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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 11 (January 1, 1939)

Our Women's Section

page 57

Our Women's Section

Fvills and Lace

Choose a flimsy cotton or a still daintier silk. Fit it neatly at waist and hips as you would an evening frock. Then have fun making the bodice fussy. The new night-gowns are lovely.

The full-length lady has chosen a pure silk spotted chiffon. The wide gauged band round the neckline is edged with self frills.

Frilly, too, is the waistcoat front below; and the frill at the high neckline flatters the throat.

Newest of all is dark purple chiffon, clinging in soft folds. Dark ribbon is drawn through the unusual white lace trimming.


Scotch terriers are ubiquitous.

I have seen one like a cuddly toy curled upon my best friend's bed—the latest night-dress case! A pair of them decorated the lapel of my tennis partner last Saturday. They are as popular as golfing figures or hunting scenes on really sporty silk square and tie sets. The very newest idea is to have dogs stamped in dark brown on a light leather hand-bag, on the cuffs of matching gloves, and on an umbrella cover. I didn't ask to see the umbrella, lest it also were covered with dogs. And I refuse to accept Scotties as a hair ornament or as charms on a bracelet!

To Revive a Faded Dance Frock.

It's a bit early to be buying glad rags for winter evenings, but certainly our summer dance frocks are looking wilted. Judicious colour will revive them. One of the most effective methods is to add a wide draped girdle. It is possible to buy paper patterns giving several styles. Very little material is required. Your own clothes sense will tell you what material—velvet, taffeta, lamé—and what colour is required.

Enjoying February.

“No, I don't enjoy the heat.”

“I can't bear hot weather.”

One feels sorry for people who have to make confessions such as these. They suffer real misery from headaches, heaviness, feverishness, during a heat wave. Too often, they regard such discomfort as unavoidable.

A little study of physiology, however, will convince them that hot weather conditions can be made bearable and even enjoyable. During the summer season, our bodies are most “alive,” developing, and building up reserves of strength in preparation for winter. The nerves, the ductless glands and the circulation function more actively. The body cells are broken down and rebuilt, and energy produced at a greater rate.

Consequently, there is a larger production of toxic matter, which must be got rid of through the usual channels. Failure of the body to cope with this extra elimination may cause a rise in blood pressure, feverishness or headaches.

How does the body cope with waste? A surprising quantity of toxins are got rid of from the lungs. Therefore deep breathing exercises are particularly valuable during the summer months.

The pores of the skin are more open during summer. To encourage the evaporation of perspiration, with consequent cooling of the body, clothing should be light and loose, preferably cellular in texture, so that air can circulate freely.

A daily tepid or warm bath, followed by a brisk towelling, removes the acid secretions which form a film over the skin. Salt water bathing is specially effective.

Exercise increases the flow of perspiration, but must be taken with discretion in very hot weather. Passivity in the heat of the day is best, but exercises in the morning and athletic activity, of not too strenuous a type, in the cooler part of the day, are beneficial. A certain amount of activity, especially walking, is essential to health.

Diet should undergo as radical a change as clothing. On hot days flesh page 58 foods are unnecessary. One should also avoid starchy foods — bread, pastry, porridge and potatoes. Rich fatty foods should be taboo. The diet adopted by white people living in a tropical climate is a good guide.

As the body may lose up to four pints of fluid on a hot day, it is essential to eat foods having a high water content. Tropical and semi-tropical fruits should be included as much as possible. Oranges, lemons, pineapples and grape-fruit are splendid for fruit meals and for drinks.

Prunes, dates, figs and bananas encourage intestinal elimination. The fruits of our temperate climes (apples, pears, etc.) contain much water and iron and phosphate salts which improve the blood and nerves.

Salad greens supply an added quantity of water to the diet and also assist bodily tone by their supplies of vitamins and mineral salts. The grated root vegetables, which add to the tastiness of salads, provide useful juices and the “bulk” which is so necessary in civilized diet.

Hot weather meals, then, should be carefully planned. Breakfast should be light, with fruit and cereals, or the cereal biscuits which are so much lighter on the digestion than bread. For lunch, the main dish may be a lettuce and egg or grated vegetable salad. Perhaps a cheese or nut savoury is desired as well. Cereal biscuits and butter will be found more satisfactory than bread. Dinner, served in the cool of the day, is the big meal. Serve several vegetables and a savoury dish. Light meats are best, and should be eaten sparingly. The meal should be topped off with a cold sweet or fruit, cooked or raw.

Fruit drinks should be taken frequently between meals. Cold drinks, and particularly iced drinks, should not be taken when one is overheated, as they affect the stomach and the smooth working of the digestive system. After a hot walk or a stiff set of tennis, the best drink is hot lemon, or hot tea with a slice of lemon. The hot liquid induces extra perspiration, the evaporation of which results presently in a feeling of coolness.

By simple health rules as to breathing, exercise, clothing and bathing, and by the planning of suitable light meals, the hot weather may be faced without fear. Summer may even become, because of its attractive diet, its delightful feeling of freedom given by a minimum of clothes, and the “holiday touch” about all spare time activities, the most enjoyable season of the year.

Furnishing Ideas.

Dining Room:

The small dining room demands neat furniture in the modern style and with a light finish. The larger room allows the owner to indulge her penchant for the ultra-modern (plus chromium and glass) or period style.

If the dining-room is to be a room for use at other than meal-times, take particular care in its planning. Design the furniture to fit the room, not to fill it. Provide fireside chairs for comfort, and bookshelves and magazine racks for the idle hour. In the main suite, avoid the dullness of heavy oak and mahogany. If the room is fairly small, have a gate-leg table which can be set back inconspicuously against a wall. The dining-chairs should, of course, be comfortable, with backs made to fit, and seats upholstered in hide, rexine or tapestry. The sideboard must be planned with due regard to contents; avoid end cupboards if wall space is limited; space for cutlery drawers is saved if a baize-lined box is incorporated in a draw-leaf table.

Nearly as important as design, is the wood to be used. Popular woods are straight-grain oak and walnut. A natural waxed oak finish is attractive. (This type of floor finish is common in America. Rugs are scattered about and the floor presents a very attractive appearance, but requires more polishing than most New Zealand housewives are willing to give). Interest is lent to a very plain design by the use of two woods, e.g., Jacobean oak and bronzed oak. A suite in straight walnut may have bandings of deep figured walnut.

Tables: The increasing use of beautifully grained woods accounts for the disuse of tablecloths. Mats (so easy to launder!) show the graining of the modern table and the beauty of old pieces and reproductions.

Most tables have flap sides, or are of the draw-leaf variety, so that they may be accommodated to the number of guests. Styles vary from those that remind one of the kitchen table (save that the top does not overhang, and the legs may be of the new rounded shape) to the period refectory table. The modern variant of the refectory has very wide table ends, sometimes enriched with simple carving. Another variety has roll ends.

Sideboards: In regard to style, aim for one in which the general outline satisfies the eye. Avoid the type where the “undercarriage” is set in from the edge of the piece, giving a top-heavy look. It is quite possible for a piece of good design to be clear of the floor without having this top-heavy appearance.

Most sideboards are of plain shape, with a flat surface and no top-piece. Interest lies in the decorative use of wood—banding, carving, or inlay (e.g., large squares, with the grain running in different directions).

In very modern sideboards the drawer and shelf arrangement is less conservative, as in the case of one page 59 with a straight top which has underneath it, on one side, two drawers, and on the other a shelf; below are cupboards, including a cellarette. The sideboard to match the table with roll ends has bow doors. Others have rounded corners. A modern piece has side cupboards with curved doors.

A handsomely carved reproduction to accompany a refectory table, has a top-piece with cupboards and “pillars.”


The types of wood most used are Jacobean oak, natural waxed or limed oak, figured walnut and sycamore. Various combinations of woods are used. I have seen an oak suite with cross-grain banding in oak, and a waxed oak with walnut banding. A light-finish suite has dark handles and plinths.

All styles of dressing-tables may be seen: the three-drawered, flat topped table; the kneehole type with drawers at the sides and a shallow top drawer for beauty requisites. Mirrors are single (round or oblong), triple, or of the cheval type. Some triple mirrors have a curved outline. A mirror of triptych style may stand on a flat table. In modern sunk-centre tables a fairly narrow glass shelf is placed handily below the mirror.

Wardrobes and chests are more or less elaborately fitted according to the price one wishes to pay.

In furnishing the bedroom, don't forget day-time comfort. Have an occasional chair, perhaps with curved wooden arms. If you have a large room, you may like a bay-bed as well. Smart dressing-table stools may have panel ends, a shaped frame, an upholstered seat. The pedestal cupboard or bedside table should incorporate a bookshelf. For the double-bed, one can plan a head-piece built in, one with the table and shelves at either side.


Most lounge furnishing commences with the three-piece suite, which, though scorned by the would-be aesthete, is one of the most comfortable adjuncts of the home. For this furniture, which will receive heavy wear, make sure of the quality of springing and upholstering. Patronize a firm which is willing to give a guarantee.

According to the type of room, you will choose for covering tapestry, moquette, damask, velvet, quilted tapestry, leather or leather-cloth, a folk weave material perhaps in a tweed finish.

The shape of the suite may be square in outline with table arms, or the whole effect may be one of graceful curves. Very modern suites are made in one curve and have wooden arms instead of solid padded ones. A period note is struck with the bergére suite, made with a wooden frame and cane back, and with upholstery in silk damask or tapestry. Another period set has high backs and wings, and a covering trimmed with galon and fringe.

Occasional and fireside chairs are in bewildering variety, but nearly all provide the utmost in comfort.

Occasional tables, cupboards, bookshelves and magazine racks are of all shapes and sizes, and are, in many cases, planned in combination. Special corner pieces are also planned, e.g., the fitment containing bookshelves, cupboard and drawer. This piece is cleverly made to fit over the skirting board.

Health Notes.

It is usually during the cold, wet weather of winter and early spring, that many people show symptoms of rheumatism. The weather we are experiencing now, however, cannot be described as anything but changeable, and it affects those subject to rheumatism. At first there may be merely a sensation of soreness or stiffness of the joints or muscles. This may be followed, however, with gradual loss of power and freedom of movement, thus every care should be taken to guard against the attack of this enemy to health.

At the first twinge of rheumatism it is well to turn our attention to the condition of the teeth and gums, tonsils, and the digestive tract. Decayed teeth and unhealthy gums are an open invitation for this enemy “to walk in on us.”

Massage, with or without liniment, is efficacious. Warm clothing is essential and, of course, diet is an important factor. It is as well to cut down the meat ration—except white meats—and substitute fish, etc., instead. Eat plenty of green vegetables and fruit, both raw and cooked, but moderate your supplies of starchy foods, such as potatoes, milk puddings, and white bread. Fruit drinks between meals instead of tea and coffee, also help to drive away the enemy.

The “growing pains” of children are often a form of rheumatism. During changeable weather they should be suitably clad, so as not to run any risks on account of the vagaries of the weather.

Liver Diet.

Anaemic patients often look askance at the idea of a liver diet, being under the impression that it is monotonous, but it need not become objectionable if a little care and imagination are blended towards the preparation of various dishes. The most fastidious tastes may then be perfectly satisfied.

While taking the liver diet, fats and sugar are restricted, and not more than one glass of milk, or 1 oz. of cream should be taken daily. Plenty of green vegetables, fresh fruit, etc., are beneficial. Cereals, potatoes, bread and puddings are included in the diet, together with a small quantity of underdone meat. Salt and condiments are partially banished.

Liver Recipes?.

Liver Soup.

Add minced liver to chicken broth or clear soup, with a little salt and pepper. Heat, but do not allow to boil.

Liver Aspic.

Steam liver in chicken broth until soft, mince liver or push through sieve, season with little salt and very little sugar. Use a dessertspoonful of gelatine to a pint of chicken broth. Add liver. Set in mould. Garnish with parsley and white of egg and serve on lettuce and sliced tomato.

Liver Cocktail.

Pass twice through the mincer 4 ozs. of liver, one shallot and a pinch each of salt, pepper and mustard. Put into a basin, add one tablespoon mushroom ketchup or other suitable sauce, one tablespoon orange juice and one tablespoon tomato pulp. Mix thoroughly and leave in a cool place till wanted.


A well made sauce should be free from lumps, have a glossy appearance and velvety smoothness.

Add liquid gradually and stir all the time the sauce is cooking.

Boil from three to five minutes, and then beat well until smooth and glossy.

Egg Sauce.

One oz. butter, one hard-boiled egg, one oz. flour, one breakfastcup milk, pepper and salt. Take the yolk of the egg and with a fork work it into the flour until quite free from lumps. Melt butter in saucepan. Remove from the fire and work in flour and egg yolk until quite smooth. Add milk gradually and stir until boiling. Add pepper and salt and the roughly chopped white of egg.