Harriet Rowland lived in Paremata, Wellington, with her younger brother Tom and her parents Jan and John. Brought up by the sea, she was a keen sailor, and had a passion for skiing, pizza, rugby and dogs. She loved being surrounded by friends and family, and was a keen reader.
Harriet was a year 13 student at Queen Margaret College, Wellington, when she discovered she had osteosarcoma in her knee, and began writing her blog, My Experience of Walking the Dog. Following treatment, Harriet was able to travel on her OE around Europe, and returned to enrol at Victoria University, moving into the university hostel Boulcott Hall.
The Book of Hat — a collection of Hat’s blogposts — was launched in February 2014 at a glittering event at Park Road Post Production in Wellington. Two days later Harriet went into a hospice. She died surrounded by family and friends on 7 March, 2014.