It's just been Woolly Hat Week here in the UK.The Sailor's Society asked everyone to 'Be A Hat Hero' and to wear a woolly hat to raise money to help seafarers in need.
The Society helps those who brave cold and dangerous seas to make world trade possible. It's an international Christian charity which works in ports around the world and helps seafarers in practical ways. Enabling contact with home which is so important for those away at sea for many months. They also help with access to medical treatment and, in less developed countries, they build homes and schools and provide grants to bring hope and security to seafaring communities.
So, in support of The Sailor's Society, here's me and Geoff in our woolly hats!
You may know that my husband, Geoff, works in data management on board a hydrographic survey vessel on a four week work rotation (meaning he spends four weeks at sea followed by four weeks at home), a job he has done since 1992. You my not know that I also worked on a hydrographic survey vessel as a data processor over a three year period in the mid 1980's.
Here I am in July 1986 on board the MV Seaway Labrador with the DSV Seaway Harrier in the background at Ekofisk (probably contravening all health and safety rules nowadays!)
Though the vessels we've both worked on were mainly crewed by Norwegian sailors, as we've both worked mainly for Norwegian companies, it would be usual for some crew to hail from far more distant places such as the Cape Verde islands off Senegal or The Philippines or India. Docking in ports such as Aberdeen and Peterhead, or Stavanger and Bergen could be a very chilly experience for those whose home ports were considerably warmer. No wonder The Sailor's Society has an army of knitters making more than 10,000 woolly hats a year to give out to seafarers.
So I've decided to knit some hats for them. Simple styles and serviceable colours - here's a couple I've made so far:
The Sailor's Society says "not only do the hats help keep seafarers warm, but it's a great feeling to know someone they have never met has spent time making them."
Well, that's giving me a warm glow - even when I'm not wearing my favourite handknit woolly hat!