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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 6 (September 1, 1938)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

Head First into Spring


It keeps that fetching angle with the aid of a bandeau. The colourful crown of flowers matches the gay print you will wear under a dark coat.

Felt or Panama.

The curve of this brim suits most people. Note the brightly coloured scarf which becomes a veil at the back.

Flowers and Veils.

You can't have too much of them. Even with a tailleur, place a flower in your hat and drape some veiling round the brim.


To show all your curls. Buy one in any shade of suede or petersham and wear it casually on the back of your head.

Other Hat Styles.

All sorts of things happen to the beret. Very smart is the upward and forward line. One spring model in tabac brown is carried out in felt and grosgrain ribbon.

Chin straps can be smart, but examine your chin and neckline carefully before venturing.

The smartest hat I've seen was worn by an English tourist. It had an abbreviated “topper” crown, and was of black with a fuchsia lining to the brim. With it were worn an inconspicuous suit in tiny black and white checks and a plain straight fuchsia scarf.

A hat that I can imagine the Duchess of Kent wearing with distinction is a black Edwardian bowler with very curled brim. The fairly high crown is almost entirely composed of a plume of black feathers.

Feathers vie with flowers as trimmings. Two wings adorning the front of a hat give a Viking effect. White mounts on navy, or navy on white, are specially smart.

Hat trimmings may be placed at either front or back. Veils are looped to the back. A slate-blue felt bowler is tied with a veil, and also has a bunch of cornflowers at the back.

* * *

Old Washing Frocks.
To Discard or —?

Hopefully you turn out, from the back of a wardrobe or the bottom of a box, those prints and linens and voiles which were so fresh and dainty last summer, or the summer before, or even the summer before that. Perhaps two or three of the more recent will pass your critical inspection and face the new season, crisply pretending to belong to 1938.

But the rest? Ginghams, linens, piqué voiles, won't wear out. If only one could manage to tear them or spill ink on them at the end of a season, and thus have an excuse for discarding them! Sighing, you'll probably use them for house-frocks, coveting meanwhile the dainty new styles in house-coats, tub frocks and play suits.

About the House.

With the cost of cottons so low (by the yard or made up) don't be a martyr to old frocks. Salve your conscience by turning them into aprons. Buy a paper pattern which will include several styles in one packet, get out the sewing machine and enjoy your self. The light fabrics, edged with frills of self-material or of lace, will make dainty aprons you will be proud to use when guests are present. Prints and ginghams are for morning wear, but by the time you have added bands and pipings of a plain colour, or organdie frilling bought by the yard, or rows of rickrack braid, you will want to wear them all day.

In the Garden.

Now the linens—the old green dress and the brown suit. How about turning them into gardening overalls with large, handy pockets? Trim them with each other, with several bright colours of bias binding, or with rickrack. If any pieces are left over, use them for bands for trimming print aprons. Use several bands, e.g., green (2 inches), brown (3 inches), green (4 inches).

A friend of mine turned a printed linen dress into curtains for a small landing window, and a red dress into garden cushion covers!

Hanging Out the Clothes.

You've always refused to wear “dust caps” in the house, but on washing days you wear an old hat as you deal with pegs and clothes props in the sunny garden. Wear a head-kerchief instead—just a hemmed square cut from a discarded print or linen. It will protect your wave against steam and the caprices of the wind, and, incidentally, will look attractive when a friend pops in, or your husband arrives home for lunch.

You'll probably overcome your prejudice against dust-caps, and wear your head-kerchief during household cleaning operations.

page 58

Kitchen and Kitchenmaid.

The things that set the tone of the kitchen are the curtains and the cook. A delightful new idea is to have your kitchen smock made of the same material as the curtaining. Think of it when you're planning new curtains, and buy a few extra yards for yourself.

* * *

Merry England.
London Squares and Play Streets.

The England of the folk-dance is not as dead as we thought. Though “Rufty-Tufty” and “The Black Nag” survive only among a few enthusiasts, the “Lambeth Walk” is being danced by the people in London squares and on a London common. The young folks of Finsbury and Wimbledon, encouraged by their local councils, and the provision of bands and amplifiers, assemble on warm summer evenings to practise their “routines” on the grass.

It's all very jolly. No charge is made and there is no red tape, except that in the Finsbury squares the children, who would swamp proceedings, have to stay outside the railings with the crowd of spectators. Residents of the square have a fine “gallery” view from windows and balconies.

The Wimbledon Corporation is interspersing ten minutes' physical jerks, organised by the borough instructor, but this shouldn't prove a pill in the jam. It all adds to the “get-together” spirit and the fresh-air feeling of well-being.

The hoi polloi are not the only ones to respond to the open air. The Georgian Society recently held a dance in Mecklenburg Square. This wasn't part of the “keep fit” movement, but was planned to draw attention to the beauty of this square of Georgian houses. The dancers spent some of the time at coconut shies and other diversions run by costers in their “pearlie” suits. For a sitting-out place, one could choose a barouche or some such old-fashioned vehicle, charmingly sequestered among the trees.

How about it? I suggest Albert, Newtown and Hagley Parks for trial spins. The corporations would surely be willing to supply bands once a week.

* * *

So that London children may have somewhere to play when they are turned out of school, the Minister of Transport is trying the experiment, successful in Salford, of closing certain streets entirely to through traffic. Where Salford has nearly two hundred closed streets, London is starting with four. It is hoped that this scheme will go a little way towards solving the big problem of lack of play areas.

Some recent letters to the press advocate the opening of London's squares, which are little used, to the public, but well-to-do residents of quiet squares naturally resent the suggestion.

* * *

For Curls.

The latest gadget from America is a different type of hair curler. It winds the curl, and is then removed, leaving the hair held in place with a bobby-pin. The great advantages are that one curler will make as many curls as you want, that there is no discomfort and unsightly ironmongery during the setting process, and that the damp curls, being free of impedimenta (save a few bobby pins) will dry in half the usual time.

The curler works this way. A bobby pin is inserted in the end of the curler. A button, pressed at the other end raises a clamp. The hair is inserted between the clamp and the curler. The strand of hair, held firmly at its end, is now wound by means of a knob at the button end, the lower part of the curler remaining stationary. Now the curl is gently pushed along the curler on to the waiting prong of the bobby pin. With practice, a dozen curls can be made in a few minutes.

* * *

Health Notes.

Rest and Relaxation.

As the busy season approaches, bringing in its train spring cleaning, jam making, preparing for holidays, etc., women who appreciate their health and appearance are well advised to learn the value of relaxation. Job after job a tired woman finds to do, which left undone would not materially affect the well-being of the home. What does affect the well-being of a home, however, is a woman with that “tired feeling,” for whom one can do nothing. She will persist in the idea that she has absolutely no time for even thirty minutes' complete rest and relaxation during the day. Of course an hour's rest would be preferable, but even 30 minutes' complete page 59 rest daily would be decidedly beneficial—both to appearance and to health.

Freshness in a woman is one of her principal assets. When anyone says “How tired you look,” the impression is immediately formed that the sympathy extended means “How plain you look.” What is the use of purchasing a new Spring hat if everyone sees it in conjunction with a tired-looking face.

Rest and relaxation! At least thirty minutes of rest and pleasurable thinking. There is not the same benefit if we rest and allow our thoughts to ponder over all the pinpricks of the day. Surely there is enough enjoyment in life to allow of thirty minutes' contemplation daily of some past, present or future pleasure! Of course “forty winks” would be a great idea, but some of us cannot say “sleep” and we sleep.

There are the people who can say to themselves: “To-morrow morning I will arise at 6.47, and they say they arise at 6.47. I often wonder if their clocks or watches are fast or slow, what happens then. Do they arise by the Town Clock or by their own clock? These people, no doubt, could say, “I will sleep from 2 o'clock until 2.30,” and hey presto, they would arise duly refreshed for their afternoon's activities.

Scientific treatment to-day tends to be concerned more and more with the prevention of disease. What chance is there, however, for the woman who wilfully neglects nature's warning—“that tired feeling”—and consistently ignores the value of rest. Scientific treatment comes in later to patch her up, when the inevitable breakdown occurs, but how much happier she would have been had she only benefited by the warning—and not only herself but the other members of the family.

Modern industry has accepted the fact that provision should be made for rest periods during the day's work. It is a recognised principle in the best conducted high-pressure businesses that these “rest periods” are absolutely necessary for all concerned. They probably represent of the employers' time about half an hour daily, but the renewed energy which they give to the employees amply repays the loss of time.

Neglect of one's health is now being looked upon as a selfish trait, instead of the old-time selflessness.

Aftermath of Measles.

Great care should be taken of the children who have recovered from the measles, and if it is at all possible they should be sent away for a change of air—from the interior to the sea, and vice versa from the sea to the interior. Their future health often depends upon their complete recovery from the measles.

The Scrapbook.

If the kitchen happens to be on the “wrong” side of the house, then an electric fan for creating a current of air is a good investment.

When blowflies are troublesome, draw the blinds in the room and place small tins half filled with kerosene on the window-ledges. The flies are attracted by the light and fall into the tins and die immediately.

A teaspoon of sugar swallowed will often cure an attack of hiccoughs.

If fat is spilt on top of the oven or stove, sprinkle salt on it, and the smoke and odour will be minimised. In bad cases two or three applications may be necessary.

When rhubarb has been prepared for cooking, pour boiling water over it, leave it for a few seconds, then strain off and cook the rhubarb as usual. It will be more palatable, and people who usually cannot digest it will find it beneficial instead of injurious.


Jellied Beef.

A really nice salad can be made with cold beef left over from the joint of the day before.

Cut the meat into neat slices, removing fat. Arrange on a dish and season with salt and pepper. Dissolve half a packet of aspic jelly in 1 ½ gills of hot water and add ½ gill of tomato ketchup. Pour over beef and let it set. Shred and wash two lettuces and slice two or three tomatoes. Mix with the salad cream and place the jellied beef on top.

With Green Peas.

Hard-boil the eggs, cut in lengthways, scoop out the yolk and fill each half white with one dessertspooon cold cooked green peas which have been mixed with a little mayonnaise dressing. Arrange the halved eggs on individual plates, allowing about three halves to each person, and surround with a border of lettuce leaves sprinkled with dressing, and sprinkle the salad with sieved egg yolk.

Crayfish Salad.

Crayfish salad is perhaps the greatest of all possible fish salads.

Divide the flesh of a fair-sized crayfish into dice shapes and mix about a gill of mayonnaise dressing with it. Put some of the inner leaves of two well-washed and dried lettuces into a salad bowl. On top spread a layer of crayfish, cover with more mayonnaise and then with lettuce. Repeat these layers and this time shred the lettuce finely for the top. Garnish with parsley.

page 60

Cont. from page 56

“So that's it,” said the King. “And why have you come to this island of mine?”

“We don't mean to do any harm,” said Michael, “All we want is to find Peter. Tiny Toes and Dimples are just helping us.”

“Yes, if you'll give us Peter back, we'll go away and never bother you again,” Barbara said.

“Peter!” exclaimed the King. “Why should I let you have him back. He hurt one of my people and he's being very useful here.”

“But he didn't mean to hurt that goblin,” said Barbara, “And you can't keep him there forever. His mother and Father are awfully worried and are looking for him everywhere.”

“He will stay here as long as I like to keep him. Understand? And you as well!” He sat back in his chair and laughed. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! This is a great joke on you mortals!”

“Whatever are we going to do?” whispered Barbara to Michael.

“Shs!” whispered Michael, “We'll get out of it, somehow!”

“Bring the elves here,” commanded the King. Tiny Toes and Dimples were pushed roughly before him.

“So you came to spy on me, ch? Well, you will never leave this island again,” said the King with a sneer.

“We did not come to spy on you,” answered Tiny Toes indignantly. “We came to find Peter. And if you do not let us go and release Peter, the whole of our country will wage war upon you.”

“Idle chatter,” said the King, “Your people would never reach the island. We have made a new fiery spear that bursts into flame when it strikes an object. We have only to send those into the air at your frail ships and not one of you would reach your country alive.”

“You boast well, King,” answered Tiny Toes, “But you forget that in our country we have also made things of which you know nothing. We have more than fairy ships to fight with, now.”

“Bah!” said the King, “Your empty-headed talk annoys me. You are going to work and wait on me like the rest of your people I have here. And any talking that is to be done will be done by me. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho!” he laughed.

“Isn't he horrible,” whispered Barbara.

“Shs!” said Michael.

“And you,” the King turned to Barbara and Michael, “will be imprisoned in a cottage until the rise of the sun on the morrow. Then you will be taken across to my Palace and every day you will teach me arithmetic and geography and other things of your mortal land. Peter has already taught me the twice times table. Twice one are two, twice two are three—”

“Excuse me, King,” said Barbara, “but twice two are four.”

“How dare you say I'm wrong,” thundered the King. “Twice two are three! Two and three make five, take away two and you get three. Twice two are three!”

“Very well, your Majesty,” said Barbara, “But you are wrong, you know.”

“Be quiet!” thundered the King. “I will send some of my men over to mortal land to get books and you will learn from those and then you will teach me. Take them away.”

With a wave of his hand, the King dismissed them. As Tiny Toes and Dimples were led away, they waved good-bye to Barbara and Michael.

Two sturdy goblins took hold of the children and led them across the field, through hedges and down tracks, until they came to a gloomy forest. The sun had disappeared now and the forest looked more gloomy than ever. There in the centre of the forest stood a small hut with no windows and only a tiny door. Creeper climbed up the walls and grass grew right up to the door. Barbara and Michael were led up to it. A goblin opened the door with a key which he took from a little bag hanging from his side. The children were pushed inside. “We will bring you food and water at the rise of the sun on the morrow,” said the goblin. He shut the door and the key turned in the lock. The children were securely locked in for the night.

For a minute they did not say a word. Suddenly Barbara gripped Michael tightly. “Oh, I'm so frightened, Michael!” she was near to tears. “We'll never see Mummy and Daddy again!”

“Of course, we will, don't be silly;” said Michael, though inwardly his heart was quaking. “We will have to find a way out of this hut.”

He stared round him in the gloom. At first he could not see a thing, but as his eyes became more accustomed to the darkness, he could see that on the floor was straw for them to lie on. He went round the walls and thumped on them and pulled the door. But there didn't seem anyway they could get out.

“There's no way out, Barbara,” he said as he came back to her. “Let's go to sleep on the floor and wait till tomorrow when we will very likely see Tiny Toes and Dimples at the Palace.”

“I suppose that's the only thing to do,” said Barbara. They lay down on the straw. Michael put his arm protectingly round Barbara's shoulders and they dozed off. They had not been asleep long, when Michael sat up suddenly and listened intently. Faintly, he could hear a scraping sound from the far wall. Louder and louder came the sound, and from the bottom of the wall, a little dust began to rise. Michael nudged Barbara. “Wake up, Barbara,” he whispered, “I think someone's trying to get into the hut.”

Barbara sat up sleepy-eyed. She listened to the scratching. “I'll go over to the wall and see if I can see anything,” said Michael. He crept over to the wall on his hands and knees.

“Who's there?” he whispered. There was no answer. “Who's there?” he said again. He could see a small hole appearing between the wall and the ground. The scratching sound stopped. For a second there was silence. Then a greyish green head with two sharp eyes looked through the hole and then came a body with four legs and a scaly tail.

“Why!” exclaimed Barbara, “It's a lizard!”

(To be continued.)