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 , Current Affairs , druids , Food and Drink , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Mistletoe and Orchards on ITV today

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Plenty of mistletoe mentions on ITV this morning – all within the 2 hour show Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh (on ITV Hub here).  Helped along a bit by Sir Cliff ‘Mistletoe and Wine‘ Richard being the main guest. Christmas swag-making featured about 30 minutes in – with plenty of mistletoe incorporated into a very long decoration.  Some good mentions of how sticky the berries are, and their need for light when germinating, but […]

Blogroll , Food and Drink , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Is a Mistletoe Market about mistletoe?

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Or just a generic Christmassy-themed retail-fest? The phrase Mistletoe Market is fairly uncommon here in the UK – the mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells are sometimes called this, but not often.  We also have a few Mistletoe Fairs – some more mistletoey than others (of which more in another post soon) – but we have few events formally called a Mistletoe Market. But cross the atlantic and the US is brimming with ‘mistletoe markets’, some […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Birdlime #1 – Sticky Ends

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Turdus ipse sibi malum cacat, an old latin proverb, relates directly to mistletoe, and to the capture of birds.  It translates as ‘the thrush excretes its own trouble (or death)’ and is all about Birdlime, a sticky substance once used widely to capture small birds.  One of the traditional, and perhaps fundamental, ingredients of Birdlime, was mistletoe, especially the sticky juice form the berries.  The proverb is about mistle thrushes, eating mistletoe berries and creating […]

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

Lots of berries – and they’ll be all white on the night…

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Nearly mistletoe harvesting time, with the berries ripening nicely. And, on the mistletoe here in the Severn Vale at least, there are lots of berries.  Again (several years running now). There’s a slide show below showing some pictures I took this week in the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust‘s orchards at Longney, demonstrating the huge number of berries in the (handful of) mistletoe-laden apple trees there. Most of the berries have whitened up now, though some are […]

Biodiversity , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

A visit to Cotehele’s Christmas Garland, and to see their mistletoe too

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Cotehele House, the National Trust estate on the Tamar estuary, is famous for its Christmas Garland; a 60-foot long flower-filled decoration they hang in the Hall each year. The dried flowers used are all grown in the estate garden, where there is also, as I’ve probably mentioned before, a large colony of mistletoe in the apple orchard. Mistletoe is fairly rare in this part of the south-west, so the mistletoe is significant. The orchard is […]

Biodiversity , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistletoe , Religion , Science

Mistletoe Drones – silly and serious

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Today sees the first of the 2014 Tenbury Mistletoe Auctions – and I’m unable to be there. So instead here’s a story (two stories actually – a serious one and a silly one) about mistletoe drones. The Mistletoe Diary has covered mistletoe drone stories before, notably last year when some ‘interactive artists’ deployed a mistletoe-bearing drone in Union Square, San Francisco. This year reports of similar initiatives are coming in from all over the place. This […]

Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistletoe , Science , Travel

Mistletoe, Good Luck and War

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Earlier this month I contributed to a local WW1 exhibition with some documents and correspondence relating to my Great Uncle Clifford, who died in July 1918 as a Prisoner of War. He shipped to France on 2nd April and was immediately sent to serve in the trenches but on 27th May, after just 8 weeks at war, he was captured. Several official ‘I am a Prisoner of War’ postcards were sent home and a longer […]