Exciting Headwear News

August 26, 2022

A mere almost-three-months after I first decided I needed one, I have a new bunnet:

This represents something of a land-speed record for me when it comes to buying things, which just goes to show how important my tweed cap is to my general well being. I have actually had the relevant page open in a tab in my browser since I wrote the original blog post, but it took a combination of my mislaying my temporary replacement bunnet, and the return of tweed weather after the brief joys of the heatwave, for me to actually press the button and do the deed (normally I would spend the intervening months truffling through charity shops for a potential alternative first, but there are a few things I draw the line at buying secondhand, and it turns out hats are one of them).

It’s already had its first baptism, a sprinkling of rain as I headed down to the Pepperpots this morning, but I suspect its real test is yet to come. So far, all I can report is that for a hat designed for a small child, it’s still actually a bit roomy on my tiny head but I do like the elasticated back which makes it feel a bit more secure without having to be jammed on headache tight in a headwind. As to whether it will equal its predecessor in warmth, rain-proofness and its ability to give the wearer a feeling of general invincibility, only time will tell.

I know you can barely wait to find out.

To Cap it All

June 3, 2022

To anyone who knows me in person, a warning that I’m about to become unrecognisable.

My tweed cap – or bunnet, as it is more properly known around here – worn in all weathers (we have very few days around here in which you would not benefit from something warm and waterproof on your head), is beginning to look more than a little worse for wear.

Frayed tweed hat

I’m disappointed, to be honest. This is a proper Harris Tweed cap and it gave every impression of being invulnerable, at least to anything the weather gods could throw at it. I’ve lost count of the number of rides where I’ve come home and the sole part of me that was still dry was the top of my head. I had hoped it would last a little longer than nine years, which appears to be when I got it (thank goodness for a blog which details the minutiae of your life, eh?) Nine years is barely broken in; I’ve only just stopped thinking of it as my ‘new’ cap. I suspect that it has been caught in one thorn bush too many while gardening the wilder reaches of our plot, either that or a dog got it at some point. Or possibly the moths…

Some people have suggested mending it, but I doubt whether my darning efforts, visible or otherwise, would render it properly waterproof, or even wearable in public. So this means buying a replacement, and of course it’s never that simple. The main issue is that I have a tiny head, and I need a cap that’s properly snug if it’s to stay on while cycling. There are innumerable tweed bunnets on sale locally and online (every male inhabitant of Bigtown appears to be issued with one on his 60th birthday, apart from anything else). But the men’s hats don’t go down to size pinhead, and the women’s hats … look like this.

Fancy looking tweed hats

Don’t get me wrong – I know many women and not a few men who’d absolutely rock that sort of head gear but they are NOT BUNNETS (and to add insult to injury, they cost £10 more than the men’s hats).

Fortunately, I have found a site that sells proper Harris tweed caps for kids, complete with an elasticated bit at the back to help keep it on. I’ve measured my head, and it looks as if I will be able to wear the kids’ size large, which they reckon is suitable for 4-7 year olds. Let’s just say this means I’m young at heart, eh?

Meanwhile I have a slightly inferior emergency cap so if you’re approached by a strange woman who looks vaguely familiar but doesn’t appear to be me, I now look a bit like this.

The Wind in My Hair …

March 3, 2020

Well, March nearly got off to the worst possible start with the discovery yesterday that I had lost my tweed cap. Normally it’s fairly safe from my tendency to lose things (see gloves, right handed) as it either lives on my head (if I’m out) or if I’m in the house then it will have come into the house on my head and so can’t have got far under its own steam. Unfortunately, on Sunday, faced with another gusty headwind home, I had taken the precaution of taking it off and putting it in my pocket in case it blew off and into the river. From there, it had undoubtedly fallen out, something I only discovered yesterday afternoon when I was ready to go out again.

This could have been a disaster as it would be tricky to replace. It’s not that tweed caps are hard to come by in Bigtown – every old boy in the town would appear to be issued a ‘bunnet’ on his 60th birthday with strict orders to wear it at all times. They are indeed the perfect headgear for around here being warm, waterproof and fairly secure in the wind; for the cyclist they also offer the benefits of a peak against occasional outbreaks of sunlight and a modicum of buzzard protection. The problem is that they do not usually come in my pinheaded size and they need to be a snug fit to stay on. Last time, I even investigated children’s hats, but they tend not to come in proper Harris Tweed, which is the only appropriate material for a proper bunnet. The current incumbent of my head had to be specially ordered for me by my mother and it might be a while before I was suitably behatted if I had to wait for that process again.

So there was nothing for it but to retrace yesterday’s ride, scanning the road verges with more than usual attention. And there it was, fortunately on a quiet side road, apparently unscathed from 24 hours lying on the ground, for such is the magic of tweed. It may not look like much, my little road-coloured hat, but boy was I glad to see it again.And yes, I did put it straight onto my head (after a good shake). It might be March and no longer actually snowing or blowing a gale but it’s still pretty bloody freezing all the same.

hat on road