It's been an extremely dull day at work - the worst by far since my return a couple of weeks ago - but it was all made a little more tolerable after I received word this morning that the hat I ordered on 7th July 2008 was next in line to be made by the hatmaker.
This is, of course, excellent news. I like hats.
I'm never usually one for delayed gratification, but the hat is, you see, a 100% handmade, 100% beaver felt fedora made to the most exacting standards (just how exacting you can read here), and I knew when I ordered it that the wait would be at least 18 months....but as it was being custom-made by a master craftsman in Germany, this seemed like a relatively small price to pay. As did the actual price itself, which was a bit more than double what I paid for my existing - machine made, rabbit felt - hat. Considering the amount of additional effort and the superior quality of the materials being used, it wasn't cheap, but on the whole I didn't feel that the price was unreasonable for what I was getting.
As things have turned out, I'm going to have waited well over two years before I finally get my hands on this hat. In the meantime, the pound has collapsed against the Euro and the hatmaker has increased his prices significantly (he has more demand than he knows what to do with, so almost doubling the price was the only way he could think of to keep the waiting list at a manageable level). In real terms, the hat I'm getting (and paid for in advance) is now probably worth nearly 3 times what I paid for it back in 2008. Not that it matters much, as I'm more interested in wearing it than I am in its theoretical value as an investment. Besides, I've been collecting £1 and £2 coins in a terramundi pot since I first placed the order, and there's a good chance that there's already enough in there to cover the cost.
After more than two years wait, to be honest I'm mainly just looking forward to the day when this almost mythical hat actually turns up. I've loved wearing my existing fedora around the world, and I can only hope that the new one accumulates anywhere near as many miles on my head.
What does it look like? Um, same same, but you can never have too much of a good thing, right? Or, indeed, too many hats generally.
Not with my hairline, anyway.....