Denis Lehane: The farming hat

It isn't every day I make a purchase, but I did so at the recent ploughing championships, writes Irish Examiner Farming Columnist Denis Lehane.
Denis Lehane: The farming hat

It's not easy buying a good hat when you've got a head like a turnip.

It isn't every day I make a purchase, but I did so at the recent ploughing championships. I purchased a hat.

A hat, I feel, when perched properly on my head, sets me apart from the farming herd.

I bought a dark-coloured beauty made in Scotland from cowhide - and it didn't come cheap; it cost me all of €35. An arm and a leg really for a man in my position.

There was a lot of head scratching done before, and indeed after the event, for a purchase of this magnitude is not made every day.

But in the end, I took the plunge and I'm glad now that I did.

The hat at this present moment rests on my head, and I doubt if King Charles III of England has a better fitting crown. The thing was made for me.

As I look out the window, I can see my regal reflection. I look like a million dollars; I look like a toff, a horse trainer, and a cattle dealer all rolled into one.

But perfect and all as it may be, I do not by nature have a head for hats.

Call me big-headed, call me a swelled-headed old fool, call me what you like, but the milliners of the world have up to this point struggled, failed and generally made a bags of creating a hat suitable to the contours of my cranium.

I've had caps aplenty over the years but never a hat large enough to cover the circumference of my head.

That large expanse of ground between my two ears has vexed the greatest of minds all over the world.

Well, at the ploughing championships in September, my prayers were answered when this Scottish gentleman secured a hat for my head that was large enough to cover the territory.

"Aye," says he, yanking out his measuring tape after I introduced myself. "Yer head looks about as big as a turnip. It's a bawhair away from a politician’s."

But troublesome and all as my head was, the man from the land of Rob Roy and the Lock Ness monster was not one to back away from a challenge, and eventually found a hat that fitted me down to the ground.

A hat large enough not only to cover my head but, when pulled slightly down, is large enough to cover my eyes and ears also. Ideal really for an under-pressure farmer such as myself.

So now, should I be subjected to anything on the farm that is objectionable to my eyes or my ears, I have a means of shielding myself from all harm.

A means of hiding myself away under my hat until conditions improve.

Of course, I can't hide under my hat forever, but at least it gives me the opportunity to ponder on a solution to any crisis at hand.

My hat also, I believe, when worn correctly, gives one the illusion that I am three inches taller, two stone lighter, and 10 years younger.

With the hat, I'm as cool as Kojak and as confident as old JR.

With the hat, I'd be a very marketable bachelor and married in no time - if the deed had not already been done.

It's a hat I'd wear in bed if my missus permitted it and a hat I'll wear to the end if the man above allows it.

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