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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 8 (November 1, 1938)

Our Women's Section — Summer — Beach Days

page 57

Our Women's Section
Beach Days.

It's a lovely time of year. Week by week the sun spreads a warmer layer over the tang of winter. Freshness is still there under the glow of sunshine. It reminds me of the marvellous concoction I tasted once on board ship—hot meringue apparently cooked over ice cream.

What a season! With the long warm days ahead of us we all become more alert and hopefully alive. Life seems clearer—the effect perhaps of light and an intensification of colour in surrounding nature.

It seems a pity to have to think of clothes, but we women know that a congenial environment presupposes suitable attire. Therefore, I have planned for beach days.

Shorts, these days, are much pleated, and therefore more “feminine.” A halter top, as sketched, is comfortable. The very young and slim may prefer a brassiere top. Alternative wear is a shorts dress or play-suit. A promenade skirt, perhaps with flowered stripes running vertically, will button neatly over the shorts. A very informal type of skirt is the white one, pictured, which ties round the waist. A very useful beach garment is the overdress or short sleeved redingote which buttons or zips down the centre front. The redingote may match or contrast.

The straw hat with fancy ribbon ties and peaked crown is ideal for beach wear. If glare affects your eyes, don't forget dark glasses. I have drawn a bottle to remind you of eye-lotion. I use a very simple eye-wash—a flat teaspoon of boracic crystals dissolved in a cup of boiling water.

Summer shoe styles are most sensible as well as decorative. Even for street wear one can have cool perforated and strapped shoes. Flat heels are quite smart. A new development is the “wedge” heel, where the sole is in the form of a wedge and there is no separate heel. These shoes, I hear, are very comfortable, and are correct with the trimmest tailor-made. For beach wear I have sketched two styles. The one waiting to be tied round your ankles is a fishnet sandal, very cool and light. If you are not very proud of your toes, here's a smart way of hiding them. The other style, with a very thick cork sole, is specially suited to the small woman. The primary idea is to keep the feet clear of the sand.

The bracelet sketched looks particularly attractive in coral, green or royal blue. Remember colour when choosing beach wear; the vividness of sea, sky, trees and sands can kill pastel tints.

Swim suits become more and more decorative. Satin and lastex and silk stockingette gleam richly. Wool suits, which are more sensible for the keen swimmer, are just as delightful. I saw some green togs patterned with red lobsters. Another green suit had the brassiere top outlined with thick gold cord which tied on the shoulders.

A very useful garment is a bathing wrap. I have seen some very smart ones in tufted towelling with gay stripes on a white ground; another wrap in all white had a raised cable pattern.

For promenade accessories, I suggest fabric sandals, bag and belt to match.

page 58

Out Of Doors.
The Garden Room.

Most New Zealand town dwellers are lucky enough to live in a detached house with a garden. We are so used to space, grass, trees, that we don't appreciate them as would someone brought up in a large city. I am reminded of a cartoon, from Punch I think, showing an elderly lady perched on a chair on a table in her London backyard, being carefully wrapped round with a rug by her butler. Her head alone is in sunshine. In the other little boxes of backyards people are carpentering, or white-washing, or hanging out washing. At the windows of the four-storey row of houses opposite people are busy—hanging out a canary, or the washing on a ridiculous little pulley arrangement, watering a window box, or training a creeper growing from a small pot on the window ledge. It is the sort of cartoon that is too real for overmuch laughter.

That's why we in New Zealand are among the lucky ones, and why we should pay a great deal of attention to town-planning.

But what I really mean to talk about is the family garden. We have a garden and the summer is here. Let's make use of both.

If you have small boys, they are probably already worrying you for a tent, “just a small one we can crawl into.” or if they have a tent, they're pleading to be allowed to sleep in it. Children have a natural craving for the open air. My contention is that mothers need the garden just as much as the children do. Look critically at your garden. Is there a patch of lawn in the most sheltered corner? If not, re-plan your garden in time for next summer. Shade is pleasant, but not so essential in these days of awnings and umbrellas. If your lawn refuses to be sheltered, deal with it by stretching a breakwind of canvas. You may also wish to spread canvas as a protection for the lawn when you transfer the family sitting-room out of doors. Or footboards, raised slightly by a strip of wood at each end, may be placed in front of each chair to protect the grass from heel-prints.

A solid all-weather garden table is an excellent idea. An old occasional table or a bridge table is a good make-shift. Garden chairs are not necessarily deck chairs. Solid wooden chairs can be most comfortable, or you may choose from several types of canvas chairs mostly with arm rests. The ones with steel frames can have the canvas removed for the night while the frames stay out. With most chairs an adjustable canopy can be bought. A sun lounge on wheels seats three or four, and can follow the sun round all day. A lounge bed is so comfortable that it will do for the unexpected guest; there is an adjustable back and head rest, and, of course, a canopy.

The new garden furniture is certainly attractive, but don't let the lack of it prevent your spending all your spare time out of doors. Certain jobs, such as preparing vegetables or mending, are as well done out of doors as in.

The chair I would like for all mothers has a padded back and seat; the sliding seat adjusts to the right position. The garden is the place for baby's play pen. Place a waterproof sheet, a rug and then the pen. A good type of pen is that which can be increased in size by adding new sections, bought separately.

Good luck with your garden room!

page 59

Health Notes.

The history of civilisation, both ancient and modern, bears testimony to the simple truth that great empires stand or fall by the health of their peoples. Swamped by its weaklings, a country may crumble and become powerless to shape its own destiny—nor help in the shaping of the destiny of the world.

There are difficult times ahead for an nations, and to win through people cannot afford to be other than thoroughly fit and sound in both mind and body.

We thrust upon the doctors the onus of curing our diseases and neglect to secure their co-operation in the maintenance of health. We are apt to take for granted our Public Health Service, and even with all the benefits obtainable—especially for the children and mothers—we are not yet fully alive to the unassailable fact that disease is the penalty of faulty hygiene, and that it is preventable.

Those of us who are guilty of unhealthy living are not only inflicting an injury to ourselves, but are doing-grievous harm to the community as a whole. Sound nutrition is the basis of sound health and ultimately the basis of national prosperity and well-being. Inadequate nutrition, lack of fresh air and sunlight, will eventually be a big factor in reducing a nation to a C3 race.

With our present knowledge of food values this is where we may help in the building of a nation. We must mobilise our energies and realise that there is a foe—national ill-health—to be fought, and that the first line of attack is for each individual to create his own personal environment of health—and the health of the household. Think of the colossal waste of mental and physical energy when our country should be straining every nerve and muscle to be classed as Al!

We are all beginning to learn that vegetables, for instance, if wrongly prepared and cooked, lose their mineral value. The vitamines are destroyed, thus rendering our vegetables almost valueless as food. In the planning of the day's meals, we need, roughly, one-quarter of the food from the bone-building class, i.e., from fruits, vegetables, milk and whole cereals, one-quarter from the chief flesh forming foods—meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc., and the balance from those foods that supply a large amount of heat and energy—the starchy foods, as bread, potatoes, rice, etc., together with those foods that contain a large amount of fat or sugar. Children who have the good fortune to belong to the household that is “health conscious” have a decided advantage over those who belong to parents who merely “eat to live.”


Christmas and the holiday season are drawing near, and the average person, both the child and adult, longs for the freedom of the out-of-doors, with the invigorating tonic of sunshine and sea air. Sun-bathing will become the order of the day.

Precautions should be taken in the early days of sun-bathing to avoid a badly sunburned and blistered skin. Injudicious exposure to strong sunlight causes unnecessary pain and discomfort, and can be very harmful. Gradual exposure to the morning and afternoon sun should be the rule, avoiding the strong mid-day sun. Most important of all, it is necessary to protect the children from the strong rays of the sun and to see that they are members of the Hat Brigade during the summer months.



There is no more attractive or economical way of using left-over foods than in the form of salads. They may be made from one vegetable or fruit or from a combination of vegetables, or vegetables and fruits, both cooked and raw, with or without the addition of huts, cheese, cooked fish, and eggs.

Banana Salad.

Bananas (3 or 4), lettuce leaves, nuts, dressing.

Place lettuce on serving dish. Slice bananas into dressing and place on top of lettuce. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Beetroot and Celery Salad.

Cut cooked beetroot into cubes, and chop raw celery rather finely. Mix with dressing and pile roughly in serving dish. May be decorated with parsley or a few small lettuce leaves.

Fish Salad.

One cup cabbage, two or three sticks celery, lettuce, fish, pepper and salt, dressing.

Make a bed of lettuce leaves. On this place cooked or tinned fish. Shred the cabbage very finely, chop celery, and mix both in with the dressing. Pile on top of the fish and sprinkle with chopped nuts or parsley.

Mixed Salad.

Cold cooked potatoes, cold cooked peas or beans, cold cooked carrots, raw onion or celery, dressing.

Dice the potatoes and slice finely onions or celery and mix with part of the dressing. Place in centre of serving dish. Chop carrots and mix with remaining dressing. Put peas or beans and carrots in alternate piles around the potatoes. Any vegetables of contrasting colours may be used in place of peas and carrots.

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