Whimsical hats

I don’t know quite when I started enjoying hats so much. It may even go back as far as watching movies with my parents, things like Singing in the Rain or Yanky Doodle Dandy, Mary Poppins with her very proper pinned hat, or the battered fedora on Humphrey Bogart. Hat-ness seemed to indicate a certain kind of coolness.

steampunk hat

Steampunk hat from
Exotic Design Studio

It takes some attitude to wear a hat well. Some part of you needs to embrace the message of the hat, the whimsy of it. I like to use hats to get into character. When on vacation, I like to wear movie star hats, ones with large brims, so I can flirt with the sun while remaining safe from its rays. With casual beach clothing, the casual elegance of a scarf wrapped around the hat reminds me of Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn. It’s an accent to the clothing and accessories that adds some polish, some elan.

In the past ten years or so, I’ve thought of the metaphor of hats, of changing hats, deliberately putting on a different mood, persona or attitude. It gives me happiness to try on different looks, especially ones that are a little off kilter, just a little absurd.

I admit to a fondnes for a casual layered look with a formal hat; or a slouchy beret with a big shirt and formal jacket. To a certain extent, hats are a way of juxtaposing views, playing with creativity, getting some more whimsy into my life.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved

Reciting silly poetry

Umbrella with bamboo

Where the rain gets in

Sometimes reading silly poetry is enough to bring a smile to my face, yet the best thing of all is to memorize it, and recite it out loud with friends. Watching their faces is a delight. Sometimes these are also song lyrics, and the best ones have a good bit of rhythm, along with places to add silly voices.  Here’s one of my favorites from Spike Milligan; it’s particularly appropriate for Seattle:

 

There are itty bitty holes in the sky

Where the rain gets in

But they’re very, very small

That’s why rain is thin

Most of the poems of Ogden Nash are fun for this game, as are Rudyard Kipling’s poetry. A childhood verse I learned has lingered in my mind. I was reminded of it when a chum mentioned on facebook that people sometimes swallow baby spiders, accidentally. It gets just a little faster and more breathless as you recide it.

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
My what a hog, to swallow a dog.
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat, to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow.
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog.
She swallowed the dog, to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She died, of course!

I think I’ll go hunt down some Kipling to share. Send me your favorite links to other silly poetry. I love finding new sources.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved

Movies that make me happy

I get my love of movies from my parents. When I was a sprat, I’d try all kinds of strategies to stay up later and watch movies with my parents. They liked musicals and westerns, dramas and comedies, love stories and tales of swashbuckling pirates. It often surprises me how much we talked about the stories, and about the books that inspired them. Years later, what I remember most is the movies that were just about feeling good. Some were diversions created to boost morale during the Second World War; others were pure entertainment created in the era of the Hollywood studio machine. As a family, we loved the classics best.

Harvey – about a six foot tall white invisible phouka called Harvey, and his gently alcoholic and pleasant human companion, Elwood P Dowd, or is that vice versa? I loved this tale at the time, and it continues to be one of my favorite movies of all time.

Mary Poppins – I loved the books, the stage play is terrific, and the Disney movie is a lot of fun too. The wind changes, and blows in a new nanny for the children of this family. Mary Poppins is part fairy, part witch, and all about improbable circumstances. Whimsical and serious by turns, it features Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke in a range of roles.

Auntie Mame – Who wouldn’t want an Aunt like Mame? Eccentric, bohemian, extravagant and devoted to her nephew. Another wonderful musical.

Singing in the Rain– One of many great Gene Kelly dance movies.One of my first leading men, I fell for his charm, his smile, and the way he was comfortable in his body, a wonderful choreographer and dancer. Another favorite with him as leading man was For Me and My Gal.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown – A wonderful tale of an indominatable woman who was rescued from a river as a child, grew into a tomboy determined to marry a rich man, and who was brassy, bold and determined to live the good life. Through various trials and tribulations, adulation and rejection, she found her way into people’s hearts as a hero who saved people from a sinking ship, the Titanic. The critics didn’t always love this movie, but we did. It’s outrageous, over the top, and delightful.

Copyright 2012 R Loader all rights reserved