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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 12 (March 1, 1940)

Our Women's Section — We Women and the War

page 57

Our Women's Section
We Women and the War

Jim's in camp,” said Maysie. “And Michael, my eldest brother, went away with the first echelon.”

“You're right among the war doings,” said Cora. “Somehow although I know it's selfish of me, I can't make myself realise this war. I suppose it's because no-one belonging to me is affected. And also, as the leaders admit, this war hasn't really started yet. Are you doing anything special, Maysie? Besides going to see Jim in camp?”

“I'm afraid I'm not doing much. My young sister has joined a concert party for entertaining the troops. And we're both knitting socks and gloves and sweaters. A winter in Europe will be an unpleasantly cold experience for our boys. I'm trying a bit of self-denial. I've decided to give up smoking (it isn't doing me any good, anyway), and put away 10 per cent, of my personal money to buy cigarettes and other comforts for the boys overseas. Also, several of us girls are going to start a letter-writing club. During the winter we're going to give up an evening a week to writing letters to relations and friends, and any lonely ones we hear of. Of course, none of us are literary experts, but men who went through the last war tell us how much the boys appreciated simple letters with news of home and of New Zealand doings. We're making a sort of social evening of it, meeting at each other's houses, and finishing up with a spot of supper. We're less likely, then, to slacken off.

“That's all we've planned so far. I'm afraid it seems trifling compared with what the women of England are called upon to do—A.R.P. work, driving ambulances, etc. The few women friends I have over there all seem to be doing something special in the way of war work.”

“Yes, Maysie, but they have the opportunity. I'm sure, if such work were needed here, you'd be one of the first to volunteer. I'm the lazy one. I'd like to join your letter-writing circle, if I may. I am doing some knitting, and can do more if I concentrate on it. I don't smoke, so I can't give that up for the boys, but I can no doubt think of some form of selfdenial.

“And I've been thinking. This war, you know, is mainly an economic one. Certain supplies are essential for war purposes, and the more civilians cut down on their use, the more there is available for the army. Rubber and petrol are examples. The Government is rationing petrol, but it is up to private citizens to ration themselves with other products. Perhaps in your letter-writing circle we can study the war problem from the economic angle, and find out how we, as housewives and spenders of the men's wages, can help to win the war.

“Another ‘economic’ angle is that of country of origin. We buyers should support friendly countries, and most of all Great Britain, who is aiming to keep up her pre-war level of exports. Unfortunately, it is necessary for Britain to purchase many supplies from foreign countries, e.g., U.S.A., and as there is only a certain amount of foreign exchange available, we must see that most of it is spent on war supplies. That means that we must limit our private consumption of ‘foreign’ goods. ‘Foreign’ countries will not lose in the long run (though suppliers of certain luxury commodities) will feel the pinch), for Britain will be buying war supplies up to the limit of funds available.

“I think it is up to us to consider our expenditure very carefully, and to make other women (and particularly women's organisations) realise their responsibility in this direction.”

“Bravo, Cora” cried Maysie. “I believe your idea is the right one, and far more important than our small ‘war efforts’ (though they, too, are helpful). We'll see what we can do to aid Britain in this economic war.”

* * *

The “Settled” Room.
Try a Change.

When we enter a room for the first time, we are vividly aware of its general effect. During our visit, especially if we are left alone at all, page 58 we study details to find out how such an impression is produced. Particularly is this so in a “successful” room, where we study furniture arrangement, draperies and colour tonings in hopes of ideas for bettering our own “best” room.

Though we haven't quite the eye of an interior decorator, we manage to sort out fairly well, the reasons for success or failure in furnishing.

When we return home, we endeavour to apply the same sort of criticism, but somehow our eye is not so expert in familiar surroundings. Our room is as it has been (with but few minor changes) for years, and we know it so well that we can't see what's wrong with it, or for that matter, what's right with it.

To overcome the difficulty of familiarity, we must resort to change. Yes, I know that that alcove is just the right width for the bookshelf and that the piano must stay against an inside wall, and that we tried everything every way when we first moved in years ago. But we're determined to get a newcomer's view of the old room; so, all hands to the piano, and let's try a game of general post.

It's surprising how different the room looks in a few minutes. We become aware of the window with its side drapes that are definitely too long, and—yes—that tree outside has grown and is shutting out some light. Now we come to think of it, a lighter paper will brighten up the room. The chintz chair covers need laundering. Thank goodness the moquette underneath is good, and of an attractive, undated pattern. Yes, pull the magazine stand away from the corner. Put it between the chesterfield and the easy chair and place the standard lamp on it. There's a reading corner for winter.

Clear away the ornaments, and let's start again, using only a few of the best pieces, and trying their effect in various positions. And pictures, too! It's time to banish some, to bring out or reframe others, to seek for good lighting for good art.

And now that the room is re-organised, let's enjoy it as it is, with the proviso that before long, probably in early spring, we'll have another reshuffle.

Fur Jackets.

Make up your mind to do something about that old fur coat. If it's a good fur, it's well worth while spending a few pounds to have it cleverly remodelled. An old-fashioned long fur coat contains plenty of material for one of the new jacket styles (as illustrated on p. 57).

A chunky jacket will accent a slim skirt and cut inches off your hips and years off your age. For jacket style, choose slightly full shoulders, long or almost long sleeves without cuffs, a straight or mildly flared back and straight fronts. A roll collar is simple and smart, or you may have a turndown collar and a high neck fastening of two large buttons. A sporty effect may be obtained by adding two lowset straight pockets.

N.Z. Agents for Timken Beorings

N.Z. Agents for Timken Beorings

Health Notes.
Good Nutrition.

Good health depends upon good nutrition—ill-health on faulty diet. Our physical condition makes us either an asset or a liability to the nation—more particularly during wartime.

Food is composed of the same elements as the body itself, and the body builds its own tissues from the materials found in the food. The right proportion of carbohydrates, fat, and protein foods, are therefore necessary, and this is calculated in the proportion of one part fat, one of protein and four of carbohydrates. It follows, therefore, that if we stoke our body with four of fat to one of protein and one of carbohydrates, we cannot expect the body to function satisfactorily. Natural foods are not balanced in a nutritive sense, however, in relation to the body's needs page 59 of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They must, therefore, be supplemented.

Here is an example of a day's balanced diet:

Breakfast.—Cereal with sugar and milk and poached egg on toast, or wheatmeal bread and honey.

Lunch.—A salad or soup with wheatmeal bread. Eggs, fish, cheese, nuts, etc., combine with the salad (or soup) to make a well-balanced meal. This may be supplemented with additional food in the form of a sweet.

Dinner.—A satisfactory meal consists of meat, balanced with vegetables and followed by stewed fruit and custard, or a simple pudding.

In the great effort that the country is now making, those responsible for the family fare play a very important part. The soldier, to be effective, has to be in good health, and in the same manner, we cannot do our part if we become ineffective through the careless disregard of the fundamental principles of healthy living. In such circumstances our record is placed under the heading “Liability” in the nation's log.

Good nutrition, backed up by fresh air and exercise, will place us under the heading “Assets,” and we will be an A1 nation ready for any emergency.


Among the citrus fruits, lemons hold an important place.

The food value of the lemon lies in the juice. This contains a rich content of vitamin C and vitamins' A and B in a lesser degree.

Lemon juice is often recommended for heart, liver, bladder and kidney complaints. The fruit should be baked slightly, and the juice then shaken up with salt (a teaspoon to the juice of three lemons).

A tablespoonful of salted lemon juice thirty minutes before and after a meal assists digestion.

Lemon juice is an excellent substitute for vinegar and may be used in mayonnaise and salad dressings. Thus, people who are not allowed vinegar in their diet are not deprived of their salad dressing.

Home Notes.
Care of Stockings.

Great care should be taken in handling and washing silk stockings, to prevent laddering and other accidents.

Stockings too long or too short are annoying. If too large, they are more or less untidy. If too short, they are subjected to strain and consequent damage.

Do not hang stockings in the wind, as twisting round the line may cause ladders. Dry them in the open air for preference, but choose a sheltered spot.

Wash the stockings in warm soapy lather, squeezing gently. Use water of the same temperature for both washing and rinsing. Pull gently into shape before hanging on the line.

Miscellaneous Recipes.
Cream Filling.

One oz. butter; 1 tablespoon cream; 1/4lb. icing sugar; vanilla essence to taste.

Beat the butter till soft and creamy. Sift and beat in sugar by degrees. Moisten with the cream. Beat till soft and creamy, then add vanilla essence to taste.

Spanish Cream.

One oz. gelatine; 3 ozs. sugar; 1 qt. milk; 3 eggs; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence.

Soak the gelatine in some of the milk. Add the sugar and beaten yolks of egg, heat the remaining milk and pour over. Stir over the fire until it thickens, but do not allow to boil. Cool, and add vanilla and stiffly whipped whites. Turn into a wetted mould and allow to set.

Blackcurrant Tea.

One tablespoon blackcurrant jam; 1 teaspoon lemon juice; 1/2 pint boiling water.

Put the jam into a hot jug and pour the boiling water over. Add the lemon juice. Cover for a few minutes. Strain into a hot tumbler and serve at once.

Arrowroot Sponge.

Eggs 3 (beat five minutes); sugar 3/4 cup (add and beat five minutes); arrowroot 3/4 cup (add and beat five minutes); baking powder, 1 small teaspoon (stirred last of all); salt (a pinch).; essence if desired.

Bake in a moderate oven in greased and floured tins for about 10 minutets.