The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 5 (August 1, 1938)
Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.
Letter From Paris.
Rue Lécluse, Paris, June 20th, 1938.
Dear Helen, — It's after midnight but Paris hasn't yet gone home to bed. The tables outside the cafes are still full, and crowds are strolling past in the soft coolness of the summer night. Through the open French windows I can hear the murmur of the traffic on the boulevard at the end of our street. It is intoxicating; perhaps, if I write now, I can convey some of the atmosphere of Paris.
Think of us, in the morning, wakened by the clatter of lorries over the cobbles. We shall listen for a while to the miscellaneous noises below—the scrubbing of the sidewalk in front of each small hotel, the loud and friendly conversation, the squalling of a street singer. Presently will arrive our petit déjeuner, tea (a muslin bag of it suspended in water), rolls and butter. We struggle bravely with the batons, but eat the croissants (small, sweet, curved rolls) to the last crumb.
Sunshine, if we are again lucky, streams between the curtains and calls us out. We hasten, pausing on the front step to greet Madame, who is sure to pop out to farewell us. Perhaps we shall walk along the great boulevards, so wide with their lanes of traffic, their trees, their pavements wide as streets and half filled with the overflow of cafÁs; through side streets, narrower, where we examine small shops, or wander about the great houses, tenements now, whose courtyard walls front the street blankly; among the trees, the lawns, the fountains of the public parks; beside the Seine, perhaps on the south bank where the second-hand book sellers store their wares in boxes on the parapet, and where one is lured on to find the best view of Notre Dame, islanded in the river.
Everywhere we shall observe the perfect planning of this city and the glory of its public buildings, so classical in design. By that time we shall be hungry and footsore, and glad to take a bus to the Place de l'Opéra. A short way from there we know a restaurant where for 13 f. 50 we shall have a four course meal—omelette (always!), a meat dish, a vegetable dish, dessert. (Don't bother pouring wine for me; the “vin inclus” is too sour).
For the afternoon? We will do an excursion perhaps, with a crowd of other tourists and a guide whose English is more amusing than accurate. To-day, for instance, when our party drew up at Fontainebleau we read a notice: “Ouvert tours les jours sauf les lundi”—and to-day was Monday! Our guide was very apologetic, and explained, “We don't know much.” When we laughed, he improved upon it by saying, “We don't know anything.”
It is all fun, but we prefer to find our own way about Paris, using the ordinary conveyances of the people, and blundering along in our school French which the officials are patient enough to listen to and understand. So we went to Versailles on Sunday, by train, with seemingly, half the population of Paris. We lost ourselves in the great suites of rooms, which, even after Hampton Court and Windsor, are overwhelming in size and splendour. The crowds scattered to admire the lakes, the fountains, the formal gardens, the terraces, the woods. Overwhelming!
But I preferred our trip to St. Germain where, at the edge of the woods for a mile or so, stretches a terrace overlooking Paris. I can imagine no finer vantage point. We walked and wondered, pointing out to each other the well-known places which are so new to us—the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the domes of the Sacré Coeur. Immediately below us we saw the river with its viaduct, the curve of the railway line, the workers in the little gardens on the slopes of the terrace—and felt we were beginning to understand Paris.
To-morrow we may go out to Malmaison and laze by the river, and the day after that on a day trip to Chartres to see the cathedral. But I don't know—whatever appeals to us at the moment.
Of one thing I am sure, I want to come back to Paris again in the autumn, when the parks will be a glory of russet and gold.
I am enclosing postcards, one of the Champ Elysées, the most beautiful street I have seen, and one of the Opera. I would have preferred a view of the interior, which is what you should really see—the grand staircase, the foyers, the long gallery where one promenades between the acts.
There is so much I would like to tell you, about buildings, hotels, restaurants, customs different from ours, dress (particularly dress, as studied on the grand boulevards), that I am in danger of writing a guide-book. But to-morrow is approaching so I must cease my scribblings for to-night.
Health Notes. The Menace Of Measles.
The popular opinion of measles ranks it as a mild and harmless disease, and mothers are apt to consider that the sooner their children contract the infection the better as they are “bound to have measles.” This is a fallacy and is responsible for all the children of a family being allowed free access to the room in which the first member is discovered to be suffering from measles. The idea probably originated in the fact that in the Middle Ages the disease was so rampant that every child succumbed to it. But this is evidence not of inevitability of infection, but of the extreme infectiousness of measles, and the ease with which it passed from child to child.
It is quite a common occurrence to-day to meet adults who are suffering from the aftermath of measles. The weakness may be in the form of heart disease, kidney trouble, ear or eye trouble, etc. It is a hard price to pay just because the parents were desirous for the child “to take it and have done with it.”
The parts first affected are the delicate lining membranes of the eyes, nose, throat and bronchial tubes, all of which become red and swollen. The patient complains of headache and a pain in the eyes when exposed to sunlight. The temperature runs up to 101 or 102 degrees, and in young babies the general disturbance may cause a convulsion.
During this stage it only appears that the child is “off colour,” but in about ten days from the commencement of the infection a blotchy rash appears, and the child has probably infected several other children.
Measles are distinguishable from an ordinary cold by the appearance of bluish white spots on the inside of the lower lip and cheek. These spots appear very early in the illness, and are a guide as to the proper steps to be taken.
At this stage the child should be isolated, and the discharges from eyes, nose and cough should meet with prompt disposal in the fire. Paper handkerchiefs or old linen should be used and promptly burnt, so as to endeavour to confine the outbreak to the one member of the family. A wise precaution is to sterilize cups, plates, etc., used by the patient. Special attention should be given to the eyes by bathing them frequently with a weak solution of boracic acid. The teeth and mouth should also receive their fair share of attention. Careful sponging with warm soapy water soothes the restless little patient, as this helps the skin to act as a cooling surface when the body heat is high.
As an additional precaution for the protection of the eyes, the patient should be kept in a darkened room.
The patient is completely “off his food,” so all he gets are little sips of water to which fruit juice may be added. Internal cleansing is important.
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Lettuce: Cut out the stem and let the stream from the tap disengage those obstinately tight and clinging leaves.
Rub tired or aching feet with warm olive oil, after first bathing them in hot water.
To lengthen the life of silk stockings, soak for half an hour in salted water before wearing.
Vegetables which grow underground—potatoes and so on—keep the lid on; those that grow above the ground, take the lid off. Easy way of remembering which vegetables are cooked with the lid on and which with the lid off.
Don't go hungry when the ‘flu is about. There is much less danger of catching cold when “well fed.”
Hair brushes should be washed in hot water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added. Dip the bristles in and out, but do not allow the water to cover the backs. Rinse in cold water, and wipe the backs, but not the bristles.
To stitch heavy fabrics, such as duck or canvas, rub the hems and seams with soap, and the needle will easily penetrate.
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For the bachelor flat, and for the room of the grown-up son and daughter, many ingenious pieces have been devised. The divan bed, containing two deep drawers, is usually backed by useful adjuncts, e.g., large cupboard with sliding doors on the right, smaller cupboard on the left, bookshelves in the centre.
One may choose a wardrobe and page 59 dressing-table unit, or, preferably, a chest that seems to have no connection with a bedroom, but has a top compartment with lift-up mirror. I have seen a business-like writing desk that conceals mirror and beauty aids.
A sideboard has a top panel that opens down to form a table and reveals shelves.
Dual purpose furniture should be specially planned to suit the room and the interests of the owner.
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One lb. meat (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 1 level teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, onion to taste (cooked), water or stock to moisten, flaky or puff pastry.
Make the pastry, roll out half inch thick; cut into rounds. Place half in slightly greased patty pans; moisten the edges with water; put some of the meat mixture in each; cover with remaining rounds; with a skewer make a hole in each; brush over with water and a little egg and bake in a quick oven for half an hour.
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Potato Sausage Rolls.
Boil until cooked six large potatoes, strain, mash and allow to cool, then add enough self-raising flour to bind them (takes about 1 cup). Mix into firm dough with a little milk and roll out on floured board half an inch thick. Cut into squares.
Take 1 lb. of sausages, cut each sausage in half, place each half in potato square and roll up like sausage roll. Put into baking dish with little fat, and bake in moderate oven for one hour. Serve hot.
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Menu Relished by an American.
Pork sausages, French toast sandwiches with apricot filling, buttered peas, cottage cheese salad, apple dumplings with hard sauce (butter and sugar whipped up together and flavouring added—brandy is recommended). Coffee.
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Steak with Crust.
Take 1 lb. steak and two kidneys, flour well, and put into pan with salt and pepper and teaspoon of parsley (chopped); cover with water, stew for an hour, then make a crust of suet or dripping, and cover over the pan and cook steadily for an hour. Cut the crust in pieces and put round the steak.
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Make a paste of six ounces flour, two ounces butter or dripping, and half teaspoon baking powder; cut into rounds with a tumbler or cutter, after rolling out thin; fill with mince meat, fold in half-moon, and fry a golden brown.
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Bacon in Breadcrumbs.
Cut some slices of bacon very thin; cut the rinds off closely; egg and breadcrumb each slice. Fry them until crisp and dry; turn the slices several times. Serve with egg or fried bread or alone.
Between slices of French toast put a good layer of apple sauce, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot. Good for breakfast.
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Flake a sardine or two (or other fish) and add to scrambled eggs. Doing this makes scrambled eggs with a difference.
Scrambled eggs done with cream are very appetising. Whisk them with a fork or whisk while cooking in the double boiler.
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