Beanie hunting is not for the faint-hearted and should be approached with caution. It can be exhausting (stalking just the right one may take some considerable time), irksome (if your bag carriers don’t share your enthusiasm for the sport) and indeed affect your sight (as the vast array of colours and shapes can give you spots before your eyes); and yet…….> off I go to chilly Tasmania, full of enthusiasm for the thrill of the chase.
Indeed, my hunt started in the wee small hours of this morning as I searched the house for my favourite Possum beanie…(note to self: you shouldn’t leave your packing till the last-minute!). Luckily I found it hiding on top of the wardrobe because the annual trek in the Tassie mountains just wouldn’t be the same without it; and frankly I would freeze without my wee possums thermal protection.
Maybe I should mention that a beanie is what Australians call a type of hat, usually wool or similar but can be made of a multitude of things and comes in all shapes and sizes. In UK it would be a wooly bunnet, or pompom hat I guess and I have no idea what it would be called in America (so if you are from there perhaps you will let me know?). I try to find new beanie’s on most of my travels and I know that Tasmania is ‘fertile ground’ for new creative treasures. Lots of wacky crafty people keeping their hands warm, making stuff. Cant wait to see what I find on this hunt.
Now before you get all ‘animal rights or righteous’ on me, yes, my hat is made from real Possum but no, it does NOT look like a pelt!. I am pretty sure it lead a long and fulfilling life / died of natural causes and donated its cosy fluff for the benefit of human kind. I got this particular wooly treasure in New Zealand, where the making of such things is common and they do some great process that incorporates the downy fluff with wool.
It is the warmest thing ever and leaves Marino and Alpaca wool in the cool shade when it comes to the thermals. Besides, alpaca wool always has that slight residual smell of Yack about it when it gets wet, not sure why; perhaps they are relatives?…I digress……
So here I am at the airport, having my last ‘fix’ of electronics before going off-line in the hills, hiking in the rain and hoping for snow. It’s good to have some contrast weather-wise when you live in a warm country like Oz and Tassie delivers it. With a spectacular backdrop of rain forests and awesome mountains; cosy log cabins, roaring fires, enough hot chocolate to induce diabetes and not too many folk………Bliss.
Before I go, I will share the best three things about my favourite possum beanie (apart from its warmth):
1. It has coloured bright red and yellow stripes, so if I get lost in the hills it will be easier to find me
2. It has a rolled up cuff that can be pulled over your face, balaclava style in case it snows……no scary eye holes that would make it look like you were going to do an armed hold-up’ or anything…..so you can’t quite see where you are going, so best to avoid using this function near cliff edges
3. Possum beanie actually helps keep you walking, even when the legs are weary; because you don’t want to sit still too long when wearing it in the wilderness, or the wildlife start mating with your head!
Cheeri-Bye for now, am away to do some happy wandering
*Mindful of the restful recharge communing with nature brings.