Blogged or Bogged?

Blogged, not bogged …

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In my very first blog post as President of CWA I talked about being blogged or bogged and what our predecessors would have thought about terminologies used today. I’m only re-visiting this because I needed to use the term blogged. As in I’m blogged out. Too many other things going on! Including some rain. Nowhere near enough to get seriously bogged though!

I have found for your entertainment, a very interesting article from one of our old Journals that I hope you will enjoy and I will endeavour to have some remarkably intelligent and witty dialogue for you by next week … well maybe only witty … or not? I’ll think of something …

 

THE COUNTRY WOMAN, MAY 1974

So, What’s New?

A Sydney television channel recently despatched a woman reporter, armed with a bra of truly gargantuan proportions, to a department store, where she accosted a number of shoppers. Having told them that, when metric sizes are applied to bras, a bust measurement of 34in will become 87 cm*, she held out her “prop” – presumably an 87in bra – and asked them what they thought of ‘an 87″.

The reaction to this light-hearted gag was fairly predictable. Some women giggled, others doubted that they would “ever understand it”, one young woman seemed favourably disposed to the idea of being “an 87”, and one man said with considerable, if perhaps unconscious, acumen that it didn’t matter – “it will be just the same, won’t it?”

It will, indeed, be “just the same”. Women will not change; they will continue to select a bra that fits, just as we all will continue to “try on” most things before buying them.

The Metric Conversion Board’s discussion with manufacturers of bras began back in 1972. The task was to decide on a range of sizes to replace 34in, 36in, etc (A, B and C cups) – increments of 2in. Incidentally, it is quite obvious that women’s bust measurements do not vary in increments and, therefore, it is equally obvious that some women find it easier to obtain bras that fit comfortably than do other women. The eventual decision to introduce a range of sizes in 5 cm increments – 85 cm, 90 cm, 95 cm, etc (A, B and C cups) – meant that certainly no fewer women would be able to find a bra that fitted almost perfectly, as the metric increments are slightly less 5 cm = 1.968in.

The metric range is now progressively replacing imperial sizes. It is expected that 12 months from now Australian women will “have gone metric” in this important area.

It is not only bras that are appearing in metric sizes. Women’s, children’s and infants’ metric sized clothing is becoming increasingly available. Men’s metric sizes will become prevalent a little later. It should be emphasised that the women’s clothing code is unaffected. For example, the woman who is a size 12 will continue to be a size 12 – unless, of course, she herself “puts on” a few additional kilograms!

Nor are shoe sizes affected. Socks and hose sized to fit shoe sizes remain unchanged, too, although inch sizes will be converted to centimetres.

For the woman who makes some of her own, or her children’s clothes, 4 March was an important date. From that date all piece goods – dress materials, curtain materials, furnishing fabrics, etc was sold by the metre and tenth of a metre (10 cm).

“Going metric” in the apparel sector will cause scarcely a ripple. The best advice to a customer in doubt is the same as it has always been: “Try it on, or ask an assistant”.

* NOTE: No woman will be “an 87”. The “34” will be an “85”, the “36” will be a “90”.

 Courtesy MBC NewsletterAweil, maternal and child health care

What goes around, comes around …

I recently had cause to troll through some old Country Woman magazines and try as I might to stick to the task at hand, I kept allowing myself to be distracted by all sorts of other interesting finds (like how to tenderise my husband!). Consequently my research took much longer than originally planned but provided me with a revelation which I can now share with you; these “snippets” are not our first! I haven’t discovered when they started or how often or long they ran for yet, but here is one for you to enjoy from August 1980, whilst contemplating karma, as I did. And in case you are curious, I will include how to tenderise a husband as well (July 1977). Cheers!

Snippets

Husband

 

 

 

“I don’t want to say, I told you so, but…..”

State Conference 1969 at Sydney Town Hall

The 1969 State Conference at Sydney Town Hall

“Towards the end of the 1960s, the numerical strength of the CWA began to decline…..A major concern of the Association was its failure to attract younger women. In 1969 the Country Woman commented that perhaps the older members had become complacent, even boring:  ‘The majority of our members are past their youth and with the best will in the world, cannot guarantee their present level of service…’”. ¹

And here I was thinking that direct and sometimes blunt comments were a new addition (or subtraction depending on your personal preference or viewpoint) to our social skill set! The chapter, titled Soul Searching (from Serving The Country by Helen Townsend), goes on to record, “It was felt the Association should make an effort to appeal to women who were more educated, ‘as younger women tend to be’ and to fit in with their lifestyle, ‘not have meetings late in the afternoon, when husbands come home, children have to be met and dinner cooked’”.²

The last comment will probably engender different thoughts depending on your point of view but for my part (especially when the kids were younger) a late afternoon meeting, which might have included a social drink/occasion, would have been the ideal excuse (& still is…) to opt out of the end of day multi-tasking duties, most often still assigned to women.

However, as usual, I digress. The point I am trying to make is that over the years various suggestions and ideas have been put forward to increase membership, preferably of the younger variety and inevitably we, the members of CWA of NSW have, in trying to achieve this goal, relied on “…substantial past achievements…” and “…have given ‘no thought to the humbug of “blowing its own trumpet”³.

I might, at the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered, also suggest that no thought would ever have been given to pay someone else to blow that trumpet.

Well, the adages of “fresh eyes….”, “nothing ventured…” and “you have to spend money…” spring to mind. As does the reminder of how much I moaned when, during my childhood, my mother would preach proverbs!

What I want to say, if I can reign in my thoughts, is that the State Executive Committee, at its recent quarterly meeting, gave approval to retain a Public Relations (PR) firm to promote the association to the wider public with a view to increasing membership and changing perceptions. OMG!

Before this news had (mostly) filtered into Branch land I had one of our, few, very young members ask whether CWA of NSW would consider hiring a PR agency to better market the organisation and its aims to women her age, because that’s how they could be attracted. Remember my comment about ‘fresh eyes’. In the same week I had another member of, shall we say, a different generation and who was clearly a part of ‘the grapevine’, suggest that those funds would be better spent elsewhere.

My thoughts, based on the response we had to the increased publicity secured by the aforementioned PR firm during our Awareness Week, compared to every week since, is that it will be money well spent.

If not, then I will have to wear the “I told you so”!

¹, ², ³ Serving The Country, Helen Townsend, pp209, 210