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.