A Mistletoe Mixture

Christmas Eve at last – and I can be sure that after tonight mistletoe queries will reduce dramatically – not that I don’t welcome them, but it’s always a relief to have a break after a mistletoe-filled November and December. It’s not just me, Caroline agrees with this as well (probably more so).

The mistletoe madness starts today at 0730 hours, with the postman delivering a large box. Still in bed, and with the house-alarm set, I’m not entirely a respectable figure dashing to the door, but I s’pose nothing shocks a postie. The package is the Lachenal china (see previous blogs) and I’m keen to unwrap it – it’s just like Christmas! After lots of polystyrene and bubble-wrap I finally get my prizes, and cracked and chipped as they are I’m v pleased to have them.

Back to bed and next jolt is at 0750 – my mother rings to ask had I been watching? Er, no. I’d apparently just been on BBC TV Breakfast News talking about the bugs that live on mistletoe, but I’d missed it. No matter, I knew what I’d said – I was there when it was recorded… But good to know it was on – there was a possibility it was just going to be on News 24 and so inaccessible to most people I know (including us here – no digital TV coverage for Stonehouse – we should get a reduction in licence fee…).

And then the Royal Mail at the door again! This time with a mistletoe print from ‘The Graphic’, an illustrated London paper. This is a famous picture from the December 1876 edition, all the way from Canada, courtesy of Ebay. Pleased to have it, slightly saddened it’s yet more evidence these old papers are simply being cut up and sold as individual sheets, but I bought it so mustn’t grumble. Though I spent some time perusing a print stall at an antiques fair in Moreton-in-Marsh yesterday, and whilst tempted by the prints displayed did get put off by the idea they were effectively dismembered books.

And then they call AGAIN! A third postie and third van – not v efficient (?) but it is Christmas and I recall from my stints as a temp postman (c 1980, 81 and 82) that it is pretty busy down the sorting office. This time it’s yet another Ebay win – I won’t go into details but its a pack of mistletoe-branded er, romantic stuff, from Tennessee. Mistletoe stuff from Canada, France and Nashville, all within an hour, not bad.

Just time to relax a bit before a scheduled call from BBC Radio Glos at 0830. About mistletoe of course, and the current media pre-occupation with the bumper (‘record’ if you believe the media) harvest this year. But no prob and happy to help.

And now no mistletoe for ages (and can nip down the Co-op to get breakfast) – well, until 1015, when I do a scheduled call to Radio Essex. this one is more interesting, as they have a local wholesaler on the line who’s recently been over to France to harvest material, and Matt Shardlow from Buglife talking about the invertebrate life of mistletoe. So Matt and i do a sort of reprise on the BBC TV piece from earlier, and the wholesaler chap (Bill) talks about what makes good saleable mistletoe.

The Buglife link is interesting – their Christmas newsletter covers the mistletoe inverts in some detail – will see if I can upload a copy to the blog – and/or provide a link…

And then no more mistletoe all day… Apart from hanging some up – it is Christmas after all…