30 July 2012

The London Olympics 1908: Full of rope and lots of material

On Friday the 27th of July the Second Hand Rose family including a very relaxed snoring Jasper sat down along with over 27 million people in the UK to watch the Olympics opening ceremony. It was watched worldwide by over a billion people and was an amazing spectacular extravaganza. It ranged from an Industrial Revolution theme to a music and dance theme, it had everything and I mean everything.

The legend Queen Lizzie made a cameo with the hunky Daniel Craig as James Bond. If he walked in the royal box with her in his blue speedos showing his impressive torso, I would have happily donated my whole shoe collection to charity, now that's saying something! The show also contained the amazing Mr Bean, sadly minus his seriously cute teddy and the as fabulous as ever Paul McCartney.

This is the third time that our green and pleasant land has hosted the Olympic games. Don't know much about the other two times? Well it's not surprising since they were in 1908 and 1948, which meant you didn't have the lovely Claire Balding to nod in agreement to and Ryan Lochte's muscles to drool over.

In 1908 the Games were originally meant to take place in Rome, but due to Mount Vesuvius erupting in April 1906, London was then selected to host the Games. A stadium was quickly built called 'The White City Stadium' which was seen at the time as technological marvel. The stadium included a pool for swimming and diving, spaces for wrestling and gymnastics in the middle with tracks around the outside. The games consisted of 22 countries with Finland, Turkey and New Zealand making their Olympic debut. Just think how quick the walking around of the countries waving their flag must have been, compared to how long it takes with 204 countries. Now it takes as about as long as it does for me to get my butt off Asos.

Shockingly we actually came top of the medals table winning a total 146 medals, with 56 Gold, 51 Silver and 39 Bronze. Oh how times have changed. We did have a bit of a home advantage though, because some of the 24 games were ones we were particurlarly good at and only knew the rules to. Rackets which was an obscure squash-like game played primarily by public school boys, made its first and only Olympic appearance. Only seven players entered, all of them British, so it was no surprise when the podium was all red-white-and-blue. If only we could do that now, particularly in swimming what with Michael Phelps on constant turbo speed.

The games also included water motorsports, where Britain claimed two out of three golds. Conditions in Southampton Water were so choppy that in each race only one boat made it to the finishing line. The Tug of War was also part of the games, which we won all three medals in. The City of London Police won Gold against two other police forces. Tug of War made its last appearance in 1920 at the games. I can't really imagine Usain Bolt tugging a bit of rope nowadays, can you?
Unlike now the games contained amateurs including Police forces and even a Duke and a Duchess. The games were seen as a sucess due to only costing £20,000, however a third of that was blown on Olympic banquets, I bet Henry VIII is kicking himself that he wasn't around then. It was the first time an Olympic swimming pool was built, in 1900 competitors had to wade through sewage in the River Seine, no wonder there weren't many countries taking part.

The Games were far from perfect though, there were no third world countries included and hardly any women with a total of 36 out of 2000 compettitors being female. The opening ceremony was started by King Edward VII consisted of the countries walking around with flags and a gym display by women from the London Polytechnic. There wasn't an Olympic Torch Relay, so Billy Mitchell didn't get a chance to carry it around Walford.

The events that women did compete in included gymnastics, figure skating, archery, tennis and athletics. There were no rock hard abs on show or sparkly leotards. Women wore the most ridiculous long costumes with gymnasts having to wear long skirts and archery contestants wearing skirts down to the ground, with jackets up to their necks complete with formal hats.
So the 1908 Olympics went pretty well really with Great Britian winning lots of medals and the Games were as seen as a triumph. Although I doubt you'll see these outfits making a comeback. Well let's hope not for the men anyway, you can't beat a nice hunk in a tight Lycra can you ladies.

Second Hand Rose XxxX

13 July 2012

50 Years of The Rolling Stones: It's Party Time!

Beginnings: The young band at Crawdaddy Club in Richmond 1963 Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the fabulous beginning of The Rolling Stones. You may know them for their music, cool hair or just for the iconic tongue logo that you can find everywhere, even on toilet paper. Trust me, I've checked.

It all began when they went on stage for the first time on the 12th July 1962 at the Marquee Club in Oxford Street. They were filling in for another band and had to quickly come up with the name 'The Rollin Stones' with the 'g' being added later. The band then consisted of Keith Richards, Mick 'I've got the mooooves' Jagger, Dick Taylor on bass, Ian Stewart on piano, Tony Chapman on drums and Brian Jones, then calling himself Elmo Lewis, I know coolest name EVER.

Then in June 1963 the Stones released their first single 'Come On' by Chuck Berry, with the single reaching number 21 in the charts. You can listen to it and watch them performing it here. Check out the audiences outfits, very swish. They carried on having more hits including 'Tell Me' and 'The Last Time'. Their next single 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' held the number 1 spot for four weeks. It has gone on to become one of their most famous songs and is still very popular now, especially with me and Mr.Boyfriend whilst driving along in the SHRmobile.

They have gone on to be one of the most iconic and popular bands of the 20th century and are seen as music heroes. Like the Beatles they had their own certain style. In the early days the band sported Beatles type get up, but it didn't really suit them. So soon after they began their own trend in a sea of matching suit and tie ensembles wearing clothes from their own wardrobes, with dress jackets and Oxford shoes to jeans and turtlenecks. In the mid to late 60's there wasn't much difference between their on and off stage style. The look was natural, real and not flashy but they all had individulatity and each had their own look. If it was me I'd probably have been walking around in my Monkey pyjamas, you've gotta love them.

By the late 60's there was a lot of competition to out dandy each other. The band's look became more outrageous with jumpsuits, flag capes and ringmaster top hats, which projected their success and wealth. I mean if you had made pots of money wouldn't you start walking around in a top hat? I certainly would, especially if it was pink. 
As the style at the time went into the more androdgynous look they began to wear their girlfriends clothes and makeup. Don't get any ideas Mr. Boyfriend, there's no way you're getting your hands on my new lace dress and Rimmel lipstick.

The Rolling Stones 50The 50th anniversary is now being marked by a documentary and book launch as well as an exhibition at Somerset House that runs until the 27th August. We will have free complete access to lots of unseen and rare material and the exhibition will include over seventy fabulous prints with pictures ranging from the band performing in small blues clubs to humungous stadiums around the world. You can find all the details for the exhibition here and order the book released for the anniversary on Amazon.

Rolling Stones, The: Homeware - Ice Cube Tray
Ice Cube Tray £15 
So instead of baking a huge cake to celebrate, although that is very tempting, I've been trying to find the coolest memorabilla for all you die hard fans out there.
Lunch Box £15
-Ice Cube Tray £15 Use this tray to make some seriously cool looking ice cubes for your drinks. Any excuses to have a cocktail.
£29.21 Amazon
-Monopoly £29.21 If you love Monopoly as much as me you should snap this Rolling Stones themed set up. I wonder what happens if you land on Go. A kiss from Mick Jagger maybe?
Product Details
Amazon £21
-Lunch Box £15 Even if you aren't at school anymore and don't eat your weight in Frubes and Dairylea for Lunch every day, this lunch box is so versatile and you could easily put anything in it from jewellery to knick knacks. 
-Women's T-shirt £21 Get this great t-shirt RRP £70, which would look great with a pair of skinny jeans and some killer heels. 

Congratulations to the outstanding Rolling Stones for 50 years of fabulous music, we all love and adore you. Now, anyone for a game of Monopoly?

Second Hand Rose

09 July 2012

Turn Back Time: The Family

Every Tuesday I've been sitting down with my knitting and Jasper snoring his pretty little head off to watch Turn Back Time: The Family. Turn Back Time: The High Street was done a while ago where family businesses went through eras to see what it used to be like running a business. This time three brave families signed up to discover what family life was like through the eras, starting with the Edwardian era. Queue the long cotton dresses and scrubbing boards. 

All three families come from different backgrounds, but they live the lives of their ancestors. The houses they live in are in Morecambe next to each other, ranging from lower class to upper class. The families got a shock when one of them went from a successful comfortable life, to lower class all sleeping in the same room, desperately trying to put food on the table. The Meadows family from Berkshire with two daughters age 17 and 18 had to slave away working in the upper class house for hours washing up and doing so many chores that definitely chipped their nails. Not even Barry M can withold hours of scrubbing.

The Taylor's were shocked when they found out they were living in the upper class house. At first they loved it, but then they found it hard after hardly seeing their children due to them constantly being looked after by a nanny. In the Edwardian era children were to be seen and not heard, which the families found hard to deal with, especially the adorable little children. The Goulding family were in the middle class family with the Dad working as a clerk. It was pretty funny seeing him dressed in a morning suit going to work in an office where everyone was on a computer wearing shirts and trousers. He wanted more discipline and respect from his family, so embraced the Edwardian father role. But then when he saw his children getting really upset and not wanting to spend time with him, he didn't like it as much as he thought he would. Think the Von Trapp family without the curtain outfits.

In the next episode which was last week the era ranged from 1920-1930, the years after when England was trying to recover from the devastating effects of the 'Great' war. At first the Meadows had it easier, but then when the Depression hit everything was taken away from them, including some of their jobs. They were left with two chairs and their beds after having to sell things to get some help from the Government. If only eBay was around in the 1920's.

The Goulding family weren't really effected due to having secure jobs, but the Taylor's were greatly effected due to all their money being tied up in the stock exchange. They had to make sacrifices including their gorgeous car and their staff, but they still had to keep up appearances so had to look like they weren't suffering. In 1929 there was the Great Depression in America where the stock exchange suffered a devastating collapse. It was the longest depression of the 20th century lasting until the late 1930's, middle 1940's. Like the depression now it didn't just affect America. It effected a cluster of nations across the world, especially people who had lots of shares in companies. You would think they would learn from this wouldn't you. David Cameron you are officially on the naughty step. 

This programme is great and someone has seriously done their research. The houses contain gorgeous furniture and decor with the families wearing fabulous era appropriate clothes. As the years go on the street evolves and more families are added through to the 70's to reflect how Britain changed throughout the years. You can watch the last two episodes here. Oh and Ladies make sure you watch Tuesdays on BBC One at 9pm, it's all about World War Two a.k.a hunky men in uniform!

Second Hand Rose