Thursday, 6 December 2012

Misty Eyed Mistletoe

As December rears its frost encrusted head, we realise that just because we have had a windy spring and wet summer, it doesn’t follow that the winter will be mild. I didn’t feel at all cozy this morning as I cycled to work with sub-zero fingers and frozen tears streaking my cheeks.
I Could Easily Climb That!
On a brighter note, the children are anticipating Christmas; lights and inflatable Santas have started crawling over houses. I like to entertain myself by asking people, Have you got all your presents sorted out yet? I have a friend who always leaves present buying until Xmas eve, he swears that it is the quietest time for shopping and he can be seen stalking the streets of Southampton late into the evening, loaded down with bags, wearing a large red coat.
Big Balls of Mistletoe
As the season of goodwill draws near, Mistletoe starts to appear in greengrocers; normally accompanied by media reports that there is a national shortage of this parasitic passion arouser. Mistletoe can cost a fortune (£3.50) for a tiny sprig but it is also available for free on a deciduous tree near you. I always begin spotting the romantic freeloader around this time, and we are going to gather some again for the children to sell at the school Winter Fayre, it went down a storm last year.
A Mistletoe Seed Growing Legs
Last year I decided to attempt to grow my own but you do need the patience of a saint to achieve this. You initially need to smear a sticky mistletoe berry onto a deciduous tree, the berry contains the seed. After a long wait (provided the seed is not gobbled up by a Mistle Thrush), it sends out a couple of small tentacle like roots, which latch into the tree and tap into its nutrient supply.
Tapping Into a Young Oak
Once the seed becomes established it continues to leach the tree’s sappy goodness and gradually grows into the familiar plant. While on the subject of parasitic, freeloading passion arousers, Justin Bieber’s hair apparently went through several similar developmental stages; a fact that he allegedly attempted to celebrate with his ingeniously titled stocking filler, Mistletoe.
Stand Here With Me For a Moment x

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