Unusually, I had not planned our visit to
Still determined not to buy, I now had time to look around. There were a lot of hats. There was not much in the way of millinery. The women's’ hats were classic and unfussy. The Queen could find a hat here. It was, thanks be, no place to buy a fascinator, For both men and women there were Panamas, trilbies, fedoras, boaters and bowlers, caps and cloches, in all fabrics and colours. However you walked into that shop, you could walk out in style.
My eye fell upon a natty paperboy cap in woven sea grass. Its open weave would be cool in summer. I tried it on — too small. Noticing my interest, Mr van Dijck left the young man still with a hat in each hand to attend to me. He agreed it was too small.
‘Too much hair,’ I said.
‘Too much brain,’ he said, recycling a joke as old and threadbare as a well-loved flat cap.
He was not sure if he had it in a bigger size. He went downstairs to look but came back shaking his head. He checked that the young man had not yet made a decision and sat down at his computer and tapped at the keys for about a minute, his face glum.
‘Sorry, I don’t have a bigger one in stock. It seems I do not even have that one.’
I was travelling with the excellent PTG Tours