David’s hat

What is David’s Hat I hear you ask?

Some years ago I met a lady from work on a monthly social night out. As we got to know each other she brought her husband David and what a great fella he turned out to be. Very well travelled and with some very funny and interesting stories to tell about his life, and yet a humble man, not taken up by the petty emotions of most.

I really liked Dave and as he would come frequently to our monthly meeting and also came along to a weekend away in a holiday barn we got to know each other reasonably well. He acquired the name two-twos while there due to his amazing ability to cheat at cards! Cheating was the point of the game, but Dave was very, very good at it. 

Some time later he was very poorly and eventually was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. It was so sad to see such a lively man with an amazing love of life get physically worse and worse until he was bedridden. But it was tragic to see him eventually die early in 2017. 

David and Jan at the beach, Sept 2016
David and Jan at the beach, Sept 2016

This is Dave and Jan in late 2016. We’d gone to the beach as his health was deteriorating even then and he had difficulty walking, so we decided to get some nice, recent photos while we had the chance. Despite his pain and lack of energy, and the knowledge he was in the final stages of his life Dave still manages to enjoy the sunshine, crack a joke and smile for the camera. An amazing man and I’m sad to see him gone.

On his worldly travels Dave owned a leather bush hat, favoured by many travellers and campers. He loved that hat and wore it pretty much everywhere he went. Some months after his death Jan asked me if I would take his hat on my travels: she felt that David’s spirit would then continue to travel wherever I went.

I was humbled by this and instantly agreed and also said that I would take a photo of the hat wherever I went and email it to her. This was a simple way of showing where Dave’s spirit had been with photographic reminders. Jan was moved by this and I think it helped both her and me in very different ways to help with the feeling of missing him. 

So, my first trip since Jan gave me the hat and I have come to Bray-Dunes in Dunkirk, France. During May and June 1940 in the second world war British, French and Belgian soldiers were rescued from here. Thinking about how to take the photo, I decided that rather than just keep an image and email one to Jan, I would have a section on my blog to document Dave’s travels: well, his hat’s travels but his hat represents his spirit, so I see it as his travels anyway. So is born the new section of my blog: David’s Hat.


David’s hat’s trips…