Trivia Teaser

Change the last letter of WHICH word to make: 'a tint or variety of a colour?


Berry Merry Christmas


By Miranda

One of the advantages of being in the southern hemisphere at Christmas is the range of fruit available to expand the Christmas table. And, believe me, much fruit is a requirement at this time of year when we're either sweltering in the tropics anticipating or experiencing the onset of the wet season, or desiccating slowly in an extended heatwave in the south.
We're drowning in cherries, the lychees are abundant and perfect, the mango harvest extends throughout the summer so, generally, 'tis the season for delicious fruit juices dribbling down one's chin.
Then there are the raspberries, possibly my favourite fruit (not fish, that was Tabby Cat in The Muddle-Headed Wombat?), blueberries and all the other yummies. 
I've used the berry-like fruit of the lilly pilly plant as Christmas decorations. The fruit is a deep pinkish colour and is lovely in bunches strewn across a white tablecloth. It's perfectly edible, though a little bland.
The berry that somehow has been lost, at least in my part of the world, is the mistletoe. Strictly speaking, this plant has come late into the Christmas tradition, it being banned from Christian ceremonies for a while due to its association with pagan ritual. The origins of its association with kissing are said to come from Scandinavian mythology, in which the berries of the mistletoe may be the tears of a goddess mourning the death of Baldr, killed by an arrow made of mistletoe, thanks to the machinations of Loki (no, not Tom Hiddleston. Sigh). Kissing, apparently, gives some strange power from the berry to those who kiss.
So, despite the absence of this parasitic, OK, semi-parasitic, plant from my Christmas traditions (it's a weed), it's clear that its associations are also those of sharing and blessing common to the season.
Washington Irving said, "Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."
I won't be doing any literal kindling as it's entirely likely there'll be a total fire ban. But I hope we'll all be ablaze with hospitality and charity. I do hope everyone has a wonderful and peaceful Christmas with family and loved ones and a safe and prosperous New Year.
And let me know your favourite Christmas fruit.

424 Responses to

Berry Merry Christmas

January 08, 2016 at 3:08 PM

nite fir sd .

nan_j said:
January 08, 2016 at 4:47 PM

Congrats to your son for passing his test keight, not an easy thing to do these days. How times have changed, back in the "olden days" you only had to do a written test to get a license.

keight said:
January 08, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Thanks Nan (and Pete from earlier) I will pass on your congrats to him. Yes it is very different nowdays, Nan, from when I went for my lisence. After the written test to obtain your "L" plates you need to formally log at least 150 hours of practice with a liscenced driver - including at least some night driving,some wet weather , some dirt or gravel roads and other things . Then they need to pass a "Hazard" test which is done on a computer simulator to check reflexes and response times to various situations before they can go for their official practical driving test which by then is probably the easiest part. (This is the protocol for Vic, I'm not sure about the other states)

keight said:
January 08, 2016 at 8:28 PM

Oh, and Nan, congats re the new grandson. What did they call him? I am sure he will bring much joy :)