The smile on the church warden's face said it all. I had solved, she explained, a puzzle which had had the Church Worthies perplexed and puzzled for weeks. Hats off to me, for my not so very timely intervention.
Let me explain. Please. Otherwise I don't have much to write about in today's Daily Blog, this being a day full of Odd Jobs, none of them particularly interesting, without even the scope for those diversionary tales
of which, as you know, the Daily Blog is fond. The ones which drive regular readers to hold their despairing heads in their hands as they cry: "Get to the point!"
It is now almost one whole month since our
Golden Wedding Celebration which was notable for many things but, as far as our friend Jim was concerned, was also the occasion on which his Very Best Hat somehow managed to get left behind in the Church. As soon as I heard of this significant loss, I promised
to do my best to retrieve it - but time passed and I kept forgetting, plus on at least two Sundays I was away from home and so didn't make the 10 o'clock service. I know just what you are thinking - excuses, excuses. And you are right, I am ashamed of myself
for my Inexcusable Inaction on the Hat Front.
Every time I saw Jim and Delia, his Partner in Crime and Cribbage, I was reminded of the missing hat on account of the fact that he would always be wearing his
Second Best Hat. Which was most presentable, as hats go, but it clearly wasn't his favourite titfer. The last time I saw him was on Saturday last when we attended the U3A Convenors Meeting (see previous blog) after which I returned home and wrote myself a
stern post-it note which read "Jim's Hat." Short and to the point, don't you agree, as all such reminders should be. Incidentally, this note-worthy action of mine also serves to prove that I am, indeed, turning into Mr B who has always been King of the Post-It
Note in our household. He is more pleased than you could imagine by my adoption of his post-it habit.
Anyway, immediately after this morning's service, I sought out Jane the church warden. I did so even before
I helped myself to a cup of coffee and a biscuit and certainly before I started chatting to my friend Sue - I knew there was a distinct danger that once I started chatting I might forget all about my Main Mission.
Jane, as I said earlier, was delighted that I had solved the Mystery of The Hat. Over the last four weeks she had been desperately trying to fit the cap to all the male members of the congregation. This sounded to me rather like Prince Charming, touring
his kingdom in a bid to discover the owner of the fabled Glass Slipper. I'm not sure she meant that anybody was actually asked to try it on for size, more that she was trying to envisage different men wearing it and whether it would suit.
We then had to find the hat, because Jane couldn't remember where it had been placed for safe keeping. We tried the Vestry and the Church Office and rummaged in a few cupboards. Or, rather, Jane did; I stood by with all my
fingers and toes crossed. Finally we found it - or should I say, Jane found it - next to the piano, by the noticeboard and on the table below the collection slots in the wall where you put your twenty pences if you want to light a candle.
Home I went, bearing Jim's Hat, full of such delight that anyone would have thought I had found treasure in some secret Aladdin's cave. I recounted the whole story to Mr B before dashing out to the car, intent on returning
the headgear to its rightful owner just as soon as possible. What I would have done, had Jim not been at home, I'm not sure - it would have been such a disappointment.
Hoping for the best, I placed the hat
on my head and rang the door-bell. Through the window, I was immensely thankful to see that my friends were home. The look on their faces, when they saw me, head topped by a Harris Tweed fiat cap of Inestimable Value, was priceless.
It made my day, quite frankly. I drove home along the sea-front singing that well-known ditty (slightly altered to meet the circumstances):
"Jim has got his hat back
Hip, hip, hip, hooray!"
A song for every occasion, that's me. Sorry it took me so long, Jim, I'm extremely pleased that, rather like Cinderella and the return of her slipper, your
hat is back on its Rightful Head.