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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Freakishly Fun Foraging!

The idea of foraging conjures images of grubbily rooting through muddy undergrowth in the heart of some primeval forest. This was only half true on our amazing day with Fred Gillam, the foraging wizard. The morning we met Fred was cold, windy and threatened of a downpour as we piled in the car, trying our darnedest not to be victim to Mojo Meantime again! Today we were foraging with Fred Gillam, the amazing forager. We didn’t yet know just exactly how amazing he was but were excited to find out.  I have to admit even though I was excited to sightsee I was a little skeptical at what we might be foraging at Uffington White Horse which was where we to start our adventure for the day.  What could we possibly forage on an open hillside? Didn’t foraging require the dank, damp, and brooding underbelly of ancient forests???

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Food From The Foreshore

THE INTERTIDAL REALMS ARE UNDER THREAT....

We’d talked a lot about the mysterious world of the foreshore at BohemainMojo so Stephanie and I decided we’d take a look at the way mankind explores this enigmatic expanse of tidal marsh, exposed strata, rock pools, sand levels and seaweed beds.

For thousands of years mankind has ventured onto this hazardous, intertidal zone in search of food to forage. We know that because of the evidence left by hunter gatherers. Not least of which are the huge middens of limpet shells which they’d collected to cook on heated, flat stones.

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Uber Urban Foraging

Because you just never know when you’re going to need to call on your inner Hunter/Gatherer.

There’s always something... 

These were the famous last words as I headed to the airport after my last Bohemian Mojo adventure.  It had occurred to me that each time I have attempted to leave the country, some crazy and random situation happens; typically, something that ends up delaying me.

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Frome - A Small Town Revolution and a Lesson For Us All

Bohemian Mojo had heard there’d been a political uprising in Frome (pronounced Froom) which claims to be Britain’s first sustainable town, so we went to find out what had happened. To be honest I’ve by-passed Frome many times over the past decade. Memories of my last visit to the town made me avoid it. Dilapidation, boarded-up shops and an air of social stagnation were the lasting impressions. No getting away from it, Frome used to be a town waiting for the next bit of bad news.  

Well what came next was a remarkable transformation ending in a revolution so the past decade has seen Frome turned from a depressing failure into a switched-on, culture packed community. 

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My Iron Heart

"Of the four elements, air, earth, water, and fire; man stole only one from the gods. Fire. And with it, man forged his will upon the world." ~Anonymous

We first visited Tom Southerndon at Buscot Forge in October with our initial Mojo launch. I have always had a fascination with fire and the application of heat, perhaps because I am a fireman’s daughter? Ultimately, I am most curious, as a foodie, to understand the various ways that heat is used to enhance our palates and our lives. Who better to help me understand more about this versatile element than a blacksmith? Say no more, Alun was on it and quickly arranged for the Mojo team to head to Tom’s forge.  The experience was more than we could have anticipated. As Tom expertly stoked the forge fire, explaining each step in the process, I felt something happening deep within my being. Something stirred that I couldn’t quite identify. The fire whooshed, the flame danced to life, and the first clear bell of the hammer on the anvil woke some primal awareness in my soul. For a moment, completely without explanation, tears sprang to my eyes. I was hooked!

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The Alchemical Forge

The MojoMakers had been in the UK for about a week and were only just drying out from two days of English rain when we set off for the tiny village of Buscot.  Their first drenching had been on a day’s fly fishing tuition; the second, and the heavier of the two, was on a foraging expedition in the beautiful Savernake Forest. So the opportunity to visit a blacksmith’s forge promised to be a warmer and drier adventure by far.  Everyone was excited. I’d arranged the visit through my youngest son Morgan who had qualified as a smith in June after three years at the UK’s National School of Blacksmithing.

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