As a seasoned veteran of many Head of the Charles Regattas, held on the Charles River every fall, we felt an obligation to attend the august English equivalent, the Royal Henley Regatta at Henley-on-Thames.
We have never actually ROWED on the Charles or the Thames, mind you, but we have cheered on many a friend and the boats of our alma mater over the years. And so last Saturday we headed for the picturesque town of Henley-on-Thames, about an hour southeast of London, where we met a friend whose daughter rowed for Brown.
In addition, the Harvard Heavies were favorites for the prestigeious Queens Cup. Any athletic contest is more engrossing when one has a dog in the fight.
However, once there we had serious trouble keeping our eyes on the river. Everywhere we looked, it seemed, women were wearing outrageous, spectacular, unique and uniformly ugly HATS. Every size, shape and color, but all featuring some bizarre, unbalanced or seemingly random embellishment.
At first we thought it was a joke (we spied a few prime examples on the train out from London), but once we saw these dames strutting and preening on the banks of the Thames, we realized these were serious fashion statements. All we could do was start snapping with the Nikon.