The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5 (November 2, 1931)
Our Women's Section
Colours in Your Home.
Do you ever feel that a house has a personality about it—that is not merely a building of wood or brick to shelter its inhabitants from sun and rain and to provide a sanctuary into which they may retire, away from the eyes of men? There are many such houses in our cities—houses which even to the casual passer-by possess no personality. They have provided a refuge for hundreds of restless humans, have lent them the privacy of their kindly walls; have warmed them; have listened to their tragic or comic stories; have witnessed in silence countless dramas of life enacted in their kitchens, passages and dining rooms; but they remain untouched and aloof, for not one of their dwellers has given to the hungry house a fragment of his personality—a little scrap of his love and care. And houses must be loved before they will respond and become sympathetic, beautiful and restful; they demand attention, thought; they make a direct appeal to the “home instinct” of man, an instinct which urges him to establish himself firmly—to see himself wherever he looks, to observe his handiwork, and to whisper to himself “This is mine!”
Our lives in the twentieth century are such a chaos of tumbled ideas, frenzied activity, constant, bewildering changes that we have little time to devote to the making of a home. Indeed, such a great part of our days is passed in the heart of cities among other rushing, infinitely busy humans, that as long as we have shelter for a few hours of sleep we are contented. No longer do we depend on our homes for comfort and peace as in the old days, Perhaps that is why so many of our children seek their pleasures elsewhere, in some gayer and brighter place; for it is the nature of youth to love beauty and colour. They refuse absolutely to act their part in life before a drab, grey, sordid background, and if you appeal to them you will find eager and enthusiastic helpers in beautifying your home. Do not allow your children to grow up wanderers, ignorant of the happiest of home life, show them that houses have an atmosphere, and that hundreds of minute things co-operate to produce it.
There are many women who worship cleanliness who think that if a house is kept spotless, if dust is never allowed to invade it, if floors continually shine and taps sparkle, then they have done their bit and made the home a habitable and comfortable dwelling place for “the breadwinner” and the scampering, untidy, joyful youngsters. We must allow them praise for this, and all honour is due to the conscientious housewife whose meals are always punctual, whose saucepans stand in dazzling array, whose linen cupboard displays neat piles of fragrant page 60 page 61 linen. But all too often her house is devoid of beauty, because she has not studied it as a house. No one is too busy or too poor to give to their homes a certain atmosphere; an indefinable something, so absolutely their own that the tradesman at the door will be aware of its subtle presence, and the stranger within the gates will know at once that he is in a home and not a mere house. A great deal of this charm can be acquired by colours. Have you ever thought what an important part they play in life—gay, warm young cheap, and your room will repay you for your consideration.
Kitchens should be bright, cheerful, white places—no heavy, hot colours, no darkness and shade, but businesslike, efficient, happy rooms. Where you eat, there you must have colour, gay and beautiful—nothing is more depressing than a barren, cheerless, living-room—and here you will put flowers to give some of their beauty to yourself and your room, gladden you with their perfection and brighten your table. Books could well be colours full of vivid life; soft, shaded, tranquil colours full of dreams; sad, grey, blurred colours full of ghosts and tears.
The Social Side Of Railway Life.
A Flashlight Photograph Of Members Of the Hillside (Dunedin) Workshops staff and their ladies, who took part in the social function held in the Workshops Social Hall on 19th August, 1931—being one of many successful social evenings arranged this year by the Workshops Social Committee.
Study the colours in your house; they are vitally important. Let them express yourself and your family, and when buying something new, think of the colours already in your room and be kind to them.
Bedrooms should be softly coloured, restful and fresh looking—remember this when having them repapered. There is a great vogue at the moment for coloured sheets—delicate mauves, egg-shell blues, apple-greens; white beds, chairs and dressing-tables—but it is not within the powers of most of us to indulge in this fancy. But we can exercise care in our choice of colours for quilts, curtains and covers; materials are so written on the importance of colours in the home, although to some it would seem a trivial matter.
Remember that your house has a tremendous effect on you, and that you can do a great deal towards making it a “thing of beauty and a joy for ever.”
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Why not make yourself a “chic” little coat and skirt for the warm days to come? It is time now to think of summer, of the holidays and of sunshine, and you suddenly feel a great desire to have something very sweet and fresh and young to express the mood which we all feel when winter slips away into the shadows, and our thick skirts and page 62 woollen jumpers are gladly hidden in wardrobes. So many of us will be tremendously “hard-up” this summer; the slump is demanding the strictest economy, and many of our visions of spring frocks will have to remain “castles in the air.” We have to study utility, and the business girl will have to consider what is going to be most useful to her. She needs something smart, inexpensive, and simple; something which will allow her to look well dressed for a reasonable price. Here is the very thing for office wear, for shopping, and for the city, in December and January—a linen costume, which you can make for the sum of one pound! Buy four yards of Liberty linen, soft, uncrushable stuff, artistically designed in the most attractive colours and patterns. Make a sleeveless blouse with a cross-over wide colour; then a flared or pleated hip; yoke skirt, moderately long. There is your frock for indoors, tennis or picnics; add a little straight coat of the same material and you have your costume, fresh, dainty and useful. You can wear a wide-brimmed straw, a white beret, or a “bowler” and you will be clad for almost any occasion.
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A flip is excellent. Just mix two tablespoons of cold milk in a cup with two teaspoons Ovaltine and eat it with a spoon. Ovaltine is delicious this way, and one does not tire of it. Children love it in place of sweets. For an egg-nog, fill a glass with hot or cold milk, whisk one egg and pour into the milk, add two teaspoons Ovaltine, and stir until dissolved.
A little sprinkled over helpings of bread pudding makes the latter much more attractive and improves the flavour at the same time.
A Delicious Gingerbread.
Here is a very simple recipe for a family gingerbread—the kiddies will love it:—Four ounces butter, 4oz sugar, 1/2 cup golden syrup, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 11/2 cups flour, 3 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1 teacup sultanas.
Method. Cream butter and sugar; warm syrup, mix with milk and add to creamed mixture. Beat in eggs, and sift in flour and other ingredients. Bake in large flat tin for three-quarters of an hour in moderate oven.
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On the eve of her approaching marriage, Miss McCluggage, of the Chief Accountant's Office, New Zealand Railways, was met recently by members of the staff. Mr. W. Bishop (Assistant Chief Accountant), in the unavoidable absence of Mr. H. Valentine (Chief Accountant), made pleasing reference to the manner in which the guest had carried out her duties, and on behalf of the staff presented her with a dinner set. Mr. Gillies (Assistant Chief Accountant) and Mr. Boult (Divisional Officer) endorsed Mr. Bishop's remarks, wishing Miss McCluggage every happiness and future prosperity. Mr. Vennimore responded on behalf of the guest.
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Rough Hands Made Soft.
It is a pity to let your hands get so roughened and red through neglect, when by rubbing in a little Sydal you can keep them velvety, soft and white. Sydal is used for chapps, redness, rough skin, cracked lips, sore eyes, etc. Men use Sydal before shaving.