Strolling Through Stroud

I’ve never been mistaken for a singer before. Most people seem to know instinctively that I’m chronically unable to hold a note.

And so you could have knocked me down with a feather when someone in a coffee shop mistook Stephanie and I for a singing duo supposed to be playing at a local venue that night.  

Not us I said.

But you two look like the picture and your moustache is the same as the one on the promo material, we were told

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Ulverston! Oh! Ulverston!

ulverstonULVERSTON! OH ULVERSTON!

Okay, not quite the lines Glen Campbell wrote but he might have if he’d ever visited the vibrant town of Ulverston on the edge of England’s magnificent Lake District.

Bohemian Mojo headed there recently on a tour of the North of England. First we walked on famous Hadrian’s Wall; the northern tideline of the Roman Empire. Wonderful.

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To the Rescue... Pino's!

It was the last day of my December Mojo Mission in the U.K. I was driving on the M4 in the late afternoon, making my way towards Heathrow airport for my journey back home to the states. The sky was darkened by a storm, the wind was whipping, and rain was slashing down as my windshield wipers struggled to keep up.  I had left the Marlborough area in plenty of time, joking as I did that something always went a little haywire so this time I was ready for it. So far all was going smoothly and if it continued to do so, I would be settled in the airport with time to get some work done before boarding my plane.

Singing to the music, I did as the SatNav instructed and took the exit that would lead to the M25 (all of which I am familiar with now, but hadn’t the faintest idea of then) came around the sweeping onramp, picked up speed, changed lanes to get a better handle on forward momentum when, BAM! The loudest sound I’d ever heard occurred, it was instantly followed by a skidding wobble.

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Fisherman's Friend

Stephanie and I were sitting in the convivial lounge bar of a pub looking at a fish menu from the heavens. 

I’d gallantly opted to let her have the seat with a harbour view which could also grace the portals of paradise.  

“Hake,” Stephanie grimaced as she named the fish half way down the list. On a bed of tomato and chorizo sauce no less.

“What’s wrong with hake?” I wondered, “I love hake!”

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Have a Care at Caerleon

We ventured out into the landscape winding our way to Wales through intermittent spats of rain and wind followed by moments of bright blue cloud dotted skies. The day was a perfect illustration of what I call the ‘in-between’ times, the liminal. That place in time and space where everything overlaps and there is a momentary but perceptible ambiguity of boundary; an invigorating mix of weather; hinting at spring while also reminding of winter.

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Hoof and Vine is Finer than Fine...

Beef and wine. A succulent culinary combination treasured and celebrated by many cultures for centuries.  Whether it’s a wonderfully prepared sirloin steak with a glass of vintage red or a casserole with humbler cuts simmering in artisan wine; we Brits love it.

Normally we’d expect to find this mouth watering pairing on a menu. But Bohemian Mojo went on an expedition into the heart of wild Wales where they stumbled on a unique fusion of beef and wine in delightful combination.

It was a very pleasing match. It wasn’t to be found on an immaculate plate of food in a Michelin starred restaurant. No, it was on the side of a hill looking over the poetic ruins of a medieval Abbey in one of the most beautiful valleys of the British Isles.

This was the way it happened.

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Ramsbury Airfield

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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