ACW

ACW

Monday, 8 June 2015

Old hat, new hat

by Annie Try

Does anyone remember this picture book?  You may not be able to read that it is by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  It was first published in 1973.  The male character is desperately trying to choose a new hat; as the story reaches its climax it goes . . .


'Too twisty.  Too twirly.
Too wrinkly.  Too curly.
Too holey.  Too patchy.
Too feathery.  Too scratchy.
Too crooked.  Too straight.
Too pointed . . . 
                                         WAIT!'

I remember reading it to my children, their eyes wide as the tension mounted and they were listening to hear the word 'wait'.  You can probably guess what happens in the end; the old hat is retrieved, which is 'Just right, just right, just right'.

      I have the same dilemma.  There's another wedding about to happen in the family and my sister (mother-of-the-bridegroom) has said, 'I don't mind you wearing a hat, but perhaps not quite such a large one!"  So my old hat is no good.  I am now hunting in a world full of fascinators.  I was the only one in a hat of any size last time, but there were plenty of pretenders.  Heads were adorned by crazily perched shrunken versions of the real thing.  All closely resembling something you'd find as a table decoration or in the shower.  I can't make myself wear one of those!
Old Hat

      It has occurred to me that maybe my organza extravaganza is no better than the bargain hats I've managed to track down, but rejected. But this is the one that makes me feel dressed up.  I am familiar with its floating whiteness.  It doesn't fall off my head.  It has come out several times and is usually admired.  

       But, my reluctance to try a new one has set me a challenge.

       Here it is - quite a few questions in fact, so here goes: How do I live my life?  Am I sometimes too feathery with people - soft when I need to be more firm?  Or do my words come across as scratchy or maybe too straight?  Scratchy, maybe, especially with my closest ones.  But straight?  Can that ever be a fault?  Maybe it's only wrong if it goes with 'pointed'.  If I am true, honest, upright in my life, that's good, but only if done with an attitude of love.  Without that, all is lost.  I've missed out 'holey' and 'patchy'.  Mmm - I'm not sure about those, do people see through me?  Am I consistent in my words and actions?  I try to be.  But while I'm thinking about holes, do I always fill the God-shaped hole within me with what it should be filled with? Or do I sometimes look for other things to fulfil my spiritual needs?  I pray that I never will.

But that's enough blogging - I have a hat to buy - quite firm, a little feathery, straight but softened with a generous amount of love. 

                                   Certainly not this little 'fascinator' then . . .  













Annie Try is the pen-name of Angela Hobday, ACW Vice-Chair.  She lives in Norfolk in a house that is many miles from any hat-shops and spends part of her time as a child psychologist.  She is on her Church leadership team, dances, plays the cello and spends time with her vast family.  Plus she loves writing, of course.  She is author of 'Losing Face' published by Roundfire Books and her next YA novel, 'The Crazy Dance of Emma J' is being considered by a publisher.



10 comments:

  1. Love this. It as certainly made me think, this Monday morning.

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    1. Thanks Wendy. And thank you for all your hard work making the ACW blog possible.

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  2. Firstly, thanks you for a reminder of a favourite childhood book - I must track it down for my children! Secondly, loved the idea of equating all those twisty twirly words with character and how we are experienced by others. Thirdly, a wave from a fellow 'cellist in a next-door county: shall we get together and play sometime?

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I had to take a photo of the back of the book because the front cover is virtually non-existent from all the use the book has had over the years. I wonder if the writers of the book had meant it to be read to include character? I noticed a moment yesterday when I reshaped what I was saying because 'too pointy' popped into my mind. I'd love to meet up some time but maybe without the cello - my skills are very basic but I do love scraping along with a sort-of bass line in church!

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  3. Thanks Angela. And I hope you find a suitable hat for the wedding (I love that white one - very stylish and totally suits you) x

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    1. Still looking - and the wedding is Saturday. Old hat might be the one!

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  4. As my very good friend and writing buddy, I can assure you that you are far from being scratchy. Angela. But neither are you soft and feathery in the sense of being just a pretty face. Straight - yes - an invaluable trait when critiquing a WIP. Honest, open, loving and wise - you didn't cover that one. Hope you'll be true to youself when choosing your hat.

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  5. Thank you Merrilyn, but I'm sure you exaggerate. Anyway, my writing buddy is pretty great too - I feel a blog or article coming on about qualities and skills of a writing buddy. Ability to use Skype is definitely one for us!

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  6. What a great post! As a real hat lover (my twitter name is actually loverofhats), I love your comparison between aspects of hats and real life. I am also a big hat lover - I've just bought one not dissimilar to your white one for my son's wedding - and I've also felt I haven't been so true to myself lately, not just in hats, but in the way I live my life. This is going to be a favourite post for a long time!

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  7. Isn't great when the little dilemmas in life like hats lead us to consider much bigger questions :)

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