Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history

Are there Nargles in your mistletoe?

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If you’re worried about Nargles in your mistletoe then you’ve probably been reading too much Harry Potter, for that’s the only world where they occur. If indeed they occur at all. Even in the Potter world the only evidence of their existence is from Luna Lovegood, a fellow Hogwarts student, who suggests they are mischievous beings who steal things. And often live in mistletoe. Her mistletoe remarks are made in Chapter 21 of Harry Potter […]

berries , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe sales – a measure of economic recovery?

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US economic news organisation Marketplace visited the Tenbury Well Mistletoe Auctions a week or so ago, for a radio broadcast discussing whether mistletoe sales reflect post-covid economic recovery here in the UK. The general feeling at the auctions was upbeat, which is great – though bear in mind this was recorded just before the Omicron variant hit the news. Marketplace’s UK reporter Stephen Beard presents the piece, interviewing auctioneer Nick Champion, Festival organiser Diann Dowell […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Mistletoe at Longney, plus a wannabe Road Runner pheasant

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A quick wander round the orchards at Longney, south of Gloucester, today. These are the orchards managed by the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust – two old surviving orchards, called Long Tyning and Bollow and two newly planted orchards called, less excitingly, Middle and Lower. All adjoining the upper reaches of the tidal Severn. Today was primarily to see how the mistletoe there is faring – and what management might be needed this winter. Beautiful weather, unseasonably […]

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 , 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 , 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 […]