How to Catch a Parrot & other tips from a Bygone Era. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A good source for low-tech tips are those books for the busy housewife published at the turn or the century.Sometimes known as an "Enquire Withins",they can be picked up for a dollar or two in junk shops/charity shops etc. A few tips from my copy.You could try them & see whether they work but use your own judgement as to the safety aspects:-

1.To make a lamp wick.-a very good lamp wick can be made from an old felt hat,cut into strips.It is far better than a real lamp wick.

2.Home-made Baking Powder.-6ozs of bicarbonate of soda,6ozs tartaric acid,2 ozs ground rice,1 oz of flour.Mix & store in a glass jar.

3.A simple particle water filter can be made from a clean garden flower pot,8 or 9 ins high.Place a small sponge into the hole at the bottom.Then place in pot,a layer of charcoal 2 ins deep,a layer of sand & 3 ins of clean gravel.Fix this over some vessel & allow water to pass through the layers.Renew now & again.

4 Destroying Blackbeetles.-A little strong essence of peppermint should be pored down the crevices & covered in with fresh putty.

4a.Beetles,Coakroaches,Crickets can be cleared in a fortnight by sprinkling borax around the cracks & crevices.renew the borax every two or three days.

5.To preserve lemons.-Place lemons in layers of sand so that they are stalk down & not touching each other.Store in a cool place.

6.An easy & economical way of lighting a fire.-Soak a cinder in a tin of paraffin overnight.Place the cinder on some paper & cover with small lumps of coal.

7.To get rid of mice.-Plaster their holes up with a mixture of rice & pepper.

8.Stewing Fruit.-When stewing fruit put a quarter teaspoonful of sodium bicarbonate into the fruit.This will save about a third of the sugar usually required.

9.Smokeless Wicks.-A wick that has been pre-soaked(then dried) in vinegar will never smoke.

AND FINALLY To catch an escaped parrot.Never chase after a parrot as this will frighten him(this applies to geese,ducks & hens also.).Get a walking stick & hold before his feet about an inch off the ground.He will soon hop on.Gently lift the stick to the cage door,and in polly goes,thus saving time & labour.

This tip works.We had a parrot for 50 years.However parrots always want to climb to the highest point so you must hold the parrot end of the walking stick higher than your hand otherwise the parrot can walk up & give you a very nasty bite!

-- Chris (, March 21, 1999


Great hints. My mother had a wartime Mrs. Beeton's but I think she must have thrown it away at some point, unfortunately. It was full of home remedies for wrinkles, gripe water, and so on. Please post some more from your books.

Sweetie and I are very fond of dead parrots. We met because of the legendary Python sketch. (He was doing a very good imitation of Cleese and--dammit, can't think of his name!--for friends at a club where a bunch of like-minded people hung out.) Anyway, his English accent was superb, especially considering he's from West Texas, and I was immediately interested in a Pythonphile Yank. Sweetie's first gift to me was a rubber chicken, and we've been going downhill ever since.

Not from an old book, from Consumer Reports: glass cleaner--1/2 cup white vinegar, add water to make 1 gallon. Put a drop of blue food coloring in it if you like.

-- Old Git (, March 21, 1999.

WAs IT NoT ThaT IDioT MIchAeL PaLiN????? WaS HE noT SLeePINg oNLy????? JAcKaL!!!

-- Dieter (, March 21, 1999.

Yesss! Of COURSE it was Palin. It was suggested that he was sleeping, but it was also suggested that, being a Norwegian Blue, he was pining for the fjords.

-- Old Git (, March 21, 1999.

More handy hints coming up sometime this week as requested.Sadly no more tips about parrots for all you fans of the Pythons ! BUT A great hint on how to find a dead rat under the floorboards without ripping the floor apart !You never might come in useful!

-- Chris (, March 21, 1999.

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