Monday, 6 July 2009

about the iHat Application and some Curious Cures

I do SO love a barmy hat ... not to wear, you understand ... but at which to look and, often, I’m ashamed to admit, to rather cruelly snigger. The best time of year for really barmy hats is, of course, winter when I even look forward to going to the supermarket or to Winton to shop for the most mundane of items because I may spot someone wearing something on their head that will make me chuckle quite nastily for the rest of the day. My favourite type of barmy hat is of the brightly coloured variety, quite pointy – often with a bobble on the top and usually with strange string like contraptions which the wearer invariably doesn’t tie together but leaves hanging down on either side of the neck. However, there are no hard and fast rules and I’m quite happy to think snide thoughts about anything that makes the wearer appear as if they’ve been let out of an asylum as a special treat.

There are occasions in the summer when I see or hear about a head covering that will bring a smirk to my face and such has been the case very recently. A friend on Twitter, @Neets68, wrote that she had taken “the hat of badness” with her when she was fortunate enough to spend the weekend before last at the Glastonbury Festival. My virtual ears pricked up immediately and I wasn’t disappointed! Neets kindly posted a “Twitpic” of her hat and – if I’m honest, it was Stetson style and not too barmy at all, but the surreal conversations that ensued regarding its possible uses have now given it five star uber-barmy status. Neets had posted that she was listening to some music wearing her hat but that she really had some domestic chores to carry out and would therefore be removing it. The suggestion was made that the hat should remain on her head as it could be used whilst she was multi-tasking. I believe that she may have worn the hat for the whole day as it proved to have so many uses. And so was born the iHat with its many and varied quite ludicrous applications.

You can find out what they are by searching for #iHat on Twitter. I’m not entirely sure I should be advising you to do that as it may ensure you know (or perhaps confirm your existing belief) that not only do I love barmy hats but also that I’m actually quite barmy myself for being somewhat fixated with them.

Poor Neets managed to get herself quite sun-burnt at Glastonbury which not only had its mandatory share of rain but also some glorious sunshine too. She arrived home having enjoyed the delights of Bruce Springsteen, the TingTings and Tom Jones inter alia, very tired, caked in mud and in a great deal of pain from the effects of too much sun.

My past is very much “another country” and, in times gone by I’ve lived in some very hot climates indeed. I picked up a few useful tips on keeping cool (would that I could keep as cool emotionally as I’m able to physically!) and coping with such ills as sunburn. When I heard that Neets had burnt badly at Glastonbury, I contacted her and told her to cover her burnt and hurting skin in ... toothpaste! Naturally she thought that she was being advised by the founder member of the Yampy Brigade – but squirting toothpaste onto one’s hands, then mixing with cold water and smearing the mixture over burnt and blistered skin does, indeed, reduce soreness, redness and can prevent or ease blistering. She agreed to try my weird remedy ... and was relieved to discover that it worked!

I’d burnt very badly once many thousands of years ago when sailing on Long Island Sound. Fortunately, I was on board with a doctor who’d told me what to do (well ... actually he applied the magic potion for me – but that’s another story!) and although I’ve never allowed myself to get burnt as badly since then, I still use the formula if ever I need to.

As if being sunburnt, overtired and having some Stepford tasks to perform weren’t enough, Neets was also feeling too hot – as I suspect a lot of us were over the weekend which, judging by today’s weather, will no doubt have been the full extent of our summer.

I’d lived in Israel and South Africa during my years abroad and learnt that the very best way to stay cool was to take a shower with the water at the very hottest temperature one can bear – and then emerge to only pat oneself dry with a towel but allowing most of the water to evaporate by itself on one’s skin. It’s a method of staying very much cooler for considerably longer than by using the “instant fix” of a cold shower.

So, Neets tried that too ... and it worked! I don’t believe she thinks I’m quite as much of a nutter as first she thought! Well, at least not in the area of strange remedies, anyway!

I wonder if anyone else knows of any weird and wonderful ways of keeping cool or making hurty things better? I should imagine that we could save ourselves a fortune by using homespun cures!


  1. Nice blog, missus.

    I don't have any remedies, I'm afraid. But then, I don't tend - except a very bit recently when doing gardening - to burn. Greek, y'see!

  2. Continuing the Greek theme, there's a whole load of remedies here - yoghurt for sore burned skin, flat coca cola for vomiting, ouza for toothache (as opposed to going to the dentist!), chamomile for just about everything....

    There's also a lot of theories about the cause of most of mankind's ailments. Going barefoot is inviting just about everything from painful periods to premature baldness, the slightest whiff of a breeze is expected to bring infertility and probably swine flu, and don't even think about sitting around in a wet t-shirt!! If all my mother-in-law's dire warnings had come true, I would never have made it past the age of 15...

    And one more remedy (mine this time). When you feel a stye developing on your eye, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it against the affected area. It stings like buggery, but the next day the stye will be on its way out of the door...

  3. Hope this works this time; your blog seems to have better security than MI5!

    Not quite sure where you stand on barmy hats. Is it 'love the hat, hate the wearer' or vice versa? Think I'm glad I don't have a fez any more!

    I'll have to get back to you on cures and remedies; I researched the subject at the British Library but my notes seemed to have vanished in the house move! I do remember that one of them involved white, crumbly dog turds, however!

  4. Good post, as always! One thing I do know is that it is possible to get very badly sunburned on an overcast day - just because one can't see the sun, it doesn't mean the sun doesn't reach the skin and wreak havoc.

    Cooling the wrists and ankles can help to reduce a feeling of being overheated where a shower is not possible.

  5. What can I say Karen you have made my day! I cannot thank you enough for making this seriously horrid day so amusing..I am wearing the hat of badness as I write this and I have re-applied toothpaste to hurty, burny itchy bits...where would I be without you...????
    Neets xxxxx @neets68