It 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.
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.
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.