Yes, this is the jester hat I took to London at the weekend.
But I am not putting it back in the cupboard just yet – I am leaving it out as a prayer reminder. You see, we purchased this hat about 16 years ago when we were in Edinburgh, at Festival Time.
Steph had broken her leg just before we went on holiday and we were pushing her in a wheelchair up a very crowded Princes Street. These hats were new back then – and I bought her one to wear so that the jingle bells would alert people to the wheelchair behind them – and the people coming towards her would smile at her!
So why is the hat a prayer reminder? Simply because it is from Nepal.The company which first imported them to the UK was run by a retired Army Officer, who had worked in Nepal with the Gurkhas. He wanted to give properly paid employment to the Nepalese people, and he set up a hat factory. He imported these velvet jester hats and floppy top hats. You can still buy the hats – many are now made more cheaply in China, but some companies still maintain the Fairtrade factories in Nepal, and import their hats to the UK.
I look at this hat – and it reminds me to pray for Nepal.
The DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee) are appealing for donations. You can do it online or by 'phone - they're airing a tv appeal tonight, hosted by Joanna Lumley, It's a desperate situation alright. We can all help in some small way. [Thank you Nana Go Go for this comment]