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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 11 (February 1, 1935)

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

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Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints.

Fashion Notes.

As a result of having spent as much as possible of our spare time in the sea during these hot summer days, we are becoming nautically minded as far as fashion is concerned, and carry a remembrance of the coolness of the water in the form of tiny anchors of all descriptions into our dress. When visiting the beaches we look with envy at the trim girls in their white slacks and neat white blouses with sailor collars and pockets embroidered with anchors in red or blue, but content ourselves by giving our beach frocks that necessary finishing touch by sewing on fascinating anchor buttons and buckles and having sailor collars to flap in the breeze. Our berets are improved by the addition of tiny anchor ornaments while the old idea of crossed racquets on our tennis frocks has been replaced by an anchor, and how very delightful it looks! This summer could well be remembered as the Summer of the Sign of the Anchor.

* * *

Holidays—and after.

Now that the first part of the summer holiday season is nearly ended, we will soon be returning to our ordinary occupations and duties. Not all of us are fortunate enough to get away at this season, so it is necessary to make the most of any little breaks and changes that come our way, but it is possible to spend more time than usual out of doors. Days spent at the seaside or in the country make good breaks. Children expect to have picnics and other outings during their holidays, so the mothers usually manage to have some brief spells from their ordinary routine. These days out in the open are often very strenuous, but they add change and variety to one's existence.

A change is essential for the well-being of all persons (including mothers and children) engaged in routine work. If it were not for holidays, hobbies and other recreations, life in most cases would become monotonously humdrum, and a feeling of discontent would undoubtedly ensue.

A good holiday means change and rest from the established routine. We come back to our work or business with renewed energy, together with new ideas and a freshness of outlook that should enable us to settle down with interest and enthusiasm.

There are still a number of summer months and good weather to which to look forward, so it behoves us to make the most of our leisure and continue to enjoy our swimming, games, tramping, etcetera, in which we have been indulging during the holidays. We have strengthened and invigorated our bodies by the exercise and out-of-door life we have been leading during the last few weeks, so our leisure should be utilised to the best advantage for our health during the rest of the summer and the autumn months.

* * *

This Swimming.

Each summer the daily papers record deaths by drowning—the terrible toll of our beaches and rivers and lakes. Despite the activities of Life-Saving Clubs and the teaching of swimming in some of our schools, the disasters continue. It is time that a Dominion-wide campaign was instituted, “Safer Beaches” and “Every Bather a Swimmer” to be the watchwords.

Successful campaigns are carried on to lessen the accident percentage on the roads. The automobile clubs have done valuable work in this direction. The daily papers and periodicals, in their motoring columns, have endeavoured to inculcate “road sense.” Let us apply the lesson to swimming.

A few of the more popular beaches are marked off in “safety zones.” This has certainly lessened drowning risk, yet fatalities still occur as a result of foolhardy swimmers ignoring warning signs.

A study of drowning statistics reveals three fatality groups. First we find the case of the person who cannot swim and who, finding himself out of his depth, becomes panic-stricken. Then we find the reckless individual, usually in the late teens, or early twenties, who confidently swims out beyond the breakers or into a current the strength of which he does not realise. The third type is that of a good swimmer who, in order to save a novice or a dare-devil, has to risk his own life; very often the brave perishes with the foolhardy.

Whether one delights in boating, fishing, bathing, or all three, it is essential to be able to swim. All parents should endeavour to teach their children swimming at an early age. Even tinies love splashing about at the edge of the waves or in a paddling pool. Once fear of the water is overcome, the rest is easy. Quite small children can be taught to float, first of all on their backs. Encourage children to press their heads well back in the water, in order to attain correct balance. Once they have grown accustomed to letting the water carry them, they will be ready to try floating on their fronts, arms stretched forward and face under water for the duration of a deep breath. This last manoeuvre paves the way for real swimming. The best stroke to teach first is breast stroke, as it is easy, the head is fairly clear of the water, and the stroke does not tire one. Once the breast-stroke is mastered, the learner is ready for overarm, the six beat crawl and various backstrokes.

Having learned to swim, and taken to heart the elementary rules of self-preservation in the water, it is advisable to attend a Life-Saving Class, where land and water drill and resuscitation methods are practised.

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Even good swimmers, sometimes, need to be reminded of safety rules:—


Do not enter the water until 1 1/2 to 2 hours after a meal.


Do not swim where danger from undertow or treacherous currents is likely, remembering that the rescuer will be in as much danger as the swimmer.


When diving, know the depth. Guessing may lead to a fractured spine.


Never swim alone. Where swimming is concerned, there is safety in numbers.

* * *

Health Notes.

Midsummer Ills.

During the hot weather “summer sickness” is often very prevalent amongst both children and adults. It is usually caused by the taking of unsuitable food, such as food in a state of partial decomposition, food that has been contaminated by germs deposited on it by flies and dust, and the eating of unripe fruit. Infection may also be due to drinking impure water.

The symptoms of summer sickness include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, high temperature and, in some cases, collapse. In children the attacks of diarrhoea are often associated with green motions.

The onset is often sudden. The treatment is to put the patient to bed, and keep him warm and quiet. Withhold all food, giving only drinks of boiled water.

(Rly. Publicity photo.) Members of the Railway staff on the Royal Train during His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester's tour of the North Island of New Zealand.

(Rly. Publicity photo.)
Members of the Railway staff on the Royal Train during His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester's tour of the North Island of New Zealand.

In mild cases vomiting often terminates the attack, and the condition clears up in a short time. This is usually followed by headache, furred tongue and dry mouth. A dose of castor oil or other suitable laxative may be given. Following even mild attacks, food is limited for some days. Boiled water for a while, then barley water, water arrowroot, or Benger's Food are suitable. Gradually increase to a little steamed fish, chicken, etc., with thin bread and butter. Withhold all raw fruit and vegetables for a time.

If the irritating and infected material is passed on into the bowel, and diarrhoea results, a doctor should be sent for immediately. Delays are often dangerous and prompt treatment is always indicated.

Infantile diarrhoea is usually induced by milk which becomes loaded with bacteria, or by utensils used for the preparation of food having become contaminated by germs. Bottles and utensils should be kept scrupulously clean.

They should be thoroughly rinsed in cold water immediately after use. Then wash them in hot water and soda and scrub with a brush kept for the purpose. Rinse well, and turn upside down, and cover to prevent particles of dust contaminating them. Bottles should be thoroughly cleansed and boiled after use.

Care should be taken that all food is perfectly fresh, and all utensils used (and also the surroundings) should be beyond reproach.

Prickly Heat or Heat Rash.

This may be caused by sudden exposure to sun, wind or sea-air, or a change of diet. Relieve by applications of Calamine Lotion (which may be obtained from any chemist) or solution of bi-carbonate of soda. Small doses of Milk of Magnesia are efficacious.

Sunstroke or Heat Stroke.

Quiet and cool and darkened room are essential. Use packs wrung out of cold water to which a little vinegar or eau-de-cologne has been added. Add ice to the water if it is obtainable.

Apply packs to the head, nape of the neck and spine. Renew them as they become warm.


If severe, and blistering results, apply oil and exclude the air if possible. Use carron oil (equal parts lime water and linseed oil) or olive oil. Applications of bi-carbonate of soda are also efficacious. The irritation of a sunburned skin may be relieved by applications of olive oil or a good cold cream.

* * *

Home Notes.

Some Seasonal Household Hints.

During the hot weather it is essential to keep food from being contaminated with germs deposited by flies and dust. All food should be covered whether it is in the safe or on pantry shelves. Lengths of butter muslin or of mosquito net are useful for the purpose. Carefully cover all milk, meat and cooked foods from dust as well as from flies—in fact no food should be left uncovered or in open bags.

During the summer weather and while there is a more or less shortage of water, it is advisable to boil all drinking water. As boiled water is rather insipid it is a good plan to have a supply of summer beverages, such as lime juice, fruit syrups, vinegars, etc., on hand. They are inexpensive and easily prepared.

The safe should be scrubbed daily, and the pantry shelves frequently.

Sinks and drains must be kept free from grease. Outside drains should be periodically cleared of any rubbish and leaves. Flush sinks and pipes frequently with, washing soda and boiling water and then with plenty of cold water. Flush with some disinfectant at least once a week. Do not throw hot, greasy water down the drains. Allow the water to get cold and then skim off the fat before pouring it down the drain. Dustbins must be kept as far as possible away from the house. Any rubbish put in the bin should be tightly wrapped in paper. Keep the lid on and the surroundings free from any litter that is likely to attract the flies.

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An Improvised Butter Cooler.

As refrigeration in New Zealand is still in its infancy, and the price of a refrigerator is far and away beyond the means of the average household, we cast our eyes around to see by what method we can keep our butter from becoming just an oily substance. We discover a homely remedy, which consists of a well scrubbed and cleaned brick, cold water, salt and some muslin. The brick is placed in a dish of cold water, to which the salt has been added, and the butter in its wrappers placed on the brick. The muslin is damped and placed over the butter, with the ends in the water, thus ensuring that the muslin is kept wet. The water must be renewed every day, the brick and dish thoroughly cleansed and the muslin changed. This is a simple method, but the butter is kept cool and hard if it has not been purchased from a shop where it has been allowed to remain in an over-heated condition for some time.

* * *

Jam and Jelly Making.

Fruit for jam should be just ripe, in fact, just under rather than overripe. It must be clean and dry, because when it is picked in the wet, the keeping and setting properties are impaired, and it is likely to get mouldy if not used immediately. Use pure white sugar—brewers' crystals for preference. Stir with a wooden spoon.

Do not leave fruit standing in a metal pan, as the acids of the fruit are likely to form compounds with the metal.

Most jams and jellies should boil briskly in order to retain the flavour of the fruit and keep it a good colour. To keep the jam clear remove scum as it rises to the top while cooking.

To test jam or jelly place a little on a cold saucer; if it sets when cold it is done.

When making jelly, cover the fruit with water, and boil for from half to one hour. Skim well and strain through a bag. Do not squeeze. Allow one cup of sugar to one cup of fruit juice, and boil till it jellies when tested, usually about half an hour. The less jelly is stirred the clearer it will be.

The jars should be clean and thoroughly dry. Put them into the oven to sterilize before filling. This prevents the jars from cracking when being filled with the hot jam. It is a good plan to paste the jars down while they are hot.

Quince and Tomato Jam.

This jam has an unusual flavour and is delicious. Quinces 2 lbs., tomatoes 3 lbs., sugar 4 lbs.

Method: Peel, core and mince the quinces. Immerse the tomatoes in boiling water and remove the skins. Put together in preserving pan and boil for half an hour. Add sugar and boil until it sets when tested on a saucer—about two to two and a half hours. Pot while hot and paste down.

Strawberry Conserve.

Strawberry jam is improved in flavour if some more acid fruit juice is added to the strawberries. Red currants, gooseberries or rhubarb are suitable. Strawberries 6 lbs., red currants, gooseberries or rhubarb 1 1/2 lbs., sugar 6 lbs.

Method: Pick over the strawberries and lay in large flat dishes, sprinkle half the sugar over them and leave all night. Place the red currants in the preserving pan and just cover with water, and boil for half an hour. Strain off the juice into the preserving pan and add to the other fruit juice and then add the rest of the sugar. Cook for ten minutes, stirring all the time. Put in the strawberries and cook gently until it jellies when tested—about twenty minutes. Place in warm jars and cover when cold. This Conserve has a very delicious flavour and particularly pleasing appearance, as the strawberries are set in a firm jelly.

Cape Gooseberry and Melon Jam.

Cape gooseberries 3 lbs., melon (cut small or minced) 4 lbs., sugar 3/4 lb. to each 1 lb. of fruit, water 1 quart.

Method: Sprinkle sugar over the melon and leave over-night. Next day add the shelled cape gooseberries and water, and boil till it will set when tested—about 1 1/2 hours.

Passion Fruit Pulp.

Method 1.—Unsweetened.

Scrape the fruit from the shells and boil for 10 minutes. Bottle in small sterilized jars and seal immediately.

Method 2.

To every cup of passion fruit add 3/4 cup of sugar. Boil for 20 minutes. Bottle in sterilized jars and seal.

N.B.—Jars must be airtight.

London's latest!—a cigar shop in Piccadilly run by a woman for women! Do women smoke cigars? It's becoming fashionable in ultra smart society circles at Home. An illustration in a popular London daily shows the interior of the Piccadilly smoke shop, with the smiling proprietress giving a light to a society belle who has a small cigar between her dainty lips. But ladies dont smoke in the street—so far—although even that may come! Who knows? Man, poor man!—all his little ways are being copied by the adorable and all-conquering sex! But while ladies (some of them) are taking to cigars men are smoking fewer of them, the masculine preference being more for pipe or cigarette. As for New Zealand, “toasted,” i.e., Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cavendish, Riverhead Gold and Desert Gold, they are in ever-increasing demand. Smokers know how to appreciate a good thing! And toasting (the manufacturers' own exclusive process), renders this tobacco harmless, and while it eliminates nicotine, it vastly improves flavour and aroma.*