I had no idea a simple stroll in the wood could be such a reminder of courage, loss, love, and the value of community. 

“Have you heard about the trees and the carvings”, one local asks. “Trees? What trees?” Before he can answer, the conversation moves on to something else as is want to do when the Mojo team is amassed. A few days later, someone else mentions “the trees” with relation to WWII and U.S. troops. I’m curious, I want to go see them but there is always so much to see and do, will we fit it in?

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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.

We were headed to a place called Caerleon, which apparently means “Fortress of the Legions” in Welsh. Caerleon is an important archeological site, riddled with layers upon layers of human history; a point which only truly dawned on me once we arrived and I saw how beautifully the community and landscape merged and grew, up, around, and out of the varying relics of the past.  
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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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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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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

Ambyth! Ambyth means “forever” in Welsh. Every now and then, it’s nice to find something that you hope will last forever. 

Take for example, a smooth and complex glass of biodynamically grown and harvested Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blend, so delightfully fermented in its terra cotta amphora urns that it just eases its way onto your palate, all suave and sophisticated. Fleeting, yes...but the desire for forever is there. 

That’s my experience of my first taste of one of Ambyth Estates’ vintages. There was something different going on in this wine and I wanted to know what it was. Was it the organic, the biodynamic, the terroir, what??

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