Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guide to Hiring Women

A friend copied this and passed it on to me as he thought I might get a laugh from reading it.  I hope you will too.

This purports to be from the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation Magazine written for male supervisors during the Second World War.

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees

There’s no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from western properties:

1. If you can get them, pick young married women. They have these advantages, according to the reports of western companies: they usually have more of a sense of responsibility than do their unmarried sisters; they’re less likely to be flirtatious; as a rule, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it — maybe a sick husband or one who’s in the army; they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Most transportation companies have found that older women who have never contacted the public, have a hard time adapting themselves, are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. While there are exceptions, of course, to this rule, general experience indicates that “husky” girls — those who are just a little on the heavy side — are likely to be more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination — one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. Transit companies that follow this practice report a surprising number of women turned down for nervous disorders.

5. In breaking in women who haven’t previously done outside work, stress at the outset the importance of time — the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

6. Give the female employe in garage or office a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employe change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be nervous and they’re happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. Companies that are already using large numbers of women stress the fact that you have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and consequently is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful in issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way that men do. Never ridicule a woman — it breaks her spirit and cuts her efficiency.

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

11. Get enough size variety in operator uniforms that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too strongly as a means of keeping women happy, according to western properties.”
Was this really published in 1943?   We have seen many such items and I have fallen for some and have even blogged about them only to find out later that these claims were in fact not true.  While we know that in the 1940s women in the workplace were almost universally under valued and patronised we still find it hard to believe that such an item could be published in a recognised trade magazine

So I Googled our trusty friend snopes.com and found out that this was indeed written by L H Sanders and did  appear in the 1943 edition of the magazine that was widely circulated at the time.

Now look at the eleven hints – which is your favourite?  I can imagine the uproar that would ensue if any company considered hint 4.  And I do like hint 8 as I feel much more confidant if I can keep my hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash my hands several times a day.

Discussion at the Hospice last week, from whence came this photocopy, centred around the various hints and hint 3 the “Husky girls” came out as top choice among the staff.

Women workers at war

Click here to read more about women at work during the 1940s.

And the band played Waltzing Matilda

Anzac flag

April 25th is a solemn day of remembrance here in NZ and in Australia.  It marks the sacrifices made by members of ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  when they joined  to fight alongside Britain in the first World War.

Young men flocked to join up having no earthly idea of what they were getting themselves into, but filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert, 192...

Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert, 1922 shows the landing at Anzac Cove, 25 April 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first deployment of the ANZACS  was at the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli.  The information the command  received about the terrain and an under estimation of the Turkish forces led to a disaster.  Nine months later the Allies withdrew leaving behind 46,000 dead.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.”
From Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s
“For the Fallen” first published in 1914.

This day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli where the cove has been renamed ANZAC Cove.  Many ex-servicemen and their families travel to Turkey each year.

And Waltzing Matilda?  This was the song played as the troops sailed out from Sydney, Australia at the start of that fateful enterprise.  Click here to hear John Williams singing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

I have written in more detail on this day both in 2011 and 2012.  It is a sad commentary on the people of the world that even after this “War to End All Wars” we still send our young men and women out to be slaughtered by ‘the enemy’.

LAST POST

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli.
Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald

And now there are no more survivors from Gallipoli.
RIP all the fallen and

Alec Campbell
Last Gallipoli survivor from Australia
(died May 2002 aged 103)

Alfred Douglas Dibley
Last Gallipoli survivor from New Zealand
(died 18 December 1997 aged 101)

See other posts:

More movies

I haven’t written about movies for a while, and so I thought that this would be a good time to do so.

We have seen several movies over the past few months and a few stand out in memory  Isn’t it amazing how often you see a movie, talk about it on the way home and then forget about it.

Well Les Miserables was a stand out movie and one I won’t forget.  I didn’t want to go as I really disliked the stage play that my DYS and I had seen years ago in Melbourne, Australia.  I felt that the show did little in portraying Victor Hugo’s classic which I had read many years before and which remains one of my favourites.  So having made this quite clear I reluctantly accompanied my friend to the cinema.  And I was not disappointed. I hated the movie.  Oh I know you are all agog that I could say that.  So many of my friends and acquaintances loved it – but not me.

A week or so later we saw Amour.  This soul-searching French movie left us speechless.  It was the story of Ann and Georges a past middle age couple who in the opening scenes are active and happy.  But Anne has a stroke and though her mind remains sharp, her motor skills have started to fail her.  An upsetting scene was when she was  in the bathroom and she had to call for  Georges.  We see him helping her up from the lavatory, pulling up her underwear and we see her looking over his shoulder with a look of resignation and some disgust that she has to rely on him so much.

The spiralling downhill of her health and therefore, their lives is frightening and reminds us that dementia and ill health respect nobody.

It was clear to us why this movie and the female actress won so many nominations in so many film festivals.  And at the end of the movie and after the credits had rolled and the lights came up nobody moved.  I think we were all shattered.

After that we saw QuartetThis is a comedy/drama tale about four aging musicians who reside in a retirement home for musicians.  The cast is made up of many well known British stars and a panoply of real life musicians comprise the supporting cast .  There is a tribute to these people at the end of the movie when we see them as they looked in their prime.

This is a lighthearted movie that I would recommend to anybody.  Pauline Collins is a delight as the scatterbrained Cissy who keeps repeating the phrase “Getting old is not for Cissies”.  Dame Maggie Smith as the latecomer diva Jean joins Cissy, Reg played by Tom Courtenay and the irrepressible Billy Connolly  as Wilf.  I would recommend this movie if you are looking for a movie that doesn’t cause you too many bad dreams.

We saw Performance a not to be missed movie about a string quartet and how they each react when the cellist and the leader of the group tells them that he may not be able to continue as he has early symptoms of Parkinson’s.  He really is portrayed as the spiritual leader of the group.  The quartet consists of the cellist two violins and a viola.  The group have been together for 25 years and Peter, the second violinist  is married to Juliet the violist.  We see how the other three react at the news and we watch the changes in the group wrought by the news.

The looming crisis drives a wedge into the clearly troubled marriage of the violist and the second violinist.   They have a twenty something daughter who gets physically involved with the first violinist, much to the dismay of her parents of course.

Lots of angst and soul-searching but another movie I strongly recommend to you.

And finally Barbara.  All I knew about the film was that it was set in East Germany before the wall came down and Barbara a doctor  is banished to a small medical centre in the provinces.  At no tine during the movie did we find out what her crime was – a brief comment about ‘her incarceration’ was made early in the film but no explanation followed.  We watch as Barbara is subjected to constant supervision and suffers the harassment  of  a local menacing state officer who searches her home and her person (of course carried out by an equally menacing woman) without complaint.  We understand that she cannot complain.

From her initial desire to keep to herself, Barbara forms a strong bond with a young runaway patient and over time she finds herself drawn to her boss, Andre, the head of the hospital.  We see her as she keeps a tryst with her lover, a West German, although it is difficult to accept that she can do so as she appears to be under constant surveillance.  And we never find out what he is doing in this remote area.

However, after we saw the film we picked up a leaflet at the cinema.  Had we done so earlier it would have made so much more sense to the film.  Barbara’s crime was wanting to escape to the west.  The young girl whom she befriends is in a state run orphanage and the young people are very badly treated and so constantly try to run away.

I am in two minds about this movie.  I don’t know hat I would recommend it, but if you do go to see it please find out some of the background before you do.

And here endeth my tour of the recent movies.  Some I have loved, two that come to you highly recommended, one that was thought provoking and rather close to home, one that I really did not like and one other about which I have reservations.  But make up your own minds if you see any or all of these movies.

“Everything I learned I learned from the
movies.”
― Audrey Hepburn

I love you

Waterfall

“And as the water continues in its downhill rush over rocks
and the thoughts continue to tumble around in my brain
with no defined pattern or path,
they eventually find and settle into a safe place
and the void is suddenly filled
and my mind is active once again.”
Judith Baxter, Mother, grandmother, sister,
friend and blogger 1938 –

Yesterday was my very least favourite day on the calendar.  I don’t look forward to 22 April as this was the day in which my DYS (not so Dashing Young Scotsman) gave up the fight and slipped quietly away from us.  So it is a sad day for me and the rest of the family.  And it is now unbelievably 15 years since that awful black day.

But today is another day and I am back to my normal self.  So what have I been thinking?

Well had I not met my DYS on that fateful day way back in 1957 what would my life be like and where would I be living.

At the time we met I had a steady beau to whom I had become engaged the previous year; sorry John you had to move aside for my love.  But had I married him I would now be ensconced no doubt in the stock broker belt in Surrey.  No he wasn’t a stockbroker but many business men live in the area and commute to the City each day.  Although by now he would have retired so would not have had to make the daily trek into town any longer.

I might have been one of those wives who have never worked but who spend their lives on charity committees, on the golf course, playing bridge and being “a lady who lunches”.  Not that there is anything wrong in any of these things.  I have always been active on committees and since I have been on my own have played golf and bridge too.  But in my busy working days I had little time for being a lady who lunched.

My children would have had a different father, different experiences and so different outcomes in their lives.  Of course, they would have been different people too.

I probably would have had grandchildren, but not the four handsome young men I call my grandsons.

My daughter-in-law from heaven would not be in my life nor would my charming son-in-law.

No doubt I would have visited many places in the world but would not have lived anywhere but England.  As it is I have lived in England, Scotland, New Zealand and Canada.

Would I have had a better life?  I doubt that.  Would I have been more loved?  Certainly not.  Do I wish I had followed that path?  Decidedly not.  I am pleased with the decisions made and the road taken on that fateful day when according to my young sister I came home and announced that I had met the man I was going to marry.  I guess that caused some confusion in the family as I was already engaged.

That earlier engagement was celebrated with a big formal party.  About 100 people were invited and one of my abiding memories of that day was the two of us dancing to our tune “Too Young” sung by Nat King Cole,  being played on the gramophone (do you remember those).  Well yes we were too young.  We had become engaged at 18 without either of us having had much experience of the world.  So my deciding to break that engagement probably did as much for him as it did for me.

Mind you I often wonder what happened to that young man.  We did keep in contact for a few years until we moved to Scotland – he even attended our wedding and he and my DYS became firm friends.  But then he became one of those people who are in your life for a Reason, or a Season but not for a Lifetime.

My Lifetime person was the one I married.   And shortly before he died we found this lovely poem by W H Auden.  He told me he thought it was written for us.  I am happy to share it here.

“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
And the salmon sing in the street,
I’ll love you till the ocean
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.”
From “As I Walked Out One Evening” by W.H. Auden

And because it is another day, the rain has gone and the sun is trying to shine I am also sharing my rainbow with you.

Rainbow

My rainbow

 

A Voyage of Discovery

After reading and commenting on Noelene’s blog today I trawled back to the very first blog I wrote on March 1, 2011.  This was an introduction of me to you (or anybody out there who wanted to read what I thought) and this post attracted no comments, no visitors and so I guess no interest.

I then went on to read some more of the early posts.  But writing a blog (and re-reading earlier posts) has been a learning process for me.   Clearly, I was growing more confident in what I was putting out to the blog and because of that, I was attracting more readers, comments and almost unbelievably, followers.

Many blogs that I follow focus on one or two aspects of life, themes or particular interests.  Mine just simply meanders around, aimlessly following the many and mixed pathways of this elderly woman’s mind. Note here – according to my grandsons the two words one doesn’t use around Granma are ‘Old” and “Age”.  When my No 2 grandson was about 9 I had a fall and an ambulance officer asked how old I was.  Robbie quickly jumped in and told the guy that we didn’t use that word around Granma but he knew that Granma was 39 plus GST (Goods and Services Tax).  The ambulance man was delighted and asked if he could use that phrase.

I have dwelt at some length on growing up in London during and after the war.  There are many posts on this subject and no doubt there will be many more.  These are written particularly for the four young men collectively known as my grandsons.  As my son has said on several occasions, and particularly when the boys were young, words to the effect that if he and his sister couldn’t understand what life was like then how could we expect the boys to understand.  So the series of posts on growing up was introduced.

I wrote about my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) and our travels, our children and our long and happy life together.  Then about his sudden death and the catalyst for writing my book ‘Suddenly Single’.  I told about the support and love that I received from family and friends at this time.

I have written about my love and friendship with my two sisters.   Although we live impossibly far away from each other we are still best friends.  During the riots in London in August 2011 and after speaking to my sister there, I penned this Ode to a Sister.

I have shared some of what I learned and passed on to clients during my time as a Life Coach.  I truly believe that I learned more from my clients than they ever did from me.

I introduced to you my programme called Memories – writing your memories for those who come after you.  This is where I coined the phrase – ‘To live in lives we leave behind is not to die”  So I wrote my memories and shared what I learned in so doing with others.  And this was easy and enjoyable.  I am currently working on putting the process into a book to share with others.

I told some tales of when I was the Wedding Coordinator at a historic church in Wellington.  Many more tales linger in my brain from this very happy time.  I said this was the best job I ever had and I meant it.

And I have let loose a few rants at what I consider to be the ridiculous behaviour of some people; the unthinking attitude of some in power; the naivety of some and the penalties they pay for being so, and on and on covering anything at all that takes my mind on that day and at that time.

I almost forgot my foray into writing fiction.  I received a postcard from my sister in the US and this led me to write the first in a series about hats.  Then Sallyann at Photographic Memories wrote a post about Cars and I read a challenge in that post.  So a continuation of the hats saga was embarked upon and we had lots of fun looking for the bonnets.  This saga took another turn when Thomas Stazyk introduced the ‘the swarthy gent in the Panama hat’ in a comment on one of the posts.  This saga is continuing.

And I cannot forget my darling Lotte; the Tibetan Spaniel who shared my life, my walks and my adventures until her untimely death a couple of months ago. She left a huge hole in my heart.  And now my new companion, the Beautiful Miss Bella is working her way into my heart.  She has a totally different attitude to life than Miss Lotte but she leaves nobody in any doubt that she loves me.  She is fiercely protective of me even though she weighs all of 5 kgs.

So in the two years in which I have been blogging, I have learned plenty.  I have met many friends in the blogosphere, have learned that I really like writing and would like to do more of it.  I have enjoyed my foray into fiction writing and have started writing poetry.

And just to forewarn you, I plan to keep blogging.  And a warning!

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me……………..
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.”
From “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, English Poet, 1932-

Book cover

Sunday Evening/Monday Morning

It has been a usual Sunday  open homes, walking Miss Bella and some rubber gloving around the house and now I am lying on the bed reading blogs on my tablet and listening to music from the 70s on the radio.  The music being played is the flipside of hits. These songs are as good as the A side in most cases.

Among the blogs I read tonight was this one that really touched a cord – raising5kidswithdisabilitiesandremainingsane.  I am amazed at how this woman deals with the challenges she faces each day and I wonder if I could do as well in the same situation.  Do go and visit her blog I am sure you will be glad you did.

And now the midnight news is on with the pending crisis in N Korea leading the news.  Many commentators around the world have agreed that this demi-god is threatening the peace not only in that region but possibly in the wider world.  Let’s hope that common sense prevails before the situation heads into war.

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

What kind of country are we when people rejoice that an old lady had a stroke and died?

I had to reblog this I am embarrassed at the actions of some of my country men and women

One Year On

Andy arriving at the Hospice

Checking he is in the right place and looking for his friends

The highlight of the day as always on Thursday is the visit to the Hospice.  Are you all getting bored hearing about this?

This year is the 100th anniversary of the death of the Venerable Mary Potter and many celebrations of remembrance are proposed.

And looking back on last year’s blog I see that on this day Lotte and I were Looking for Andy.  Do you remember the armadillo and the adventures he had (we had) when he was visiting us?  I wonder where the little fellow is now and if he has arrived back home with Lenore Diane.

Well now on to today.  This is my lovely daughter’s birthday.  We don’t go overboard for birthdays in our family which is just as well because she had taken off today with the basketball team she coaches for a competition this weekend.  So there will be no riotous celebrations, she has to keep these young men in control.

Her own boys are spending the weekend with their father.  This all seems to be working out well for the family.  When they are with their father, apart from driving them to the various sports fixtures (they can’t get there easily from his house) he devises all sorts of interesting things for them to do together.

And lunchtime at the hospice today was rather a hectic affair.  Clients/patients choose what they want for lunch shortly after breakfast each morning,  Well today something went wrong and we had the wrong food for a couple of people.  No problem really; it just meant my going to the kitchen and reorganising the lunches.  This of course, takes time and throws the timing out.  So that by the time we got back to the first people with their desserts some had gone to sleep having become tired of waiting.

The lady from the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) usually comes on Thursday with one or two dogs in tow.  These dogs are those available for adoption and most clients are pleased to see her each week.  Well, today she didn’t turn up and one elderly lady asked plaintively where the dogs were.  Obviously they derive a certain comfort and normalcy from the animals.  One man who has been there for several weeks has his wife bring in their dogs – two very large dogs from South Africa.  They could eat my Bella in one chomp but they are very quiet and placid.

Bella is settling down, barking less and accepting my friends and family when they come to visit.  She is still my shadow and doesn’t like me to leave her but today she slept in the car while I was in the hospice.  I do think she prefers that to being left at home, and as the weather is becoming cooler (by the day almost) it is not too hot for her to be left in the car.  She joins us on the terrace for lunch on sunny days and so doesn’t spend too long in the car alone.  Of course, her exuberance and delight when I return has to be seen to be believed.  She reminds me of the Energizer bunny jumping up with all four feet in the air.

And from my little book of dog wisdom* :-

“Life is a precious gift.
Treat it delicately and be grateful for it,
but most importantly celebrate and enjoy it”

* dog wisdom to lift your spirits and brighten your day.  Published by Blue Angel Gallery, Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Father’s Hands

I have said before that I read and use Judy Reeves “A Creative Writer’s Kit”  As part of this kit there is a book called ‘Prompts and Practices”.  Each day of the year has a suggestion for what to write.  And today’s was “Write about your father’s hands”.

Well if you have been reading or following me for a while now you will know that I consider myself the luckiest person alive in that my father was a fabulous person.    I wrote about him in September last year – Memories of My Father. He was a special man.

But now his hands.  These were the strong hands of a working man.  He had been a cabinetmaker all his life and so his hands were rough to the touch and scarred from using and being nicked by his tools.  The hands were strong and capable.  Apart from being a master craftsman, he was a virtual jack of all trades.  He it was who reupholstered the couch when it needed to be done; he decorated the apartment and then our house, he fixed leaking pipes and he fixed his daughters’ lives when any of his girls were unhappy.

On my wedding day, those were the hands that held mine in the car on the way to the church and those were the hands that passed me over into the care of my DYS (dashing young Scotsman).

Those were the hands that lovingly cradled his first grandchild the day she was born.  Those hands went on to cradle each of the other grandchildren in turn.

Those were the hands that helped a small boy build with Meccano pieces and on a later visit showed that small boy how to use some of his tools.

Those were the hands that picked up small people when they had mishaps with their tricycles.

The nails were short and bluntly cut.  I remember when I was visiting him in London late in his life that I offered to do his nails for him.  He agreed and so the next day when I went to see him I took my manicure things with me.  Of course, I had no intention of giving him a manicure, it was just to get a laugh out of him.  He took one look at all the implements and said: “Just cut the nail straight across”.  However, he did enjoy my applying hand cream.

So my memories of my father’s hands are many.  He was a good man and his hands feature in many of my memories of him.

Sadly he is no longer with us and is sorely missed by his three daughters and their families.  At his funeral, they played “Unforgettable” and that certainly sums up my father.

“To live in lives we leave behind is not to die.”
Judith Baxter, daughter, sister & friend.

Dead Heat

I have talked before about one of my favourite authors, Bronwyn Parry.  Bronwyn  romantic suspense novels set in Australia’s wild places. She lives on 100 acres of  Australian bushland, and travels extensively through rural and outback areas of the country for background research for the novels.

I read Bronwyn’s  first novel, “As Darkness Falls” a few years ago and then discovered that in 2007 it won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for best romantic suspense manuscript in 2007.  In 2008 it was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award.

Then I read her  second novel, “Dark Country”and found that it was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America RITA Awards and the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2010.  It also  won the Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Romantic Suspense novel of 2009.

And then sad news.  Bronwyn could not attend the RITA Awards in 2010 as she was awaiting brain surgery.  Fortunately, she seems to have made a complete recovery and last year her third novel “Dead Heat” was released.  This is another great read, set in the Australian outback – a romantic suspense novel indeed.

Dead Heat

Then a few days ago I received an email with the exciting news that “Dead Heat” is a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the Romance Writers of America RITA awards.  This is great news for Bronwyn, her very supportive partner/soul mate and her readers and this time Bronwyn is well enough to travel to the USA for the awards.  How exciting for her and how pleased those of us who follow her are.  This time hopefully, there will not be a dead heat and her novel will win the award.

For those of you who don’t know. Bronwyn says “The RITA awards are often described as the ‘Oscars’ for the romance genre – the winners are announced at the gala awards night at the end of the Romance Writers of America conference, which this year will be in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 17-20th.”

I wish I could be there to cheer her on.

Clapping hands

“There are three rules for writing a novel.
Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham