Well I went and I stayed and I am now back home. A bitter sweet time as tears threatened to well on numerous occasions as I reflected on this time last year when the consequences of mum's prognosis were just hitting home. Little did I know that her enthusiastic nod and smile would have me now proudly but sadly viewing my hat 'Hannah II' sitting in the front row amongst the 'blue' hues one year later. This was the opening party, exclusively for those who had been fortunate enough to be selected, to attend a private viewing with one guest. Never mind the hats, the outfits and hats that people were wearing to attend were also worth a view. The hats on show were from over 30 countries, made in all manner of colours and materials. I had a wonderful conversation with a milliner who had woven wool and covered garden twine in an attempt to create a rams head, very impressive. Some had used heat activated plastics in all manner of designs and shapes and one hat was entirely made out of bits of coral. Some of the hats were from the students of the school of Central St Martins and you could see their flair for design shining out. My hat, on the other-hand stood out like a sore thumb, its simplicity was somewhat unique as it nestled front row next to the imaginative creations that surrounded it. Mum would have probably scoffed at some and conversely been in awe at others, quite what she would have made of the cardboard cut out soup label stuck on a wire alice band is anybody's guess but her comments certainly wouldn't have been printable.