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

Mistletoe nonsense 2023 #2: Sister Boniface just about gets away with it.

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Following my last entry, about the wildly inaccurate account of mistletoe in Ideal Homes magazine this month, I now offer some light relief, as my second example of recent mistletoe inaccuracy is more humorous, and much less annoying!. It is the 2023 Christmas Special of TV’s Sister Boniface Mysteries broadcast a few days ago (and viewable on demand on UK TV Play in the UK). The plot, a light-hearted and undemanding whodunnit based, very very […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , social history , stupidity , toxicity

Mistletoe nonsense 2023 #1: Ideal Home far from ideal

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Quite a lot of nonsense written about mistletoe again this season, I never cease to be amazed by how much mis-information there is out there. Though as Roy Vickery, a  plant-lore expert at the Natural History Museum once said in one of his books some years ago; ‘more nonsense has been written about mistletoe than any other plant’ so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised. Much of it relates to toxicity, confused understanding of differing […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Doctor Who , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Other parasites , social history , toxicity

Mistletoe Meows

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It’s Mistletoe Kitten Time! Mistletoe Diary has been a little inactive this season, largely due to colds, coughs and similar delights, but I’m easing back into it now starting with the easy-win of cats and kittens – as they’re always popular online (as I understand it).  There is no immediately obvious mistletoe link, so I could just fill the page with some pictures of cute kitties with mistletoe, like these (left).  But I can’t leave […]

berries , Biodiversity , birds , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , MistleGO , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history , surveying mistletoe

MistleGO! A new mistletoe survey launched!

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A brand new mistletoe survey has just been launched by the Tree Council and Oxford University, as an app-based citizen science project to assess the state of mistletoe in Britain. Not just where is it, but what quantities exist. This is new, and exciting, as it will help determine what is happening with mistletoe here -it seems to be spreading more and faster, but we need a new study to assess this, and to create […]

auctions , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history , Tenbury Wells

Missing mistletoe at Tenbury Auctions

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The first of the seasonal mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells was held on Tuesday this week (second one is next Tuesday, 28th Nov). It featured fewer mistletoe lots than I’ve ever seen at these auctions. I’ve been attending these annually for over 30 years, so it was a surprise, actually quite a shock. Many many holly lots, but very little mistletoe. It’s not completely clear why so little was there. One partial explanation may be […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , druids , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Religion , Science , social history , toxicity

Locating Lindow Man

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Whilst in Cheshire last weekend, on non-mistletoe business in Wilmslow, we took the opportunity to visit Lindow Moss, the peatbog where the bog body known as Lindow Man (and also, sometimes, as plain Pete Marsh) was discovered in 1984. The discovery of some mistletoe material in his gut, and some of the over-fanciful interpretations of that, has been discussed by me in the diary before – see 2009 and 2011 – and I thought it […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Mistletoe Day , Science , social history , Tenbury Wells

Mistletoe time, again – news and updates for 2023/24

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A slightly late start to the blog this year – but announcing all the usual stuff; the berries are looking good, whitening up already, mistletoe events are being organised, mistletoe studies are being planned and mistletoe commerce is underway. In events news there are the usual mistletoe auctions at Tenbury Wells – this year on Tuesday 21st and Tuesday  28th November. Details for buyers and sellers are at https://nickchampion.co.uk/auctions/holly-and-mistletoe/ or, if you just want to watch, […]

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

The Journal of Ecology has a new, and long-planned, mistletoe paper

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There’s a new, multi-authored, mistletoe paper just published in Journal of Ecology, which has been years in the making! It’s part of the British Ecological Society’s long-running series ‘Biological Flora of the British Isles‘, in which every paper covers the biology and autecology of just one species.  In this case mistletoe, Viscum album.  You can read the promotional blog (How green is kissing under the mistletoe?) about it on the Journal website here, but don’t […]

auctions , berries , Biodiversity , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history , Tenbury Wells

The ‘return’ of the kissing tradition (says the BBC)

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A fairly thorough mistletoe feature on prime time TV this week – 4 minutes of it on The One Show on BBC One on 8th December.  Richie Anderson, the voice of travel news on BBC R2, but more notorious this year as a flamboyant Strictly Come Dancing contestant, spent a day in north Worcestershire visiting the mistletoe-laden apple orchards at Commonwood Farm and the wholesale mistletoe auctions in Tenbury Wells.  The final edit must have […]

auctions , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history , Tenbury Wells

Badgers trading mistletoe in the 1860s

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Tenbury Wells may have the only specialist mistletoe market in Britain today but there were many others in the past. Almost every market town in the mistletoe-rich parts of Worcestershire and Herefordshire played a role at one time, particularly from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. The Victorian passion for the kissing custom combined with the new easy transport by railways led to a huge trade. To get a feel for the trade at that time it […]