Testing Times

I am grateful – I suppose – to the Weather Gods for their assistance in thoroughly stress-testing my new hat with a variety of weather-related challenges. After Thursday’s workout, it got snowed on (briefly) on Friday (I was on the way to the Muckle Toon and got off the bus with an old lady who looked up and saw the snowflakes and exclaimed ‘it’s snowing!’, just as delightedly as she might have done when she was five). Then on Sunday, I was making my way back from this when it started to rain, proving that no good deed shall go unpunished. It wasn’t particularly heavy, but it was persistent, and when I finally got home after 45 minutes of it – not helped by my bottle dynamo deciding it didn’t like the wet much either – the only part of me that was really dry was my head. My leather boots were soaked through, my waterproof trousers had repeated the embarrassing crotch trick, my gloves were drenched, and although the apocalypse-proof jacket’s apocalypse-proofing had held, I had worn one layer too many and was damp from the inside, as it were.

The tweed cap is not billed as waterproof, although quite a lot of the rain was just beading on the surface of the wool, and it had soaked up some of the water. But as I was riding with my head down, it had all just gathered in the peak and then dripped off, leaving the lining completely dry. I don’t imagine it would hold off the rain entirely for three hours, but to be honest if I end up having to cycle for three hours in the solid rain, I think I’d have bigger problems to worry about than a damp head – like my sanity, for instance. Although that said, I think the traditional way to get your tweed hat to fit is to soak it thoroughly and then wear it on your head all day until it is dry or you have died of pneumonia, whichever is the soonest. So at least I would have a snugly fitting hat.

Anyway, today was another blustery one and I can report that, although it felt a little uneasy at times in a cross wind, the hat was 100% better at staying on my head than my glasses, which got blown off my face in a sudden gust before I could catch them. I leave it to you to imagine what it’s like looking for a pair of small brown-rimmed pair of specs on a mud-coated road with eyesight that moles laugh at. Fortunately no car came along while I was searching (and no, I haven’t got around to ordering a new pair yet, why do you ask? It’s only been four months of having them fall off my face at every possible inconvenient moment, which is but a blink of an eye in me-shopping time).

So score one to the good people of Harris and their sheep, and their magical tweed. And now I think we can say it has been very thoroughly tested and doesn’t need any more weather thrown at it for a while. Please?


5 Responses to Testing Times

  1. commuterjohn says:

    You must move on to a hub dynamo and banish your bottle dynamo woes!

  2. CJ says:

    Poor you. My eyesight is similarly bad. If I ever have to look for something on the floor without glasses/contact lenses I have to put my nose about two centimetres from the ground. The hat sounds like a triumph though.

  3. disgruntled says:

    @john – I know, but it’s complicated by the need to swap wheels around. I made sure I got a light that could work with a hub dynamo as well
    @CJ – for a long time I had a pair of spare glasses-finding glasses which were in a predictable location for finding the pair I’d taken off and put down somewhere (now I just don’t take them off)

  4. John Gibson says:

    Although that said, I think the traditional way to get your tweed hat to fit is to soak it thoroughly and then wear it on your head all day.

    This is what we use to do with beret’s when I was in the army.

  5. disgruntled says:

    It’s what you traditionally did with jeans too, come to think of it

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