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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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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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

gatebarrowmodA chill autumn day and the Mojo team were walking up a valley into the chalk downlands that lies between the town of Marlborough and the famous Stone Circle at Avebury four miles away.  

In the West of England such valleys are often called combs (pronounced cooms) a word derived from the Celts.  They are generally steep sided, meandering affairs created thousands of years ago by Ice Age glaciers or their melt waters.

In the summer they are carpeted with all manner of wild flowers; harebells, bee orchids, yellow rattle and cowslips to name a few. A myriad butterflies feed off the flowers while skylarks sing in their thrilling elevator flight.

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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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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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