Turn Back Time- The High Street, kicked off with the Victorian era. Greg Wallace greengrocer and foody, Juliet Gardiner social historian and Tom Herbert baker and food historian with High Street experience, form the "Chamber of Commerce" charged with guiding the participating families through the various eras that will take us all the way through to the era I was born in, the swingeing 60's. I love the concept of this programme, it does for retail what Victorian Farm did for agriculture.
workhouse was enough for many merchants to skip on hygiene, proper ingredients, add poisons or useless fillers like sawdust, plaster of paris, clay or poisonous alum and be economical with the truth. Oh wasn't it grand when the government stayed out of our business? Well actually no. People died, got ill, workers lived even rougher than the poor merchants did and clients were generally ripped off.
What was interesting to note in episode one was the modern families taking up the trades, were already modern day practitioners. What they took for granted as normal and they considered as standard for the industry was turned on it's head. Seems that years of state intervention, sociological change in the family unit as well as commercial law, has moved commerce from furtive struggle to get as much for as little possible off un demanding clients to the current high standards and inspections that insure that even the tattiest shop today is still safer for even least careful shopper.
The biggest challenge in this programme easily had to got to the ironmonger. He had the doubly hard job of selling what he himself called "a pile of useless old tat". Today we would call him the hardware store and buy a variety of goods like lamps, tools and fencing material. Just how was he going to make any money at all? Turns out it was one of the most profitable enterprises in the experiment. He first spend a great deal of time catering to the needs of the High Street merchants then on market day , he sold an incredible amount of candles and candle holders. As for the useless old tat, lots of it went as well.
For more information on the programme, click here.
Spooks fans, it's down to one last ep before the current series ends. Sad news ladies, seems Lucas North is not who seems to be, in fact he's not even Lucas North. Will he redeem himself? will he save the world yet again? Will he die in the attempt to pay for his sins? Yes , yes and most probably! Harry Pierce and his agents are lured into a chase for the real killers who planted a bomb in the British embassy 15 years ago. Vaughan tries to sell Harry Pierce the information with Lucas in full view. What secrets is Lucas North hiding, what is the awful truth he so wants to avoid getting out? If you watched, you know, If you didn't,I'm not telling you, but it was cracking good fun. The quality of the writing this series has been head and shoulders above last year's and I liked that series as well, despite it's low ratings. What has happened this year is simply that the characters are that much more compelling and from the first ep, it was obvious Lucas was going to be in trouble.
Dear readers, I accidentally switched over to ITV2 during "The only way is Essex". After about 5 minutes I turned it off fearing for my sanity should I watch it any longer. These people vote? They are allowed to carry on reproducing and living among us? Lord help us if any of these glakes gets near a position of responsibility, but no how could a bunch of vacuous, spray tanned, Visigoths get anywhere near power? Shhh don't tell me I know, the PM is one of them isn't he?