The thought of breaking a journey on the British motorway system isn’t an enthralling one. In fact it can cause quite a few people to blow a gasket. The reason for that is a phenomenon called the Motorway Service Area. The UK highway network is dotted with Motorway Services and they are regulated by law because drivers need places where they can break-up long journeys a drink and a hot meal.

It’s argued Services are needed to keep motorists safe to drive. All well and good but whenever I visit one of these roadside malls I’m amazed how dreary these roadside malls can be; despite all the bright lights and hoarding. If only there were something more possible???

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As we walked up the steep track sunk between two moss covered banks Stephanie and I paused to look at the patchwork of trees and fields stretching across the valley.  

As we walked up the steep track sunk between two moss covered banks Stephanie and I paused to look at the patchwork of trees and fields stretching across the valley.   

We were on a quiet pilgrimage walking through an easterly wind stiff with cold sweeping.  Below us smoke curled from the chimneys of  the quintessentially English village of Ramsbury. In the distance its equally picturesque neighbour, Aldbourne, was hidden in the folds of a hill. 

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I have a confession to make. I am a bibliophile. I dare say the rest of the Mojo team are with me on this one.

Books. We love them. We read them. We write them. Honest to goodness real books. The kind you can hold in your hand, feel the weight, smell the pages, and luxuriate in the words. Time spent in bookstores and libraries is an indescribably treat. In today’s world of electronic devices and technology, the printed word is under threat. We at Bohemian Mojo do our best to support local book vendors and reading resources. It’s one small way of preserving history.

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The best wines are the ones shared with friends... and the ones showcased by a human winelist. Night was falling fast and flocks of starlings were wheeling in mesmerising spirals over the fields as the Mojo bandwagon rolled into a famous Cotswolds hamlet and a perfect chef’s storm. Tweed-clad locals, quaffing ale after a day’s shooting, were congregated around the entrance to the Bathurst Arms, North Cerney, when the Mojo sisters stepped into the log fire warmth of the bar.

On the surface everything seemed normal but then the restaurant seemed eerily empty. Just one table had been taken up by a couple who were eating with the studied concentration of royal food tasters checking for poison.

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How I Wish I'd Had A Pail...

Bohemian Mojo were in Wales again, exploring the bounty of the coast, for our last blog.  We were staying at our favourite Monk Haven B&B in Pembrokeshire.

It was breakfast time and we were enjoying the laver bread delicacy which had been cooked with our bacon and eggs. At least I was enjoying it. Not so sure about Stephanie. (Food From The Foreshore)Then our friend Joanne Evans mentioned she was going ‘winkling’ with her family later on. Winkling indeed. At first Stephanie looked blank until I explained winkles, more properly called periwinkles, are gathered on the rocky foreshore.

Her eyes lit-up at this. Stephanie is always ready for a foraging adventure and this one had the added spice of being below the tideline.

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Poor Ben... nobody warned him about MojoMeantime. Of course, we didn't know about it either...yet. But thankfully, it didn't stop us from having a Bang Up day leaning how to fly fish with Ben Bangham.  The story of the MoJo crew’s autumn visit to the UK is a tale of the unexpected. The trip took on some wonderful twists and turns as the ‘sisters’ breathed their own brand of the off-beat and the downright eccentric into the trip.

Perhaps the greatest revelation was a quantum one as time and space took on a completely new dimension. It was a concept the MoJo mamas seemed completely at ease with but one that left me briefly dazed and disoriented.

It began on a miserably wet Wednesday morning in October. The rain was coming down in wind-blown sheets but all was still on for a pre-arranged day of fishing.

MoJo were going to learn the arts and skills of fly fishing for trout at a lake close to one of the iconic chalk streams of Wiltshire. They were due to meet the magnificently named instructor Ben Bangham at 9. 30am at Woodborough on the River Avon.

There’d be a walk along the river where the ecology of a trout stream and the wiley ways of the brown trout would be explained. Then casting practice followed by a chance to catch a trout from the beautiful lake.

Nine thirty came and went.

Phone calls followed.

They were about to leave the cottage at Cirencester thirty miles away. Oh! They’d only be an hour late then.

A quick call to Ben. That’ll be fine said the laid back instructor.

Ten thirty came. And went. We were still in a NoMoJoShow situation.

Another call. Yup, definitely, possibly left the cottage now. Faith in that promise was not high.

Another hour passed. No show MoJo and Bangham wore the patient smile of a seasoned fisherman while probably wanting to bang his head on the wall of the fishing hut. No problems, he said, we’ve got all day which was already factually incorrect and two hours behind the passage of the sun.

In the end it was a MiddayMoJo arrival and the fishing experience began with Ben showing heroic courtesy while the sisters muttered stuff about broken hair driers and weather.

And so MoJo Mean Time was conceived and thereafter factored into the schedule.

What about the fishing you may ask? Well Ben weaved his magic showing how the delicate balance of a chalk stream supports the elusive trout. Right on cue a kingfisher flashed past in a fly-by.

Then the MoJo team spent a couple of hours of fun and fascination as they tried to master the skills of casting a line and catching a trout. Oh! And it didn’t stop reigning all day.

MoJo Mean Time - Two and a half hours behind GMT

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