On 7th July 2008, I ordered a hat.
On 20th December 2010, that hat finally turned up.
There's a perfectly logical explanation for this: it's a 100% beaver felt hat that has been handmade by a craftsman in Germany. The craftsman makes hats for love and in his spare time away from his paying job and his family. It's a long, slow process that involves many hours of painstaking labour, and each hat is a labour of love.
.....So I waited nearly two-and-a-half years for a hat.
And it's arrived.
And, to be honest, it looks a lot like my existing fedora:
...but trust me, it feels completely different. My Akubra is a great hat, but comparatively speaking, it's as stiff as a board. The new hat - an Adventurebilt Deluxe - is as soft as butter. It's also darker in colour and quite a lot higher in the crown. As beaver felt (as opposed to rabbit), it should also be incredibly durable and waterproof, the higher production standards notwithstanding.
I like it.
It's got a tiny little wrinkle on the brim at the front of the hat, where I think the hat has been clamped as the felt has been sanded down until it is smooth. It's a tiny little defect, but one that shows that this has been hand rather than factory-made.
Now I just need to wear it and resist the temptation to wrap the hat up in cotton wool when it has been built to withstand a battering.
In other hat news........
....you might remember that Cody Bones and I made a little wager about the outcome of the Ryder Cup back in October. The prize for the winner was a hat. I won. Cody, gentleman that he is, sent me two hats. In return, I promised him that I would post up pictures of the hats. Well, I've had the hats for a while, so this is probably long overdue.
C. modelling a lovely Chicago Cubs hat, seamlessly adding another team of losers to my already extensive list that includes Wolverhampton Wanderers and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club (my rugby team - Northampton Saints - are, to be fair, top of the league at the moment and flying in European competition, so.....)
This one's a real beauty: the actual hat that Cody used to wear when he played golf. All the way from Timberstone, Michigan.
Cody, you are a scholar and a gentleman. I only hope you like the hats I sent you half as much.
...And later this month, I hope to be able to display an orange trucking hat from a Canadian lumber company.... the gift of a friend from New York who owes me a hat. It really doesn't get any better than that.
You can never have too many hats, right? Not with my hairline.