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2017 12 08 SMV Oxford 008It started with the mistletoe.

I hadn’t planned to go into town on Friday  – far from it. It had been a frenetically busy week and I had training materials to muster before Saturday morning which were currently, to borrow some IT jargon, at the “vapourware” stage.

The plan was to go up to a favourite bolt hole just north of Banbury, but I had to collect a notebook that I’d stupidly left the previous day, which led to various conversations about the project that I’m involved with at the moment. So I was running late and, realistically, also very tired. So, tired and frustrated with the loss of a planned day out,  I set off to walked into town.

Like I said, it started with the mistletoe. It was a bright sunny day and as I was passing St Mary the Virgin (the church on the High street, not the person), I noticed some mistletoe growing on one of the trees outside.

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This iconic seasonal plant that is plentiful in this part of the world, but usually grows high up, so you only ever see it at a distance. This was growing within arm’s reach – near enough to see the sheen on the berries, which were like living pearls.

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Then I noticed that the trees that it was growing on were already in bud and not, as I had first thought, dormant – curious combination of midwinter and Spring-in December.