The rampage of COVID-19 has ensured that the Merry Mamzelles - Mudgee's Red Hatters, like other social clubs, has had to find other ways of keeping in touch with each other - but before that there was national business to attend to.
The Merry Mamzelles - Mudgee's Red Hatters is one of approximately 360 Red Hat groups or chapters in Australia, all with the common link of fun and friendship.
Pam Bellhouse said that in the meantime, they've been staying social by way of phoning each other, sending photos and sharing the various ways they're making "stay at home" time enjoyable.
"Some of us have caught up with fencing, reading, sewing, and of course some of us still dress up in our red and purple outfits to go down town for essentials, for visits to flu clinics - to make our visits to the doctors more colourful," she said.
"Red Hatters chapters worldwide are posting pictures of their Queens and royal ladies attending virtual morning teas, even taking out the rubbish bins becomes a social outing."
Before the COVID-19 situation, a number of local ladies - along with members of the Dubbo chapter, the Red Hot Flashes - attended a Red Hatters convention in Canberra, billed as The Capital Capers and hosted by their chapter Sisters with a Twist.
Ninety-eight Red Hatters from chapters as far afield as Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, Queensland ,Victoria, as well as NSW, made their way to the capital for the event. Which began on the Thursday evening in the Atrium at the Pavilion on Northbourne, with drinks, registration and stalls - Sharmaine from Red Hat Jewelry and Heads Up Hats and Silk Sisters Fashion, had red hat products on display and for sale.
Friday morning was filled with a bus trip to Mount Ainslie, where a group photo was taken, then onto the impressive Telstra Tower, before lunch at the Canberra Yacht Club and a sightseeing cruise. That night was the 'Witches and Cats' buffet dinner.
"Witches outnumbered the cats, the outfits were amazing and we danced on like we were thirty again - and suffered the next day," Pam said.
On Saturday despite the cold and rain, they visited the National Museum of Australia, ahead of Gatsby Night.
"More great outfits, several ladies from different chapters wore the same outfit, which they had bought online - just goes to show Red Hatters have good taste," Pam added.
If you are you a lady aged 50 or over, living within the Mudgee region and would like to join a social support group of like-minded women who wear purple with red hats and have a focus on fun, friendship, frivolity and celebrate the freedom of ageing - then maybe The Merry Mamzelles - Mudgee's Red Hatters is for you.
For further information contact Pam 0499 942 225 or Carol 0427 094 481.