Men In Hats

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Men In Hats

Years ago, on the very first afternoon that I ever walked down a London street by myself, two elderly gentlemen tipped their hats at me and I was enchanted, happier than ever to be a girl, and longing, once again, for the age when such courtesies were the rule rather than the exception.
Days when people dressed for dinner and held garden parties in the pink glow of a setting sun.
When women wore white gloves, carried hankies and kept their original noses.
When houses had parlors instead of media rooms.
When the secrets concealed in hand-written letters were protected by red sealing wax.
I miss the days when men wore hats.
I suppose I should clarify by saying that I missed the days when men wore hats, for by the time I came along, hat wearing had pretty much been redefined by the baseball cap, a sadly pale imitation of the real thing.

Far be it from me to question the wisdom of Those who arrange such things, but it has crossed my mind from time to time that perhaps, just perhaps, I was born in an incorrect age. My pastimes and pleasures have never exactly been of the modern variety, even when I was a youngster. From an early age, my dreams were lit with candlelight and populated with cottages and peony gardens, fat books and tea times, windowseats and four posters, and chinese lanterns that swayed in the trees on a Springtime evening.

I find now that I am not the only person loathe to let go of the old ways, for I have come across a new book that proves there is at least one more like me in the world. Her name is Lesley M. M. Blume and she has penned a charming book entitled, Let’s Bring Back, which is a chronicle of delights from days gone by - delights that should never have been jettisoned on our way up the evolutionary ladder.
Who doesn’t think longingly of love letters and lighthouse keepers?
Of evening strolls and elbow gloves?
Tree swings and toy soldiers?
Hot toddies and syllabub?
Now I probably wouldn’t choose to go back in time, even if I could. I mean, to live without air-conditioning, The Beatles, or my Dyson vacuum cleaner might take some getting used to, after all. But this book is a winsome resource of those things we don’t want to lose, at least not completely.
And it’s nice to be reminded.
Elevenses, anyone?

I'll be humming this song all day.......

We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties

Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society
God save Mrs. Mopp and good Old Mother Riley
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
God save the George Cross and all those who were awarded them

We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity
God save little shops, china cups and virginity
We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliate
God save Tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the Village Green.

lyrics by Ray Davies