Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Science , social history

The innocence of H1N1 and mistletoe

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Discussing the mistletoe kissing crisis with a reporter recently I recalled the ‘Kissing Etiquette’ devised by Debretts, in conjunction with the Tenbury Mistletoe Festival, back in 2009. That was in the winter of the H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic – a time that seems so innocent now. As does the kissing advice of the day – which was, basically, that kissing on the cheeks is more hygienic that on the mouth. Which is very probably true. […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Science

Can mistletoe save the honeyeater?

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The Regent Honeyeater, Anthochaera phrygia, an Australian bird, was once so common that its call was heard everywhere. Today, following much habitat loss over several decades, plus recent bushfires, it is endangered, with just a few hundred left. Indeed it is so rare that young males can no longer learn their mating calls, there being insufficient older males for them to learn from.  No mating call = no mating. Which makes a bad situation even […]

druids , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Dodgy Mistletoe Spin-offs 1957: Tony Hancock, sub-Druid 476

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Ok, this isn’t a 2021 mistletoe spin-off, it’s a January 1957 one, but re-broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra yesterday (8th December 2021). In this episode of Hancock’s Half Hour, the thirteenth in the fourth series, the lad himself (Tony H) is spooked by the unlucky number 13 (he is triskaidekaphobic) and takes to his bed, refusing to take part. He explains he’s from a suspicious part of the world (Birmingham!) and is afraid ‘the […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistletoe , social history

Dodgy Mistletoe Spin-offs 2021 #1 The Smooching Sweater

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The first of a few rather tasteless mistletoe-themed things for this season. Thankfully it’s too late to get this one – the Smooching Sweater – now, so there’s no need to worry. Unless someone managed to get you one for Christmas. Each sweater had to be won though – you couldn’t just buy one. The competition closed at the end of November, so they may already be collectibles.  And it was US-based, not here in […]

berries , Blogroll , social history

Mistletoe Mysteries

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There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of novels with mistletoe in the title, though they are, mostly, romantic fiction and I tend to ignore those. But I was reminded, recently, of P.D.James’ The Mistletoe Murder (published in The Spectator in 1991 and in anthology The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories in 2016) and realised I couldn’t remember the plot, particularly the mistletoe bit, assuming there is one. So I re-read it yesterday and re-found, to my […]

berries , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe sales

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Nick Champion’s reports of this season’s mistletoe auctions are now available.  As usual, these don’t give much detail, so don’t get excited:  First auction, 23rd November 2021 “The mistletoe was of better quality [than the holly] and met a solid demand.” 1st Quality Mistletoe fetched up to £3.50 per kg with an average of £2.50 per kg 2nd Quality Mistletoe fetched up to £1.50 per kg with an average of £1.00 per kg Second auction, […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Omicron! Snog, Mistletoe, Avoid?

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Having never watched the BBC TV Series ‘Snog Marry Avoid?” I know very little about it, except that it is about whether someone is more, or less, attractive after a make-over. Nicking the concept for Covid-19 variants, I wonder whether someone standing under mistletoe this December will be more, or less, attractive now that we have the Omicron variant. Less attractive is, logically, the answer, and now we have a relatively sensible government minister (a […]

berries , Current Affairs , social history

Happy National Mistletoe Day!

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As all mistletoe enthusiasts should know, today,  1st December, is National Mistletoe Day, first announced way back in 2005.  That was when it was put forward, after representations by myself and other members of the original Tenbury English Mistletoe Enterprise team, in an Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament. It was never taken any further than that at parliamentary level, so perhaps has no formal status. But no-one actually objected, so that was good […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe Auction Time

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The first Mistletoe Auction of the year takes place tomorrow morning, which to many means the proper start of the mistletoe season. The auctions are run by Nick Champion and are held at at Burford House Garden Centre, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ.  Details on Nick’s website nickchampion.co.uk but shortcut for buyers is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/buyers_information_2021.pdf and for sellers (too late for tomorrow now but there’s another next week!) is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/sellers_information_2021.pdf. The berries are already nice and […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history

It’ll be mistletoe time again soon

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With just a few days until October, we’re yet again at the start of the mistletoe season. So it is perhaps time for a quick review of how things are looking this time round: As is fairly usual these days, there’s a reasonable crop of berries forming, so it could be another good year for quality mistletoe. This seems to be the norm, and indeed there is research that suggests berry numbers per branch don’t, […]