Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Fairy hat

"Mummy, I need a fairy hat for the party, can we make one?" she says. My mind flicks through all my fairy-touchpoints, from Tinkerbell (the hatless hussy) to Fairy Godmothers (kindly but also hatless), and I can't think of a single fairy that wears a hat. I wonder whether the request comes from watching Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom, but Holly wears a crown and ToddlerGirl tells me that just won't do.

Turning to my old friend Google, I find this video on how to make fairy hats, and look, it works! And all you need is some newspaper, sellotape and curling ribbon. Not technically hats, as such, but I've made a couple and they turn out remarkably sturdy. They do not, however, stay in place when your fairy is bouncing on a bouncy castle, which, given she spent pretty much the whole party there, rendered the whole hat-making process somewhat obsolete...

Thinking about it after the event, as I tuck into some fantastic Victoria Plum jam (from Dream Preserves, aptly named), it hits me - why did I not think of Victoria Plum? She had the best hat ever!

Victoria Plum made a big impression on me as a toddler. So much so, that I wanted to call my baby brother Benjamin after her friend. Sadly my nan had named her dog that already, so it was not to be. I like to think Ben Elf from B&H's Little Kingdon is a distant relation of Benjamin's. Or maybe Ben is just a good name for elves. Take note, J.R.R. Tolkien.

When it comes to hats, it is hard to beat Victoria Plum's bindweed flower. I used to love picking these flowers for my toys to wear as 'hats', and never could understand why my mum hated the stuff. Even though it runs riot in the garden, I still think it is the prettiest of weeds. But you could probably make Tinkerbell's entire outfit out of one bindweed flower these days.

Maybe the feeling that Tinkerbell is a bit too sassy compared to Victoria Plum is just a sign I'm getting old, though I've never liked her; I thought she was quite nasty in the original Peter Pan book, albeit truer to the original idea of faeries as fickle and malevolent creatures. The smart-talking added-sass Disney version of Tinkerbell does not sit well with me either. Look at Betty Boop - a cartoon character aimed at adults in the 1920s, a self-confessed sex-symbol - and see how Tink's been borrowing from her wardrobe. Interesting how things change.

But then I look at the Victoria Plum and wonder just how practial a long skirt is for woodland-living, and wonder why no fairies wear trousers. Or capri pants, even. And as I look a little longer at Ms Plum, with her 80s hair full of fluffy bigness, I realise that's probably why she wore a hat. What a nightmare that would be to manage! But if ToddlerGirl decides she wants a fairy hat in future, I think that's the way to go.


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