With strawberries and cream and summer here (?) and Wimbledon underway, I’m being a bit frivolous today.
Tennis wasn’t always played with a racket. In the earliest versions of the game, which originated out of France in the 12th century, the players hit the ball with their hands, as in palla or volleyball. It was called jeu de paume, initially spelled jeu de paulme, meaning ‘game of the palm’. In time, gloves replaced bare hands, then paddle-like bats and finally racquets became standard equipment for the game by the late 1600s.
The word tennis is thought to come from the anglo-norman word ‘tenez’ which means to receive or take. And then there is the peculiar scoring of 15, 30 and 40 which is said to follow the quarters of a clock – the 45 changed to 40 for ease of calling out ‘quinze’, ‘trente’, ‘quarante’. The origin of the word ‘deuce’ comes from 'a deux le jeu' meaning: to both the game, or they have equal scores.
Interestingly the game was so popular in the 1700’s that the Venetian painter, Tiepolo, included a tennis racket and three balls (right hand corner) to reconstruct the scene between Apollo and Hyacinth, in his painting, The Death of Hyacinth. It was based on the adaptation of Ovid’s original story which had to do with a game of discus.
I’ve gone off on a tangent when I meant to concentrate on fashion. So here are some bad hair days from the 70’s and 80’s. Can you guess the players?
And finally a picture from the 80's of my son, Phillip, with ... ?