involved with that were you?
I also had a gorgeous brown felt hat which went very well with my full length (fake) fur coat. I was stunningly fashionable back in the early 90s.
More hats please.

patroclus said...

Hi Smat - mine dates from 1991, so I suspect they are not one and the same. Although I might have nicked it and hidden it until I thought you'd forgotten about it. Which you clearly didn't.

More hats soon, but first I have to formulate thoughts about the potential liberation of women via the cyborg activity of blogging.

Gah. I hate my dissertation already.

Dave again said...

I hope you're singing the Doctor Cyborg theme song whilst writing the dissertation.

Rach said...

More hats, indeed. And maybe also various other hat-type condiments such as snoods?

patroclus said...

Hello Rach, and welcome! I've already explored the condiments-on-the-head thing at the end of this one, but having said that there is a jar of red chilli sauce in the cupboard that I haven't tried. On my head, I mean - I've had it in pasta.