Wherever I lay my hat – Basel

Feb 14, 2021

This was written back in 2015. I didn’t have a domain name or website. I didn’t know then that I would actually move to live and work in Basel in October 2016.

As I started pulling material together for my own website, somehow, somewhere I found two old blog pages stored in a directory I’d copied over from an old laptop. So I’m testing the technology and repurposing old material so my blog page doesn’t look too bare!

The original post

I travel a lot with my job and  I was fortunate to be in Basel, Switzerland for two weeks in December 2015. One of my work colleagues took me out sightseeing on the middle weekend, and took me around some of the winding narrow streets and investigating many of the specialist stores.  He knew of a specialist milliner’s shop and told me that there was a sign in a window saying that it was closing down. As it was late on a Saturday morning, the shop was shortly going to close, and there was no time for browsing.

What I loved about the street was the old fashioned trade signs, and next door to the milliner’s shop was a shoemaker’s. The street was called ‘Nadelberg’ which  I was reliably informed meant ‘Street of the Needleworkers’.

I managed to find my own way back there on the last afternoon I was in Basel, and the shop was empty, so I went in, and in very bad German, tried explaining to the lady in there that I was also a hat maker. I sort of succeeded, and she did ask me if I’d like to buy her shop, but unfortunately I didn’t have a million swiss francs to hand. She was selling EVERYTHING, including her blocks, flowers, raw materials, however a) it was switzerland and b) I was flying back via Ryanair, so had a very limited luggage allowance. I did however purchase a hat block which she had made for herself from spaterie, and a few flowers and trims.

2021 Update

I realised as I read the narrative above that I had actually used some of the trims I got in 2015 in a hat that I was wearing in a photograph that I posted to instagram just this week, March 2021.

Evidence that style is timeless!

To find out what happened between 2015 and 2021, you’ll have to keep reading my blog, as I’ll be revealing my journey from being an IT auditor to a milliner over the next few months.

Burgundy felt cloche hat and gold sequin mask