Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

Ahhh Biska!

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In urban myth Tequila is flavoured by a worm in each bottle. This is, of course, untrue. Only certain types of Mezcal (similar to Tequila) bottles have worms – and even those aren’t worms, they’re moth larvae from the Agave plants that are fermented to make the drink. Not worms, and not in Tequila. Popular belief will also tell you that mistletoe is toxic, dangerously so. So you might think it’s a myth that there’s […]

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

Some mistletoe events at Tenbury Wells 2018

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Tenbury is hosting its mistletoe auctions and festival again this year. Mistletoe Auction dates are: Tuesday 27th November Tuesday 4th December Tuesday 11th December All take place at Burford House Garden Stores, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ and are organised by Nick Champion. Buyer information is downloadable here Seller information is downloadable here Registration documents are available here   Druid Mistletoe Ceremony is on Saturday 1st December This is organised by The Mistletoe Foundation who […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Doctor Who , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

A wander around in the nucleus of mistletoe country

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Berkeley Power Station, the UK’s first commercial nuclear power plant, sits on the edge of the River Severn in Gloucestershire. Opened in 1962 and closed in 1989 it still dominates the area, though it is now in advanced stages of decommission. And it is surrounded by mistletoe, as this is the nucleus (geddit??) of UK mistletoe country. Its sister Oldbury (operating 1967-2012, famous for featuring in Blake’s 7 and Doctor Who episodes) is visible a little […]

Media , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

World records for Mistletoe Kisses – whose methodology?

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Last year I reported (briefly) that Six Flags Over Georgia, a theme park near Atlanta, Georgia, had just set a new World record for kissing under mistletoe  – with their record officially recognised by Guinness Book of Records.  The record involved 201 couples simultaneously kissing under mistletoe.  Each couple had their own mistletoe spring (provided by the organisers – and the American Phoradendron mistletoe, not the classic Viscum of Europe) and had to kiss, on […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

Urban mistletoe – normal or abnormal?

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Last week I joined a brief, early morning, urban mistletoe hunt with BBC Radio Gloucestershire. They had spotted mistletoe on trees in central Gloucester and wanted to discuss whether this was unusual.  The short answer to that is, no, not at all unusual here in Gloucestershire where mistletoe is common, but both yes and no elsewhere in the UK.  It all depends on where you are. [The hunt was broadcast during Mark Cummings’ show on […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

Mistletoe in The Quercy Local

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The French have a lot more mistletoe than we do here in Britain – their climate is better suited to it, and it is a common sight in many regions (though also, as in Britain, utterly absent from some parts).  That abundance doesn’t lessen its mysteriousness though – there are many French traditions and customs relating to le Gui. It was once (and possibly still is) especially valued as a un Porte-Bonheur, a Good Luck […]

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 , Gardening , Religion , social history , Travel

‘Training’ mistletoe, and thoughts on Churchyards

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A day out in London last week, at a conference discussing churchyard trees. Not about mistletoe.  But a surprising number of mistletoe angles… Starting with the journey there – as I caught the train in from Windsor (the conference was at Waterloo, an easy commute from Windsor) and Windsor is a mistletoe hotspot.  Regular readers will, obviously(!), know this already as I mentioned it last year when reporting on a drive up the Thames valley. […]

Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Religion , Science , social history , Travel

Mistletoe Season looms…

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Too early for mistletoe? Maybe. But it’s never off the agenda here at Mistletoe Matters, and we’re already fielding all sorts of enquiries from the press, public etc. So here are a few updates, as they seem to be needed: – It’s too early to say how good a year it is for mistletoe – there are quite a lot of berries, but they are still unripe and it is impossible to say how big […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , social history , Travel

The first of 2015’s Giant Mistletoes, but will it be the best?

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Giant, pendant, but fake (obviously) mistletoes seem to be turning into a tradition, at least amongst corporate marketing teams and street decorators. In recent years there have many examples of these giant decorations – some stunning works of art (e.g. at RHS Harlow Carr back in 2008), some remarkable eye-catchers (e.g. Heathrow Airport in 2013) and some just plain tasteless (e.g Melbourne’s glow in the dark decorations in 2013, which looked as if was made of […]