Chocolate-flavoured kisses

Chocbox1(click to enlarge any pics)

Well, here's the news on the Galaxy Mistletoe Kisses for 2009. They are still available as bars – which were described here, and compared to Hotel Chocolat's upmarket but vaguely similar product, last year.

But this season they've gone for a fancier version too. A bit OTT on the packaging perhaps, but nicely done (resting on my unripe mistletoe in this picture) - and as before actively promoting that kissing tradition. Except, of course, that they don't provide any mistletoe, just a representation on the packet.

Chocbox2 You might think I'd be disappointed by the picture on the packet, as it's not very accurate – and yes I am. It's the usual sloppy Christmassy artistic impression, placing berries between the leaves when they should be set in the stem axil below the leaves. A detail? Yes. But it's the botanical equivalent, to mistletoe fans, of writing Xmas instead of Christmas.

BUT, on opening the individually-wrapped sweeties all is forgiven! For there, embossed on each, is a miniature, but botanically accurate, portrayal of mistletoe.

Choc1 I took this pic to prove it, just before we ate them all.

AutumnWatch – wot, no mistletoe?

Autumnwatch Just been watching the first of this year's AutumnWatch on BBC2, in which, amongst other stuff, they visited the Weston's Cider apple orchards in Herefordshire. Their researchers had approached me, a few weeks ago, to get info on what they could say and do with mistletoe in this feature, as there is a lot of mistletoe there. But no word since, so I wasn't sure what they might cover.

A promising start – lots of talk about the richness of wildlife in orchards, from the birdies through to the insects, and a promise of a mini-wildlife census. And, yes, a close-up of an apple tree complete with very obvious mistletoe.

But no, no mention of mistletoe at all – not even the new trendy Mistletoe Marble Moth campaign, which neatly demonstrates how species rely on each other (in this case a rare moth that lives on mistletoe, which itself lives precariously on apple trees, which are, in the orchard context, threatened).

I shouldn't grumble – they had a lot to squeeze into an hour, much more than just orchards. If you missed it and want to view it again the iplayer link is here (will only be available for a week or so, depending on the repeat day).

I was distracted, meanwhile, by Chris Packham (c 48) talking about learning about Longworth mammal traps with his biology teacher at school – which I (also c 48) did too. We clearly went to different schools – 'cos the name he gave for his biology teacher was not Terry Easter (who was mine), but maybe they had the same type of interesting maverick staff who strayed from the curriculum to do some real teaching? And then he mentioned his Physics teacher – first as Mr Greenaway and then as Greenway. Mine was a Mr Greenway too. Were they the same? Initials DAG? Also known as Aquadag (for obscure graphite colloid reasons). Whatever happened to David 'Aquadag' Greenway and Nuffield A level physics?  And how big is his bald patch now??

Back to mistletoe tomorrow – consumer (er, me) research now available on Galaxy Mistletoe Chocolate…