All posts are equal. Some posts are more equal than others. This falls into the very important category.
I bought my first proper Panama in 1999. In Quito. Panama hats do not of course come from Panama. They come from Ecuador. As the great Nigel Molesworth once said, any fule kno that (sic). Where I lost my beloved Panama I do not recall but it went astray. Possibly it is hiding with all the odd socks that escape from drawers and washing machines. I bought a poor substitute in Rome in 2008 and it served adequately until it mysteriously became soaked. I blame the rain. Mrs. Ha recently threw it away. The little tinker.
So I began a quest for a new Panama. HK drew a blank. There must be a decent hat shop somewhere. Dunhill let me down. I suspect Gieves & Hawkes in The Galleria might sell them but I didn’t think of them at the time. And so it came to pass on our last afternoon in Lisbon that we stumbled on a proper hat shop. And in we jolly well went.
This was a serious hat shop but they only had one roll up, store-in-a-box Panama. I bought it. Here it is.
And the great dénouement…
Isn’t it grand! Isn’t it fine! Look at the cut, the style, the line!
And then I saw another one. Different style but equally alluring. I bought it as well and wore it out of the shop, now fully comfortable in my dress code.
If you ignore the growing paunch, the camera backpack and the vest full of lenses etc. then I just about pass muster in Mrs. Ha’s eyes. There was sadly no reason to carry an umbrella. Did you know that in Germany The Avengers ran as Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone. I think I would have made a good John Steed if I could have found my Mrs. Peel. Patrick Macnee never sounded as good in German, I have to say.
How much will a decent Panama set you back? No idea. The banker paid cash. She said something about 160 Euros and I suspect that was for two. You can’t quibble over quality. So Mrs. Ha tells me whenever she goes shopping. Pay up, pay up and pay again.
And that is it. Not a Fujifilm XT-1 in sight I’m afraid. I hope you will all dash out and get yourselves a Panama. You know you want one; go on.