An old gardening hat

As I try to get a little more organised, a little more upcycled and a little more … bohemian …

I find I’m standing at a critical juncture, again. If pressed, I could find a critical juncture to stand at on a weekly basis. For today, I ask myself whether I’m a hoarder if I don’t dispose of this item?

If I’d tossed the narrow timber rod that seemed to have no use, then it wouldn’t have been here to hold the upcycled lace across the back door to keep the flies out.

But, as I iron an old silk blouse that is now threadbare under the arms, I must accept that there is a timed limit to some items.

And that lovely bowl I bought at the Canberra Potters open day when the $15 bowl came full of delicious soup because the open day was in the middle of winter and that was one of the fundraisers … well, I’ve chipped a chunk out of that lovely bowl. Do I keep the three pieces around until the day I’m organised enough to repair it?

My old gardening hat started as a dress hat in the 1990s. A decently brimmed summer hat was a must have for walking to bus stops, waiting for buses, and walking home from bus stops. When it became too ratty, it was demoted (or promoted) to gardening hat. It’s been a gardening hat for 20 years, or thereabouts. The cane is stained with sweat. The black band is faded and torn. The crown is breaking apart.

Old work clothes are a badge for the pioneering legacy I inherited. All the men wandered around their farms wearing clothes and hats that had seen better days. To me, the old work hat carried a status equivalent to a crown. There was something about the way it was put on, an action imbued with determination and inevitability. There was work that must be done.

I have another gardening hat now that is neither ratty nor stained, but 20 years is a long attachment that’s proving difficult to break. Even as I write this little piece of procrastination, I see images of a repaired crown, a fresh and vibrant scarf tied to hide its age … Maybe it can be refreshed after all?

I pick up and try it on. The straw crumbles even further as I pull hard because it needs to sit firmly for gardening.

The decision is made. Most of it can be composted, the exception being the glue around the band.

I’ll have to try for bohemian another day.

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