Having enjoyed summer weather for the month of May, making isolation that little easier, we are now faced with a chilly early June. Somehow my silk scarves don’t call to me and I have selected something warmer for you today. It started off as a snood, one long continuous circle of hand crafted felt. I hope the designer craftswoman does not mind that I cut off a length to make a headband for my gentleman’s hat. I told you of the three couples who launched our pop star in the Sixties. The hat belonged to one of the partners and is a souvenir of shared memories. I am the last remaining of the six. I believe he bought it in Austria when he ran into unexpected bad weather. Quite fitting that I wear it now.
A nice story from that family... after one of these ‘board’ meetings to discuss our singer’s future, the three wives were escorted to a casino in Curzon Street by the father of the owner of the hat. He kindly gave all the girls a stake of about £25... a lot of money in these days. I had never been to a smart gambling club, had no idea what I was doing at the roulette table, but seemed to win every time. By the time my husband turned up, I was putting on bigger bets. He was worried, not knowing how I got the chips. His two partners had wealthy parents. We were relatively poor. Time to go home, babysitter excuses, husband insistent. Thanked my host for staking me. Take your chips...no, no! Take them for the kids to play with as building blocks. I took what I could carry in two hands, leaving the majority on the table. Building blocks? No! I checked them in and stuffed the large white fivers in my coat pocket. Next morning, I wondered if I had dreamt it all, but no, there were all the crumpled fivers. I sat on the bed and counted it. Of course, I couldn’t keep it. It wasn’t my money. I rang my host. I remember to this day his words......Darling, buy yourself a hat. I didn’t. At that time oil and gas had been discovered in the North Sea off Scotland. I bought my first shares in a unit trust of Scottish companies. I never touched it.....after all, it wasn’t my money! Thirty years later, my benefactor dead, we had returned from living abroad. It was now a sizeable amount of money, and I gambled once more with a Scottish Company, Stagecoach, buses and trains, and on a hunch a company promoting Thomas The Tank Engine keeping to the theme of trains. I guess it was better than buying a hat. The other wives were given the bulk of my chips and lost them at the table.
So here I am wearing my benefactor’s son’s hat jauntily adorned with part of my long scarf. The scarf was hand made by one of my daughter’s best friends. I have known her since she was twenty years old and now she is a grandmother several times over. Our handicrafts were exhibited together at a Christmas Fair in York House, Twickenham. Knowing I admired my friend’s creations, my sister bought this for my surprise Christmas present.
I still have my Stagecoach shares, but who wants to travel on a bus or train these days? Ah well, it wasn’t my money.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!