Sunday 1 February 2015

The Hat

Bobby Charlton should have had one. Never embarrassed by his single hair straddled across his bald head which we all agreed just looked plain silly. A hat, or perhaps more appropriately for a Northerner, a cap would have been more stylish, but then hats were out of fashion. 1960s men preferring to let their hair flow wild. “Roll back the window and let the wind blow back your hair” but Springsteen’s wind was never so wild as we were facing now amidst the sand storm that rolled in around us as we arrived in Turpan covering our heads and eyes with anything to hand, shielding them from the fierce, fiery cutting edges of the flying silica as we made a mad dash from bus to hotel foyer. He’d moved his stall inside, I think. 3 rows of hats made of fur and skins, all shapes and sizes, black, white and piebald like the plainsman’s horses of his ancestor Genghis Khan. The Uighur salesman claiming his winter warmers were the best bet for our delicate western heads unused to such exposures and extreme.

© Sheila Ash, 2015

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