A little something extra for the early birds

This piece of writing was originally posted on my substack page in August 2023….

After a few weeks of tinkering, I’m all ready to go live with weekly content on Substack as of the first week in September. But I’m aware some of you might have seen draft welcome posts and things already, so I wanted to reassure you that everything is on schedule, and also share a little personal project that might delight you as much as it has me. I’ll be back in September with a proper welcome, and a Yoga Studies research round up, and a guided meditation and more besides. In the meantime, I have a hat!

Some of you might remember that a dear friend of mine died unexpectedly last year – Chris Palmer of Skyravenwolf. Her widow, Jinny, gifted me with a special way to remember her: a rather magnificent hat. Chris wore the hat at their wedding, having taken a rather ordinary wide-brimmed women’s hat from M&S and turned it into a stunning pirate-y tricorn with her own special magic.

I love this hat, but it is far too big for my pixie head. So, after much thought and a little research, I got in touch with Abby of Abigail Holgate Millinery. After some investigation, more thought, and a pause to check in with Jinny, she suggested we turn the hat into two. She carefully reshaped a slightly finer wide-brimmed hat (the details include a story involving bunny rabbits and the Czech army), then took a lot of photos of Chris’ hat, and finally very, very carefully transferred every one of the hand-tooled leather leaves across.

And now I have two hats: one I can keep safe and special, and another to wear, both in memory of a very special friend. I also feel like I made a new friend, found out a lot about millinery, and saw rather a lot of very fine hats, carefully sourced and made with love.

You can find Abby’s work at https://www.abigailholgatemillinery.co.uk/ and know that she comes highly recommended if you need something special for your head, rented or bespoke. And if you’re captivated by those leaves, follow Skyravenwolf and you might pick up a little magic of your own (the leather pixies drop off supplies at random intervals). The crow feather earrings are a particular delight.

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