In a couple of weeks time I shall be appearing at the Bridport Hat Festival, but this evening just gone I have been to one of their "warm up" events - a hat auction. My dear old friend Jill Beed is one of the main organisers and she invited me down for dinner with her, her husband Mark and son Thomas. After this we wandered down to the town for the charity auction. The Hat Festival has been organising a hat amnesty - people have been handing in unwanted and now unloved hats, and tonight with them all collected together we were going to auction them off. When Jill and I got there, we found there was 102 lots going under the hammer! As the auctioneer was a bit late I did the first lot, but by then he arrived and took over. Much fun was had, silly bids made and lots of jokes. There was one very drunk older man there that no one actually knew who he was - but he bid on and won stacks of hats, both men's and women's, and ended up with them stacked one on top of each other on his head. I'd love to know how he explained all of them to whoever he had at home waiting for him. By the end he had more hats than you would normally expect to see on Ladies Day at Ascot. I went mad and bought one hat!
To see more of details on the forthcoming hat festival and my involvement then go to http://www.bridporthatfest.org/ and any money raised from tonight's auction and other events at the festival go towards a very worthwhile charity - check out their web page here www.hammerout.co.uk
At Leeds Castle this weekend for the jousting, then next week I have school shows at West Leigh in Essex and Shillingstone in Dorset, then it is the Hat Festival at Bridport on the 16th & 17th. See you there?