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 […]

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 […]

auctions , berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe

Mistletoe selling well, in week 2

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A quick update to last week’s comments about relatively few mistletoe lots at the Tenbury Wells auctions. Much better this week, as expected, with more many more lots and, to quote Nick Champion (the auctioneer) “mistletoe was more plentiful and still met the best trade seen for years”. So everything’s fine – no need to worry about the mistletoe trade! Meanwhile there’s a lot of attention being paid to the amount and spread of mistletoe […]

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, […]

berries , Biodiversity , Food and Drink , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard

Mistletoe Management on BBC Countryfile

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We got a good 6 minutes on mistletoe management in neglected orchards on BBC Countryfile’s Christmas programme this year. The location at Moreton Valence, very close to me in Gloucestershire, was a rather neglected apple orchard which has far too much mistletoe in it, the normal balance from regular management having been lost some years, possibly decades, ago. Countryfile’s Adam Henson, a Gloucestershire farmer himself, joined me and my Gloucestershire Orchard Trust colleague Tim Andrews […]

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 […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , medicine , Science , toxicity

Mistletoe and Markov

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How poisonous is mistletoe?  Every Christmas season this question is asked, and every season the accurate answer (most media doesn’t worry about that) is, “it depends…” It depends on which mistletoe you mean. In Britain and Europe the mistletoe used at Christmas is Viscum album which certainly contains some toxins – of which more in a moment.  In the US the mistletoe used at Christmas will be a species of Phoradendron, which also contains some […]

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 […]

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

Masses of mistletoe at the first auction of 2022

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At Tenbury Wells yesterday, for the first of the two mistletoe auctions this year. Masses of mistletoe there, though less holly than usual. I was also left with the impression there were fewer buyers and sellers than normal, but that’s difficult to really judge. Most of the mistletoe was looking very fine, lots of berries and not much with yellowy leaves.  But there were several lots, more than usual, with under-ripe berries – i.e. not […]