The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 2 (May 2, 1938.)
Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.
News From London
Retta, who when she left for London, promised to keep her eyes open for things of interest to me, has been as good as her word. I had quite a budget from her by airmail. The B.I.F. notes are “hot off the press.” I am also glad to be able to give here her impressions of Westminster.
British Industries Fair at Earl's Court and Olympia.
“Trade buyers are admitted during the day, and the general public crowds the fair at night. It is a far more dignified affair than our Winter Shows, as there are no amusement booths or barkers crying their wares.
“Well, the various sections were so large that I gave up all thought of ‘doing’ the affair in its entirety, and decided to walk briskly about at random, noting things that might be of interest.
“I went first through the furniture section. My impression is that very light finishes are not as popular as they have been. In bedroom furniture, the most beautiful designs were in walnut. Most suites seemed to include a man's dressing chest. For a boudoir, I saw a toilet table with mirrored top. The lid lifts up for use and discloses toilet accessories.
“The upholstered suites, many of them with a rather small chesterfield, showed the new ‘plume’ effect in the back padding. One suite had a semi-circular back shape in chesterfield and chairs, and wood was inset in the arms and base. Still another suite was of washable hide.
“I saw cocktail cabinets, almost of buffet size, of extravagant shapes and with elaborate glass fronts and interior fittings. Ugly things they were. So too could be the glass and metal light-shades simulating old lanterns if they were used in the wrong environment.
“Dining tables are interesting. One, when a leaf was opened, disclosed a cutlery box. The two leaves opened out with the underside, plain-surfaced so that it does not mark with hot dishes on top. There was some beautiful period furniture. I particularly like the Queen Anne suites with their graceful tables with rounded ends and two pedestal feet.
Fashions and Impressions.
“Upright pianos, by the way, are now much lower in height.
“Novelties were wooden fire screens with pictures on them formed from inlays of different woods (I have seen the same treatment on the walls of a restaurant). One buffet I saw had slots to hold such a picture. Other fire screens and kerbs were of chromium and coloured enamels. Wood, by the way, is being used again to frame wall mirrors. Period rooms may have elaborate gilt framed mirrors. Over a large marble fireplace in Upper Wimpole Street I saw a convex mirror with gilt rays surrounding it. Very beautiful in such a room as that, but unthinkable for a bungalow.
“To return to the B.I.F. Kitchen cabinets become more and more useful and elegant. The newest finish is mottled enamel. Cupboards are ventilated, and slide-out tables, bread-bins and vegetable racks are included as a matter of course.
“In the fabrics section the choice was bewildering. The main effect, for summer, was of a profusion of gay floral designs.
“On one stand I saw a charming idea for bridesmaids—coatees and muffs made entirely of pink blossoms. A bride was dressed in white lace, with a six-inch tulle frill edging her trained gown.
“A ‘spectator sports’ model had rows of 11/2 inch pleats round the bust and short sleeves, round the hips and in a panel down the front of the skirt.
“Bathing suits are briefer and gayer. Some are woven in satin and lastex or in silk stockinette. One, in a gay printed cotton, was ruched down the middle front.
“I have seen charming designs in oiled silk for curtains, mackintoshes, umbrellas, table-covers, toilet and linen bags, etc. For your bathroom, imagine pale-green with silver and black seagulls; or, for your kitchen, your chosen shade spangled with silver stars.
“I was impressed by the large display of handbags. Most geometric shapes have been utilised for new designs in suede, patent, crocodile, shagreen, and woven fabrics.
“In the toy department emphasis is laid on occupational toys. Besides the metal outfits for building bridges, aircraft, etc., I saw wooden constructional sets which are fitted together with wooden pegs. The newst doll's pram is a dog or a teddy on wheels!”
“How I long to share with you dear people the delights of London! On paper it is impossible. I start to write and find that one place, one sight, one building can lead me on to hundreds of words which are yet inadequate. How then can I convey something of the greatest city in the world. It is as if, among the Crown jewels, I strove to describe one facet on the smallest diamond. But if such description can induce you to make all possible efforts page 58 to come here yourselves, that is all I can hope to do.
“Come and stroll with me through the parks. We will leave St. James's Park, and, turning our backs on Trafalgar Square and the Nelson column, walk down Whitehall. We look curiously at the statute of Earl Haig and at the much-criticised raised front hoof of his steed. We see the Cenotaph, and try to imagine the crowds on Armistice Day. The brass helmets and the beautiful horses of the two sentries at the Horse Guards attract our eye. If it is II a.m., we will linger and watch the changing of the Guard. (Another day, if the Royal Family is in residence, we will go to watch the changing of the ‘guard at Buckingham Palace. If they are away, we must walk along to St. James's.) Of course, we step into the quietness of Downing Street, and gaze at the plain facade of No. 10. (Perhaps a policeman is chatting with a van-driver across the way.) Further down Whitehall on the left we pass the United Services Museum, housed in the former Banqueting Hall of Whitehall Palace, that very hall from which Charles I stepped to his death on the scaffold. Later we must go in and study the beautiful hall designed by Inezo Jones, and, by the aid of a special mirror, the nine glorious Rubens paintings on the ceiling.
“At the corner of Bridge Street we stand and gaze. Opposite stand Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, much criticised for their mixed style of architecture, but to me giving a satisfying effect (especially from the river) of solidity, combined with serenity and grace, the result of the delicate stone work of the towers and Gothic window arches.
“From our corner we see St. Margaret's, since 1916 the parish church of the Dominions beyond the seas. Perhaps a striped awning to its door foreshadows a wedding this afternoon. Adjacent to St. Margaret's is the grey pile of Westminster Abbey. I had not known my heart could feel such reverence as when I first trod that floor whose slabs commemorate the great men, the flower and spiritual glory of our race. Don't pay a hurried visit to the Abbey, and don't go there the first time with a party and guides. Creep inside its grey walls at an uncrowded hour and move quietly about that holy place—even if God moves you not, the aspirations of men, the sadness and glory of human hope will move your heart with tears and pride.
“Turn away now up Bridge Street to the left. We may stand on Westminster Bridge, gazing back at the Houses of Parliament, or studying the modern bulk of County Hall just across the bridge, or the huge pile of Shell-Mex House down the river in the distance. The tugs, with their dipping funnels as they pass under the bridge arches, and the black barges strung behind them, are part of the Thames scenery.
“But if the day be misty, shot with sun, come with me along the Embankment. Now look back at Westminster Bridge. To me, no bridge could be more beautiful. See how she seems to float over the water, her huge length fairy-like with that slight curve and the grace of her shadowed arches. It is here, at Westminster, that I feel I am really in London.”
Style Ideas for Winter.
Coats? Town coats, as I indicated last month, achieve distinction with fur. A girlish coat has a neat turn-down collar of flat fur. A flaring coat adds a fur bolero and another accents the swirling skirt with a band of fur. A coat in tabac brown has for collar a red-fox skin. In contrast is a redingote, furless. If the day is mild, wear a wool frock and a fur jacket with a swagger flare; or your frock may simulate a coatee by clever placing of bands of fur.
Frocks? For the office a wool frock with adjustable neckline, buttoned or zipped, and a neat skirt, probably with knee pleats. Change into velveteen with a contrast vest, or with a striped cravat and sash. “Better” frocks have the sash long and flowing and probably of two or three colours; or they introduce contrast in a very full front panel; or by colourful beading, perhaps banding the neckline and extending in panels down the sleeves. Some afternoon frocks show the “corselet” or “cuirass” effect by means of a wide inset band swathing the waist and hips.
For dancing? I prefer wide skirts for appearance and comfort, though slim, slit ones are just as fashionable. I saw a simple shirtfrock bodice allied to a very full skirt and inflated sleeves. Another, of different type, left the shoulders entirely bare; the bodice rose to a point at the base of the neck whence straps led to a deep V at the back.
Psychology in Nursing.
It is more or less an accepted fact that people who are physically ill are to some extent mentally ill also. The mind interacts so closely with the body that neither can be affected for good or ill without profoundly influencing the other.
This understanding will help us when the patient is particularly hard to deal with.
We all know that in health we cannot hope to understand everyone we meet from the same aspect, and how much more therefore is it necessary that we should realise this when dealing with sick people.
Rules for Convalescents.
Make your diet simple.
Do not attend social functions.
Spend as much time as possible in the open air. Sleep with windows open.
Walk in moderation, avoid overexertion.
Drink an abundance of water. If there is any doubt as to its purity, boil before use.
Much waste is incurred in cases where bottles containing spirits have once been opened and then recorked with corks which do not fit.
For Flavour….. and Economy
The Dust-Freed Teapage 59
Put a piece of toast at the bottom of the dish asparagus is served in and this will serve to soak up the water you have not been able to drain off completely.
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To prevent boiled chicken going a nasty colour, rub it well with a cut lemon before cooking.
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Autumn leaves gathered and preserved are useful for winter decorations when flowers are scarce. The leaves should be gathered when they have taken on their beautiful autumn tints. Use tall vases and put in equal quantities of cold water and glycerine arranging the leaves so that all the stems are in the liquid to a depth of three inches. Every day for the following six weeks add a little more glycerine.
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Gravies and Savoury Sauces. Cheese Sauce.
Half pint vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons flour. Blend and cook for a few minutes. Add 3 ozs. grated cheese. Milk may be substituted for the vegetable stock.
Cook one cup of grated onion in a little water. Blend 2 tablespoons melted butter with 2 ozs. flour. Add to onions, stirring well, and add 1/2 cup of milk.
Tomato and Cheese Sauce.
Cook cup of grated onion in a little water. Blend 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour. Add one cup tomato to the cooked onion, then the butter and flour. Cook together for a few minutes. Season and add a little cream or milk before serving.
One dozen oysters, 1/2 lb. melted butter, 6 drops lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cream, 1 level dessertspoon flour.
Remove the beards and simmer in half pint of milk for fifteen minutes to extract the flavour. Strain milk and make into melted butter sauce. Add lemon juice and oysters cut in two, and thoroughly heat, but do not boil.
One oz. flour, 1 oz. butter, 1/2 pint milk, salt and pepper to taste.
Melt the butter, stir in flour, remove from stove and add liquid gradually. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
Four cooking apples, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon butter.
Peel, core and slice the apples, and place in a saucepan with water and butter. Stew to a pulp, add sugar and serve.
Two ozs. flour, 2 ozs. butter, 1 onion, 1/2 pint stock or water, marmite.
Brown butter in pan, add and cook onion until quite brown, add flour, stirring gently, then stock or vegetable water. Cook well and keep well strained. Season and strain.
One oz. butter, 1 oz. flour, seasoning, 1/2 pint milk or stock, 1 apple, 1 onion, 1 dessertspoon curry powder.
Melt the butter, saute the chopped apple and onion, stir in the flour and curry powder. Add the hot milk or stock, stir and simmer gently for ten minutes. Add seasoning.
Two heaped tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 large cup vinegar.
Mix the vinegar and sugar. When this is dissolved stir in the mint. This will keep for weeks in a glass jar well corked.
Wholemeal Gravy Sauce.
Half pint strong vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons wholemeal flour, seasoning. Cook five minutes.