A Tale of Two (Velvet) Hats


If you know me, you’ll know I love my hats. Always have. Along with my cat-hat, and my one-eyed-foxy-hat, there’s a beret, an Aussie bush hat, a much-loved baseball cap bought in the Tuileries in Paris, and a vast assortment of beanies.


It must have been twenty years ago, on a damp and windswept Saturday morning on holiday, that I bought a floppy velvet hat. It was resplendent in rich jewel colours, with a green satin lining, and I loved that hat. I wore it everywhere for most of that year. At some point I must have relegated it to the wardrobe for a rest, but after that I’ve no idea where it went. It’s been MIA for so long, but I can still picture it. And for no good reason, I was thinking about this long-gone hat a few days ago, wondering – again – where it ended up.


Saturday was a damp and windswept morning as I headed to the supermarket for groceries, and I toyed with the idea of going to the market in the next town. I don’t go there often, maybe three or four times each year, and usually when the weather is better. There was no great reason to go. Parking would be a pain in the butt, and it would make me late for the other shopping I needed to do… but… I wanted to go. My gut instinct told me I really wanted to go, and I’m a great believer in listening to my instinct.


So there I am, shivering in the breeze, clutching a bag of fresh vegetables and trying to figure out just why I felt so compelled to come to this market on this day… and I saw it. A hat stall. Handmade, individual hats in every colour and style. All beautiful, all unique. It just needed a ray of sunshine to pierce the clouds and point directly at the stall… but no, that didn’t happen. My sub-conscious smirked at me. You see now? This is why you came today.


I spent ages trying on different styles and colours, and chatting to the lovely ladies on the stall. And no, there was no floppy velvet hat just like the one I had all those years ago, but I finally selected a soft velvet differently-floppy hat, in an exquisite claret. It took the best part of twenty years, but I finally have a floppy velvet hat again 🙂




P.S. The stall is called Crowning Glory, and can be found at Paraparaumu Market, north of Wellington (NZ).

P.P.S. I’ll be going back for more. There’s a fluffy one that caught my eyes too… 🙂

P.P.P.S This is the one-eyed-foxy hat. Also a favourite 🙂2014_05_01 - new hat





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