Thursday 6 November 2008

P40B fans are game for anything

P40B may have officially ended, but the hats are still travelling, folks. Last month, the Anaheim Convention Center in California hosted 15,000 Warcraft fans at BlizzCon 2008. Amid all the excitement, the birthday brand was proudly displayed by gamer Phil, who poses here at the entrance to the US resort complex.

Do you know the whereabouts of a P40B titfer? Is one wending its way, as we speak, over mountains and across continents? If so, don't forget to send me a photo. The address is

Wednesday 24 September 2008

The Amsterdam titfer experiment

I sneaked into Amsterdam at the weekend and left an unexpected gift for one of the city's many cyclists. Yep, you guessed it - a brand, spanking new P40B titfer. Will the recipient follow the carefully worded instructions that accompany the hat? Or have they already chucked it in the canal? Only time will tell. See below for more photos.
Hat's a big surprise: titfer turns up in the panier of an unsuspecting Amsterdam cyclist. Instructions are stuck on the exterior and interior of the hoed.
A titfer tip-off. Street sign gives a clue as to the location of the wild hat.

Friday 19 September 2008

Busted hat in Baton Rouge

What do you do in the aftermath of a hurricane? If your name is Sue and you live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the answer is that you pick yourself and take your dog Milo for a walk. Wearing eye-catching P40B headgear, of course.

The intrepid pair are pictured not long after the arrival of Hurricane Gustav. And while I can't promise that my lucky titfer 13 will offer protection against falling debris, it does provide an opportunity to show off the true American spirit.

Back home now for some crawfish pie, I think.

Location: Baton Rouge, USA
Date: Post-Gustav
Hat No: 13
Status: Semi Wild

The Demohatic National Convention? Yes we can!

Can we get a P40B hat inside a major international political event? In the words of aspiring US Presidential candidate Barack Obama, "Yes we can!" The evidence above comes from the Democratic National Convention last month, held in Denver, Colorado. And the lady posing is Ginny - someone born and raised in a political family down in Louisiana.

As a strictly non-partisan birthday brand, P40B can't afford to take sides in the ongoing electoral battle in America. But if Maverick McCain and his moose-munching sidekick make it to the White House, God help us all.

So thanks for taking the trouble to take the photo, Ginny. And for reminding us that there's more than one important date coming up in early November.

Location: Denver, USA
Date: August 08
Hat No: 13
Status: Semi Wild

Hat makes waves on the high seas

Ahoy there, shipmates! P40B hat on the horizon.

Another one that I shouldn't, strictly speaking, allow. My old friend Natalia has already featured in the P40B hall of fame, but she's done such a good job at sneaking her titfer on to a cruise ship, that I'm bending the rules for her just a tad. Note the signatures on the hat, indicating that it's already passed hands a number of times before circling its way back to the Natster. So, a second photo op is allowed on this occasion. But don't go thinking I'll allow anyone a hat trick. The branded headgear does have to change hands, you know.

Location: Somewhere off the Amalfi coast
Date: 19 Sept 08
Hat No: 5
Status: Semi Wild

Thursday 11 September 2008

It's that man again

In theory, it shouldn't be allowed. But Russ is a very good friend and I've decided he gets two bites of the titfer cherry. Rather than pass the hat on to someone else, he's travelled with it himself to two different countries. We've already seen this particular branded item on display in France and here it is again - this time in La Gomera in the Canaries. It apparently took 54 hours for Russ to get there, but I'm not allowed to ask why. I hope it didn't have anything to do with strict anti-hat regulations being in force in this exotic paradise.

Location: La Gomera, near Tenerife
Date: 12th Sept 08
Hat No: 19
Status: Controlled Release

Thursday 4 September 2008

Up in front of the beak

My old friend Ruth had better watch out. This seemingly harmless Italian sculpture at Pisa Airport appears to have his eye on her P40B titfer. No point in negotiating politely, as the bird only speaks pidgin English.

Ruth and her family have been on a tour of Italy and - like all respectable tourists - they packed some branded headgear. To find out more about their exploits and to see a P40B hat at the grave of one of the world's most famous astronomers, simply visit the Italiano Titfa Tour.

Location: Pisa, Italy
Hat No: 25
Date: 4th Sept 08
Status: Conrolled Release

Monday 1 September 2008

P40B joins the mile high club

Winging it: the P40B phenomenon reaches Saudi airspace

You thought the top of the CN Tower in Toronto was high? Try a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet. As pilot Aran guides his Airbus 330 over the Middle East, the pressure in the cabin is mounting. The excited crew give the signal and the official airline titfer is traded in for a stylish white P40B model. But the fun can't last long. Flying a plane is a serious business and there are customers waiting for duty free.

Aran picked up the hat in Cambodia and there's no telling where the 23 will end up next. It's one wild titfer and no mistake.

Location: Saudi Arabian airspace
Hat No: 23
Date: 1st Sept 08
Status: Wild

Number 11 on the streets of San Francisco

All aboard, now! The number 11 has come to town.

I don't know. You wait half an hour for a hat and then a whole load turn up at once.

This is my old friend Andy, who was born and raised in London, but now lives in NYC. He seems to be doing some kind of all-American tour, as he's sent me shots from Chicago and Kentucky and goodness knows where else. But it's these ones in Frisco that have particularly taken my fancy. Andy is riding the rails - at great personal risk - to get that perfect P40B shot. He seems to be very well dressed for the occasion and I'm not just referring to his branded headgear received on mail order from England. It looks as if he's actually donned a formal business suit, which shows a level of commitment and seriousness that is lacking in many of the other photos I've been sent. But then Andy does have an MBA from a top US business school and has held a number of high-powered consultancy jobs. This is probably him in dress down mode.

Great work. And we're promised further news from number 11 as it travels back to the north-east of the States.

Any more fares now please? Andy travels in style with his official P40B hat.

Location: San Francisco, USA
Hat No: 11
Date: 1st Sept 08
Status: Controlled Release

Canada High

There's a story behind every titfer, but this one's a particularly tricky customer. It might be hat number 16. But then again, it might not.

The reason for the doubt is all to do with its days under controlled release in London. Without going into all the sordid details, I sent a hat to my friend Louise who hangs out on the Purley Way in Croydon. The great British postal service being what it is, the branded headgear never arrived. So I sent a replacement. And then, guess what? Yup, that's right. The original one turned up. So Louise had TWO titfers. She sent one travelling towards Australia via the Sound of Music stage show in London. And the other one was sent to Toronto with her friend Jackie. She poses here in front of the mighty tall CN Tower and then takes her hat for a ride in the elevator (see below).

Let's not get too hung up over numbers. The important thing is that we've conquered Canada. The rest of the world must surely follow.
Jackie and the Great Glass Elevator: a P40B titfer soars to the top of Toronto's CN Tower.

Location: Toronto, Canada
Hat No: 16*
Date: As stamped
Status: Semi Wild

Thursday 28 August 2008

Wild in New York with Pedro

Don't ask me to explain this shot. When things go wild, we have less of a handle of all the whys and wherefores. All you need to know is that this gentleman is called Pedro and he contacted me from New York City with his P40B picture. The hat was passed to him in Tenerife and is set to travel further. I'm sure you'll join with me in sending a big thank you to the Big Apple and wishing number 12 a happy journey.

Location: New York City, USA
Date: 29th Aug 08
Hat No: 12
Status: Wild

Wednesday 27 August 2008

A few of my favourite hats

Superior shot: actor Robert Maskell introduces titfer 16 to other cast members in London's stage version of the Sound of Music. Click to enlarge.

With apologies to Messrs Rodgers & Hammerstein:

Kitsch shots on websites and titfers that travel
Birthdays the public can't start to unravel
P40B snaps with that extra zing
These are a few of Phil's favourite things

What can I say? Robert has excelled himself here with a shot that really captures the spirit of the whole hatstravaganza. In fact, I very firmly feel that Robert and his friends are an asset to the website. I wonder what my alter ego, Count Phillip von Woodford, will make of it all?

Location: Up West, London, UK
Date: 28th Aug 08
Hat No: 16
Status: Semi Wild

Fresh from its appearance in The Sound of Music on the London stage, this titfer headed for the Kuranda Scenic Railway in northern Queensland, Australia. Thanks go to Rebecca for notching up the first genuine Aussie shot and proving that P40B is truly turning the world upside down.

Location: Queensland, Australia
Date: 28th Aug 08
Hat No: 16
Status: Semi Wild

P40B steps up a gear

My old friend 'Stained Glass' Jan had to tread carefully when photographing hat 15. As part of a feared biker gang with a notorious reputation in southern England, she has an image to maintain. Any sign of weakness - support for some crazy bloke's 40th birthday celebrations, for instance - could lead to a vicious feud which could topple her from the apex of the group's power structure. She therefore moved her stylish Honda CBR125R twenty yards down the road and posed for just a split second.

With her six-speed gearbox, PGM-FI fuel injection and liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine, she was reckoning on being able to make a quick getaway. Unfortunately, she immediately stalled and drew unwanted attention to herself. She was last seen hiding in a transport caf, somewhere off Junction 12 of the M53 near Wrexham.

Location: High Beech, Epping Forest, UK
Date: 28th Aug 08
Hat No: 15
Status: Controlled Release

Friday 15 August 2008

Keep the hats coming

This signature P40B project is going great guns and many titfers are on the brink of going wild. Please keep the photos coming. I'm off travelling with Count Phillip von Woodford and may not be able to keep on top of my titfers over the next week or two. But I promise a hatfest on my return, P40B fans.

Doing the boxer beach

Caught underwears: Andy is snapped on a beach in Portugal with No 5. Click to enlarge.

At first glance, Andy seems like any other Portugeezer in the Algarve. But, wait. What's this? No swimming trunks? Just his regular boxer shorts? It sounds hard to believe, but that's exactly what he told me in an email today. In fact, I'll let him take up the story:

"We drove to an amazing beach two hours away from where we staying, only to realise that I’d somehow managed to leave my swim shorts behind, as well as a spare top to cover my sunburn. It was Sunday and all the shops were closed. So I had to spend the whole day in my boxers, trying to keep my white bits out of view, whilst schvitzing away wearing a navy t-shirt in the 35 degree heat."

Lucky, Andy, that you had a piece of branded headgear in that kind of heat. It must have helped minimise the schvitzing at least.

If you enlarge the picture and look beyond the rather fetching ladies sunbathing in the background, you'll see that the steps down to the beach haven't yet been completed. This fact wasn't, however, apparent from the top. I wonder how many damsels in distress needed rescuing half way down?

Location: The Algarve, Portugal
Date: 15th Aug 08
Hat No: 5
Status: Semi Wild

Thursday 14 August 2008

Ooh la la! C'est le dix-neuf!

Leesen vay carefully, I shall wear zeese titfa only wurnce.

If you'd wondered what had happened titfer 19 - and let's face it, hardly a day goes by without P40B fans pondering the fate of a favoured hat - the good news is that it's in the safe custody of my old friend Russ. Here he is in Boulevard de Tourisme, Lille, keeping his trademark barnet under control by means of a branded 'chapeau'. The shades are a nice touch and add an air of sophisticated menace to his pose. Locals scatter in all directions as the mad English hatman comes to town.

Where next for 19? Who can tell? For the moment, we're just joyeux that France has been visited at long last.

Location: Lille, France
Date: 14th Aug 08
Hat No: 19
Status: Controlled Release

The Grote Markt is a Grand Place for a titfer

Historic style: Walter shows off his headgear in front of the fifteenth century town hall in central Brussels

I had one of the finest onion soups I've ever tasted just off the "Grote Markt" in Brussels, so Walter's snap brings back fond memories. The adventurous traveller has somehow taken the ten titfer from sunny Spain right into the heart of the city that plays host to NATO and the European Parliament. The only thing missing from the shot is Belgium's most famous son, Jean-Claude Van Damme, but I expect he was otherwise engaged kicking butt.

Thanks very much for your birthday greetings, Walter. Hat number 10 is set to go truly wild now, loaded up on mussels and frites.

Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 14th Aug 08
Hat No: 10
Status: Semi Wild

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Hats look hot at Spanish party

It's time to say a big gracias to Graciela, who's really entering into the spirit of the world's biggest birthday party. With the "diez" on her head, she's making a noise on behalf of P40B and helping to reinforce Spain's dominance as the titfer centre of continental Europe.
Birthday celebration: Abraham enters into the party spirit in Spain with the ten hat.

Location: Spain
Date: 13th Aug 08
Hat No: 10
Status: Semi Wild

Monday 11 August 2008

P40B goes for gold

Although I know for a fact that two hats - 8 and 23 - have made their way to China, I haven't yet seen any evidence of the P40B brand at the Olympic Games. And that's despite hours of zooming and freeze-framing over the weekend.

The good news is that hat 26 has been involved in an equally momentous event in Brighton, England: the first ever Wii Olympics to be held in the UK's favourite south coast resort. The Wii is a more advanced version of the Atari 2600 and allows people to travel to Beijing in virtual reality, participating alongside the athletes in real time. In the snap above, we see Tim beating Michael Phelps in the 400m individual medley swimming event.

When the Wii was invented, its makers never nintended it to be used in conjunction with contemporary headgear. But the P40B titfer is highly streamlined and aerodynamic, making it the only hat to be have been approved by the US Birthday Sport Promotions Agency.

Location: Brighton, UK
Date: 11th August 08
Hat No: 26
Status: Semi Wild

Sunday 10 August 2008

One Wild Orchid. One Semi Wild Hat.

Rural and floral: a P40B hat makes the perfect addition to any bouquet

When I heard that a hat had made it to Herstmonceux, I was very excited at the idea of our first ever French 'chapeau'. Imagine my surprise when I learned that English towns can sometimes have French names! This could be a whole new sub-genre of titfer snaps. Hats cropping up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Poulton-le-Fylde, for instance.

Herstmonceux is in East Sussex and it recently became the temporary home of hat 26. We see it here modelled by Jeanne, who owns The Wild Orchid - a bespoke florist's shop that caters for all kinds of occasions including weddings. She knows exactly what's involved in an attractive display and her P40B branded headgear certainly fits the bill. It also provides protection against any insect life that might have made its home in the foliage.

Location: Herstmonceux, East Sussex, UK
Date: 11th August 2008
Hat No: 26
Status: Semi Wild

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Kiwi plan bears fruit

Snow joke: hat endures winter conditions in New Zealand

To paraphrase John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, the things that really fascinate me about the other side of the world are the little differences. Like it's a baking hot summer's day in London, but it's a freezing cold winter's day in New Zealand. Admittedly, my old friend Cozzer may have been half way up Mount Cook when she posed for this hat snap, but I've no way of knowing because I've lost her email. This is unlike me, but I was doing some nifty, remote-access wifi type stuff while away on holiday, saved her picture to my laptop but managed to delete her message. Very poor. I can promise other loyal hat fans that this won't happen again.

Anyway, Coz is an honorary south islander (she's actually an ex-pat Brit) and lives with her family in Christchurch. My guess is that this is the view out of her back bedroom window. And Hat 24 takes a place in the titfer hall of fame as it plunges the project further into the southern hemisphere than ever before.

Location: Unknown, New Zealand
Date: 6th August 08
Hat No: 24
Status: Controlled Release

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Hats to travel through time

Answering the call: Phil travels in time with branded hat.

Most P40B fans are content with seeing their favourite titfers hop happily around the world by fairly conventional means. But BBC sports journalist Phil (who blogs at believes that the stylish headgear should also travel in space and time. That's why he's made an arrangement with a 900-year-old Doctor to borrow a contraption known as a TARDIS, which theoretically allows him to promote 2008's most important birthday celebration at, say, The Battle of Waterloo or the signing of the Magna Carta. As any student of time travel will tell you, however, there's great potential for paradox or disruption of the space-time continuum. If a P40B titfer suddenly appears in a Constable landscape, we'll know that something's gone badly wrong. And under no circumstances must Phil go back and shoot his grandfather before his dad is born.

While travelling in the TARDIS, it may be worth visiting my birthdays in parallel universes, such as 1888, 1945 or 1972.

Location: Alternate universe
Date: Undetermined
Hat No: 25
Status: Semi Wild

Chocks away as P40B takes off in Hendon

P40B reporting for duty, sir! A titfer visits the RAF's museum in Hendon, north of London.

Hendon is famous for two things: a police academy and its air museum. My namesake Phil probably feared arrest if he visited the former establishment, so opted very wisely to pose with his hat outside the RAF centre.

Don't be surprised if the distinctive P40B-style hat gets adopted as official uniform, particularly for hot battlezones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Crafted in a Chinese factory out of polyester and cotton, it boasts breathing holes and a comforting sun-resistant brim. No camouflage versions available as yet, but it's something we can work on.

Tell you what, old chaps, I've got to skidaddle now. Titfer at two o'clock high.

Location: Hendon, UK
Date: 5th August 08
Hat No: 25
Status: Semi-wild

Hat Two set for wild adventures

All the fun of the fair: Hat 2 is abandoned in Southend, Essex

Last weekend, the two hat was left at the mercy of the British summer and has since been looking for a kind passer-by to pick it up. Let's hope someone was intrigued by the note my friend Andy had stapled to the titfer. It's a bold experiment which may influence the way the remainder of this important P40B project unfolds.

Thursday 31 July 2008

Since my titfer left me, it's found a new place to dwell...

Hatbreak Hotel: Graham King and... er.... another King celebrate at Sun Studios

This picture has all the elements that make for a great P40B signature shot. Note the historic location - the studio in Memphis where Elvis Presley recorded his first track. And note the efforts that Graham is making to create a new piece of history in the American heartland.

The shot is just one of a number taken on a semi-wild excursion by birthday fans Gabby, Tim, Graham and Jane around the southern states of the US. They've done such an incredible job that I thought they deserved their own web page. Tap your feet and hold on to your hats, as you take a whistlestop tour around Tennessee.

This titfer was last seen in Austin, Texas and is set to go wild very soon.

Location: Memphis, TN, United States of America
Date: 23rd July 08
Hat No: 14
Status: Semi Wild

I'm just wild about number two

My old friend Andy has a plan for titfer two. He's conducting an officially authorised experiment to see if he can turn it wild by abandoning it somewhere with a note. I know this isn't really how it's all supposed to work, but the 40 White Hats Project is designed to be fun and I'm not getting too uptight about all the rules and regs. If he makes a success of it, maybe other titfers could go wild in public places too. Place of abandonment is, at this stage, still unclear. I'll keep you posted on developments.

Sunday 27 July 2008

To hat and to hold

Do you take this hat? Bride Dyanne and husband Mark share a touching titfer moment.

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something contemporary, stylish and branded with the logo of a major forthcoming birthday event.

We have to wonder whether Dyanne and Mark will set a trend for weddings around the UK and perhaps beyond. Veils are so yesterday. White titfers are the new black.

Titfer No 1 is unusual in that it's been photographed in the UK, took a trip to Italy and then returned to Blighty under the careful supervision of P40B fan Aliche. But the numero uno is about to go wild, folks, so watch this space.

Location: Unknown wedding party venue, UK
Date: 27th July 08
Hat No: 1
Status: Semi Wild

Friday 25 July 2008


This hairdresser's ain't big enough for the both of us: Brent swaps his ten-gallon hat for a branded P40B equivalent. Click to enlarge.

With this latest picture, it's difficult to tell whether we're entering a salon or a saloon. Brent - from Bar Hairdressing in Clerkenwell, London - plans to blast us with hot air, six-shooter style. Perched on his head is the four hat, which seems to be doing the rounds of this fashionable part of the British capital. But where the titfer will head next is by no means cut and dried. Reliable sources inform me that Bar is the place to go if you're looking for great hair. And they'll even throw in some drinks and a relaxing massage. Afterwards, I'm off to raduno, darling, for a drop of Pol Roger 1998.

Location: London, UK
Date: 25th July 08
Hat No: 4
Status: Semi Wild

Thursday 24 July 2008

23 goes wild!

Flight of fancy: Aussie pilot Brady gives a thumbs up for the first hat to go officially 'wild'. Click to enlarge.

Every titfer secretly hopes to become a star. The truth, however (with apologies to the Bard) is that some hats are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

Number 23 has many claims to fame. It's currently the piece of branded headgear to have changed hands the most times. It was the first hat to send a picture of itself from a non-European location. And now it's calling up Norris McWhirter once again with the first genuinely 'wild' shot.

For new readers, I better clarify what I mean by wild. Put simply, it's a status applied to hats that are in the hands of people the original recipient doesn't know. Claire and Rob (see previous post) met Brady and his girlfriend Leasa at a cookery course in Vietnam. And it's that chance meeting which saw the hat wing its way to Hong Kong - the former UK territory which is now a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.

I've asked Brady to see if he can find a way of continuing this great success story. But I can go to sleep tonight with a smile on my face. Because I've been wished happy birthday by a complete stranger on the other side of the world. And that's what the whole P40B phenomenon is all about.

Location: Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
Date: 24th July 08
Hat No: 23
Status: Wild

First titfer to fly long-haul

Here comes the bride: a P40B hat is spotted at a traditional temple in Ho Chi Minh City. Click to enlarge.

Although I know there are already quite a few titfers outside Europe (see the Hatlas), we've yet to receive the photographic evidence. The P40B Award for the first picture from the wider world therefore goes to two newlyweds, Rob and Claire. Although they're honeymooning in Asia, they've still found time to email me from the Mekong Delta, which I'm sure we'd all agree is above and beyond the call of duty. By my reckoning, temperatures are likely to be well into the nineties in Vietnam at this time of year, so the branded headgear may well be helping to keep the bride and groom cool. Entering completely into the spirit of this signature P40B project, Claire and Rob passed hat 23 to someone they met on their travels. More on this in the next post. For the moment, it's a case of going, going, Saigon.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Date: 24th July 08
Hat No: 23
Status: Semi Wild

Birthday power at the Leaning Tower

Birthday fan Aliche recently took her extended family to Italy. She returned with what we can safely say are the only shots of Pisa ever to feature P40B branded headgear. The muscular arm belongs to boyf Chopkins, but I think he must be standing at some kind of funny angle, as the unusual tower behind him appears to be a little lopsided.
Hatastrophe in the making: Chopkins only just prevents the Leaning Tower from falling on his titfer. Click to enlarge.

Location: Pisa, Italy
Date: 24th July 08
Hat No: 1
Status: Semi Wild

Saturday 19 July 2008

Astronomical clock ticks towards an important birthday

Lucky for some: hat number 13 is modelled in the heart of ancient Tübingen. Click to enlarge.

When I first saw this photo, I thought an extension had been added to the P40B headgear, but on closer inspection I realised that I was looking at a parasol, designed to shelter the residents of Tübingen from the glare of the mid-summer sun. The picturesque and historic German town -twinned with Durham in the UK - is a short drive south of Stuttgart.

Here's Vanessa taking time out from her job with (and the pressures of a recent house move) to ensure that Germany joins Denmark, Spain and Italy as a documented centre of European birthday celebrations. She's posing in front of the Rathaus, which she tells me houses an astronomical clock. I've no idea how much it cost, but it was astronomical.

As an American citizen, Vanessa is keen to get the weißer Hut over to the land of the free and home of the brave. Citizens of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are duly warned.

Location: Tübingen, southern Germany
Date: 19th July 08
Hat No: 13
Status: Controlled Release

Friday 18 July 2008

There's one item of clothing that has to stay on

It's very hot in southern Italy and I'm sure this is the reason that Giusy has removed some items of clothing for the picture. You'll notice, however, that she wouldn't be seen without her branded headgear. The Italians are very fussy about their labels. If it's not Dolce & Gabbana, it simply has to be P40B.

If you're trying to get a geographical fix on this particular snap, think of the "boot" at the bottom of Italy and then think of the sole. It's a nice little spot on the Med called Soverato.

If my geography's correct, this is as far south as a P40B cappello has yet been pictured. The date/time stamp is a nice touch and adds a degree of authenticity not yet seen on this website. Well done, Elisa.

Location: Soverato, southern Italy
Hat No: 21
Date: As per time stamp
Status: Semi Wild

P40B goes back to the roots of civilisation

Historia emocionante: P40B investigator Marcus goes in search of Fred Flintstone

As some readers may know, this birthday of mine is going to be celebrated in various timeframes. My steampunk blog, for instance, places P40B in 1888. Things were so much simpler in those days, weren't they?

Birthday fan Marcus has decided to go even further back in time. Right to the cradle of modern civilisation, in fact. He tells me that this shot is taken at Cueva de la Pileta, near Benaojan in southern Spain, which is known in the local lingo as a "yacimiento arqueológico". Apparently it's the first place in Europe where homo sapiens put in an appearance. And without that seminal event, there would be no internet and no P40B. And probably no Starbucks or ITV1 either.

Previously on the P40B tour, this titfer paid a visit to the Alhambra - a significant piece of Moorish architecture and major tourist attraction, south of Granada. It was also on display during the battle of wills between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

With such an illustrious history attached to it, the eight hat has a lot to live up to. Perhaps that's why it's popped itself on a plane to Shanghai. We look forward to hearing from it again before the Olympics get under way.

Location: Benajoan, southern Spain
Date: 18th July 08
Hat No: 8
Status: Controlled Release

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Starting gun fired for hat 23

Barrel of laughs: Fi takes aim while sporting her stylish P40B titfer. Click to enlarge.

Fiona lives in a very smart and sophisticated part of south-west London. To my certain knowledge there's an Iceland, a newsagent and a couple of charity shops within close walking distance of her home. The last armed robbery in the neigbourhood was probably a couple of weeks ago at least. Why, then, does she insist on carrying a double-barrelled shotgun with her at all times?

Here she is on one of her frequent training weekends in the country, under the watchful eye of ex army regulars. The instructors dress up as hoodies and wear baseball caps to add to the realism of the exercise, so it seems perfectly natural for eager students to bring their own headgear along too. A couple of birthday blasts from her shooter and Fi's tormentors are sent scurrying into the undergrowth. Back in Whitton, they'd be retreating down the alley between the high street and the car park by the library.

Titfer 23 is now with a honeymooning couple in Thailand. I'll be vetting the pictures very carefully, as this is a family website.

Location: Withheld for security reasons
Date: 16th July 08
Hat No: 23
Status: Controlled Release

Sunday 13 July 2008

Jurassic Park!

Budleigh, can you spare me the time? The Gabster takes a break from her artistic schedule to pose with a P40B hat on the Devon coastline.

My old friend Gabby emails from Devon, which is a seasidy place tucked away in the very south-westernmost corner of Britain. Apparently, it's divided up into different parts, one of which is called Budleigh Salterton Super Mare or Budsalt Supe for short. The location is a Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, which I think means they plan to shoot Jurassic Park IV there. If you look closely, you'll see very small dinosaurs paddling in the background and a couple of lighting blokes trying to introduce some artificial sun.

As a practising artist, Gabby knows how to match colours, which explains how the stripes of the beach hut are eerily similar to the Pantone reference of the distinctive P40B logo. Or maybe she repainted the hut and plans to enter it for the Turner Prize next year? Either way, I'm delighted that a titfer has made it to such a picturesque part of the UK and understand that it is set to travel even further afield.

As we speak, the hat is being packed into a suitcase that's heading for Texas. Is it possible to do tours of the Southfork ranch that featured in the popular 80s TV show Dallas? If so, please try to get a snap with a waxwork of Miss Ellie. "Why, ma'am, you are looking the real southern belle today, if you don't mind me sayin'. Is that a Stetson you have on? Or are you celebrating someone's birthday?"

Location: Devon, UK
Date: 13th Jul 08
Hat No: 14
Status: Controlled Release

Thursday 10 July 2008

Waiting for my hat to come

American singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is so fond of hats that he's actually created a t-shirt which says "Fond of Hats". I wonder if he saw Nathalie's when she smuggled it into his recent concert at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, west London?

"This number goes out to all the fans of P40B around the world. You mean everything to me. I love you all! Hey, Phil, have a great birthday in November, dude!"

That's the kind of thing that Jason might have said on stage. On the other hand, he might not.

Hathalie, as she's now known, tells me that this musical titfer has already arrived in Thailand. Perhaps it will be worn at a gig in Bangkok?

Location: Shepherd's Bush, London, UK
Date: 10 July 08
Hat No: 20
Status: Controlled Release

Put your foot down and insist on a great P40B shot

My other car's a Fiat Punto: Ropey shows the prestige nature of the P40B brand. Click to enlarge.

As a media planner and buyer, my old friend Ropey does pretty well for himself and has amassed a collection of stylish motors over the years. Two more and he'll overtake David Beckham. Most of the vehicles are permanently garaged, but once in a while he'll take a couple out for a quick spin. And what better opportunity to show off the three hat? Unfortunately, while trying to drive two of his supercars simultaneously, Ropey had a bit of a prang and was thrown clear on the drive of his manor house in Essex. His special forces training thankfully came into play and he rolled himself straight into the recovery position.

Location: Ropey's front drive, Essex, UK
Date: 10th July 08
Hat No: 3
Status: Controlled Release

It is Spain... honest...

This is Richie Dowling - an old friend from 90s London - who now hangs out in the land of sangria, bull fighting and highly successful national football squads. He and his son Samuel are fascinated by the P40B phenomenon and were quick to step in with a photo.

But how can we be sure that "la titfa" is actually in Spain? Well, the clues are all there in the picture. Richie sports the designer stubble beloved of the Galicia locals. The bed or couch in the background looks distinctly continental. And the mosquito net at the window is a sure sign we're in a part of the world troubled by the effects of global warming.

Muchas gracias, Richie. Let's hope this hat now starts to travel right around el mundo.
El sombrero grande: a young fan shows his appreciation of the 40 White Hats initiative.

Location: La Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Date: 10th July 08
Hat No: 10
Status: Semi Wild

Wednesday 9 July 2008

But where's Archie?

P40B goes five star without any help from Adobe: Princess relaxes at the Celtic Manor, near Newport. Click to enlarge.

Here's my friend Anita. You'll remember that I told you about her in my previous posts. She was the one who designed the attractive P40B logo and then started sending me pictures of her border terrier, Archie, wearing Photoshopped hats. Now she's done the right thing and mailed a genuine snap of herself in official branded headgear to (I'd sent her off to a five-star resort in Wales called the Celtic Manor. Told her she ought to treat herself.)

Good on you, Princess. It's now time for that hat to go semi-wild among trusted friends and close family members. And after that, who knows?

Location: South Wales, UK
Date: 9th July 08
Hat No: 26
Status: Controlled Release

Monday 7 July 2008

Go semi wild.

When I talk about hats being "wild", I mean they're spreading a little bit like a virus -randomly from person to person. We haven't quite got to that stage yet, although I'm sure it's not far away. Below, you'll see some 'semi wild' hat action in central London, where the P40B titfers are being passed among groups of friends and work colleagues. It's a great teambuilding activity and may soon replace those terrible outward bound courses in Wales that they make people go on.

By my reckoning, as many as three of the branded chapeaux may be in play here. But soon, they'll all be going their separate ways. The tears are welling up even as I talk about it.
P40Beanbag: Sarah snoozes during a well-earned break. 40 winks, of course.
Fashion statement: Natalia discovers that the stylish P40B headgear sets off her designer outfit perfectly.