Gardening hats

I'm looking into hats. Not actually looking into them – that would be too strange and weirdly whiffy- nor am I a trainee millinerphile. It's just nowadays (and I know why!) my bonce gets cold when out in the garden. I need to get a hat and it has to be the right one.


I have experimented with a couple of different types of hat. I did, for one weekend only last summer, try a baseball cap. I have to admit it did the job of shielding me from the sun, and therefore should also keep me warm, but it did look ridiculous. At what age should someone vow never to wear such caps again? Seventeen, I reckon. I have also rather admired a hat worn by a friend of mine who's a landscaper. It's a leather cowboy type of hat that come rain or shine and with quite a flair, my mate wears. On chatting to him on rainy days, I've seen the drops of water dripping from the front, and on a hot day in summer, hat still in place, he looks cool as a cucumber. I tried one at a local county show and only managed to pull off the look of a character out of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. And not the smart one.


My search widened – fedoras are way too clumsy and would get soggy in the rain; a trilby is too London-centric for me; bucket hats are strictly for Madchester devotees; and my fez kept falling off. I say 'kept' because for some long forgotten reason I had one languishing in the garage and I did try it whilst weeding around the snowdrops the other day. Not practical. Maybe a chin strap would be a useful addition. I'm not sure. The tassel did swing around a bit when I was turning the compost. I could, of course, swap hats during the course of a gardening stint to reflect upon my job in hand. A beret whilst tending the French lavender for example.


None of the above seem right. How about that good old fashioned staple diet of the hat world – a flat cap? I am, after all, from the North so allowed to wear one without explanation or justification.  Along with sparking clogs and a ferret in my overcoat pocket of course. Sadly, I just haven't got the right face for one. More Steptoe and Son than Peaky Blinders.


So, it has to be a woolly beanie type of affair. But now that I've settled on one - or actually a choice from ten donated from various members of my family -  I have realised it might not be the perfect attire for me. One problem is my head is big.  I've bent the arms of glasses stretching them around my head. I've ripped my earlobes (ever so slightly) once when pulling off a jumper. Nice chunky knit cardigans are the answer. Woolly hats also give me headaches due to constriction. If I deliberately choose a size that's too big it slips around causing no end of harrumphing. And once dampened by the rain they do tend to stink like a wet dog. Or is that just me? Wet dog or cold head? Benny or Beckham?


I have to persist with it though. Keeping warm is far better than having to get warm. I've also got some new gardening footwear to sort – boots or wellies? But that’s for another day.