Thursday, 12 December 2013

"All Around My Hat". Another cap to wear around the smallholding.

A belated  50th birthday present arrived the other day.  It's a baseball cap from America with a picture of a Ford 3000 tractor on it.  I have a real Ford 3000 tractor on our smallholding.  So I couldn't have got a better present.  I seem to be collecting hats these days.  I reckon I have at least 16 hats these days.

Hats are great around a smallholding.  If I had a pound (or Euro) for the number of times a cow or branch or bramble took my hat off instead of damaging my head?  

Any road I reached the big FIVE 0 last week.  Fifty to be precise.  According to the adverts I can take out a funeral plan (free Parker pen), go a (wait for it!) over fifties holiday.  Perhaps I could get an allotment or a smallholding?  Already done that.  In my twenties and thirties.  I blame that self sufficiency guru:  John Seymour.  He wrote some brilliant books and inspired millions.  

Time for a song.  "All Around My Hat!"  Steeleye Span are currently touring Blighty at the moment.  Wish they were playing Ireland.  


  1. Yeah, baseball caps. used to be cheap & cheerful, but the big name labels seem to have taken over and pushed prices up.
    Used to buy one every trip for the local pub, the landlady collected them and hung them all on a picture rail round the bar, every one earned a pint of the local bitter (Jennings), it was a talking point because anybody going away brought on back, so it was like a grand tour of "places my regulars have visited". She left the pub (another village pub bites the dust) so it's gone now, wonder where the hats went?

    My current headgear is a Bacardi cap, obtained free on a DFDS ferry one night, a Barcardi promotion night it was, about 4 years ago, and another from Bangkok, bought there for about 90p, 7 or 8 years ago and still going strong if looking a bit beat-up now.

    Big 5-0 also qualifies for Saga membership and all the "benefits" it confers, £79 life subscription membership, it's worth it for the monthly magazine, and a weekly e-mail. They've even got their own cruise ships, I was invited ti visit one, Saga Rose, when it was moored off Whitehaven during a "Round the British isles" exreavaganza (too big to get into the harbour) and very nice it was, complete with medical facilities and morgue. Crewed, inevitably, by predominantly Philippines staff. They also do insurance of all kinds at reasonable rates, my house contents are insured with them, and they've always been very good, you can speak to a real person on the phone.

    Pouring down this morning and windy but seems a bit warmer though, Raggy cat came in a bit wet and bedraggled.

  2. The pub hat collection must have been a very eclectic sight. Great idea for everybody to bring back a hat (any many a tale) from their trips.

    I often look at those old black and white sepia news reels with the massive crowds wearing cloth caps. Educated sorts no doubt wore bowlers, or even a top hat. Wonder when it all disappeared? Lasses used to wear scarves and clogs in those Lowry paintings.

    Looked at the Saga website. Good features on allotments. Wonder if they have 'Seventies and Eighties nights'? Back to the days of Watneys Party Seven, Babycham, Berni Inns and "Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree." Perhaps 50 is the new 25?

    It does make a difference to talk to a real person on a phone, doesn't it? Modern times seem to be devoid of good manners and awful answer machines. You can't beat:

    "Please and Thank-you".

    Rained last night here. Dry and windy today. Terrier sat at my feet. A great and loyal pal.

    Poor Raggy cat!


  3. Babycham, Pony, Snowballs, Barley wine, McEwans No 3, Mackeson, Worthington White Shield, Blue Bass.
    All seem to be out of fashion now.

    The flat cap survived here for a long time, it became quite a fashion item about the 70s I think it was, all sorts of designs and colours. Never seen anybody in a bowler, the Trilby seemed the thing for management types.
    Woolly hats were popular among fishermen, warm and didn't blow off in a gale.

    Yes, I get a bit frustrated with the answering machines, press 1 for......2 for......etc, etc, until after 12 or so choices another answering machine tells me " All our operatives are busy at the moment. Your call is important to us and will be answered as soon as possible". Then, if I haven't put the phone down after 10 more minutes of "Greensleeves", it's usually answered by somebody with an incomprehensible accent and unpronounceable name "Hi, you're through to customer services, gobbledegook speaking, how may I help you today?". By which time I've usually lost the will to live and forgotten what it is I was calling about.

    Not nice out this morning, strong winds and rain.
    Raggy cat in early, chicken for brekkie, and asleep on bed with Mrs.

  4. Happy belated birthday wishes to you

  5. There are so many great drinks that are out of fashion these days. I suppose its the lager culture to blame for the more exotic? A lot of the lagers are very gassy and overrated. I really wish there was some real ale here in Ireland instead of Guinness, Murphys, Smithwicks, Budweiser and Carlsberg. The lagers are nothing but sugar water and gas. Still drinking the Mead and Jeddah Gin. Thanks again for the recipes.

    Agricultural Government departments with phones (if you get through) are always run by unhelpful people who seem to think you want an argument. They also never answer your emails. Totally fed up with answer machines. What ever happened to human beings, silver service restaurants and "the customer is always right" motto?

    Storms forecast for the weekend. Be glad when Christmas is over and done with. Why can't it be the nearest Sunday and just for one day? It's such an anti climax and there's nothing to do.

    Good old Raggy cat.

  6. Thanks Bedford Gypsy. 50 is a big milestone. So many things I want to do before I am too old. Thanks!


Another One Of My Gardens.

We made this garden last summer.  Number one son cleared and levelled and broke rock with his digger.  He also laid the round patio whilst ...