Australia, Cork Hats and Flies All Around Your Face.

I said a while ago that if Bobby Andonov did not win Australia’s Got Talent, I’d eat my hat…..

My hat

My hat

along with all the corks……

Eight Corks

With 8 corks

Well, last Tuesday Bobby Andonov did not win Australia’s Got Talent. Dang! But then I had a good idea he wouldn’t win when he sang that stupid Christina Aguilera song. As I said after the final, Justice Crew will probably win it. And so they did.

At the same time I asked readers for recipes for corked hats as I didn’t really fancy eating mine raw. One such recipe sent in caught my eye. It basically suggested I bake my hat, just as you would bake a cake.

My hat on a baking tray

My hat on the baking tray

So I did.

Unfortunately, just as my hat was baked and the oven timer sounded……

oven timer

The oven timer

…..the telephone rang. I turned off the timer and took the call and of course, completely forgot my hat was in the oven until later.

Too much later……


Dinner is burnt

So I decided, if it were all the same with you, that I could drink it. A bit like a Slim Fast meal. So I thought I could mix it with a pint of water…..

NOT Slim Fast

NOT Slim Fast

And down it in one!



Well, that was the plan anyway. But then I checked back on what I did actually say in my original post. And I discovered that I said “If this guy doesn’t make it big, I’ll eat one of my hats, including ALL the corks.”

How non-committal was that? So there will be no hats eaten here today. Or drank. Anyway, Australians and don’t wear corked hats anymore. Mine was made for me as a joke by a very dear friend back in England, and she presented it to me at my leaving party. And of course, I didn’t burn it in the oven.

But I have tried wearing it (not publicly, of course), and they are the most irritating hats in the world. You’d almost certainly rather have flies around you than corks constantly bouncing off of your face.

No, if you want to keep the flies off of your face in Australia these days, and in some places during summer you may need to; this is what you would wear today.

The new cork hat

The new cork hat

Now I don’t know what you think, but for me, they just aren’t as cool as the original cork hats. I can’t imagine Crocodile Dundee in one. But you’ll be very pleased to hear that I’ve never seen anyone wearing one anywhere, ever.

Apart from me, just now.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Jus May 4, 2018, 6:32 pm |

    Hi Bob.

    RIP your burnt cork hat.
    Ashes to ashes and all of that.

    Australians don’t wear these odd hats with corks. These things are worn by English tourists only. Or English expats welcoming arriving English friends at the airport.
    This evolved because, In the early 1960’s every English migrant family, on arrival, was given a big coffee-table book of photographs. This iconic book called ‘The Australians’ – was full of surfers, cattle stations, aboriginals etc. In this orientation-book was a photograph of an old man in Coober Pedy or somewhere wearing the ‘cork’ hat he had invented to keep clinging flies out of his eyes.

    This one hat, worn by one eccentric, was so bizarre it struck an unforgettable note with the English and they adopted it. The hat became a best seller in airports, where it is predominantly worn, as a site gag. They can be purchased next to the kangaroo-skin key rings and other ‘Australian’ things Australians have never used. For tourists only.

    The only broup the hat could possibly accurately symbolise is the Balmy Army.

    • BobinOz May 8, 2018, 6:06 pm |

      Ashes to ashes indeed.

      Interesting story, I’d never heard about that book for new immigrants called “The Australians”. Funny how just one picture can start something like that off. Obviously I have still never seen an Australian wearing a genuine cork hat, I can’t even find an image of one online and I can only imagine Crocodile Dundee in one because he’s never put one on his head either.

      Looks like it’s just us mad and it seems gullible English. Thanks for the explanation.

  • Jeff April 26, 2013, 9:58 pm |

    We just returned from a trip to Coober Pedy, and what the locals claim is the worst fly season they can remember. I saw lots of people (including my family and me) wearing nets on their heads when outdoors. But no cork hats.

    • BobinOz April 29, 2013, 8:18 pm |

      Alas, the cork hat is a thing of the past 🙂

      Sounds like they’ve had it bad over at Coober Pedy, I’m guessing, but are there a lot of cattle farms around there? Where there are flies, there are normally cows.

      • Jeff April 29, 2013, 8:51 pm |

        There are some enormous cattle stations in the neighbourhood, but in the town proper it’s all dirt and rock. The only grass is on the town oval, so I don’t think there is any grazing land in town.

        Have you ever been there? It’s a unique place, with a lunar feeling. Everyone just digs out holes for mining their houses or businesses, and just leaves the piles of dirt lying wherever they fell.

        It’s worth a trip to see, since it’s totally unique, but unfortunately there’s not much more than a day’s worth of activities which makes it impractical to visit unless it’s on your way somewhere else.

        • BobinOz April 30, 2013, 6:12 pm |

          There’s not many places you can actually be on your way to either, and no, I haven’t been, not sure if or when I would either.

          I’d love to see the place, but I’ve already done Alice Springs and Adelaide, and I’m hoping to fly to Darwin this year. I bet it is an interesting place to see though, despite those pesky flies!



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