"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 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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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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The whole day had an illicit feel to it. Stephanie and I felt like a couple of city types in search of hooch from an illegal still during the days of prohibition.    

The whole day had an illicit feel to it. Stephanie and I felt like a couple of city types in search of hooch from an illegal still during the days of prohibition. We were in the lush green pastures and hidden valleys of the county of Somerset. It wasn’t booze we were looking for but a commodity that’s much harder to find these days. We were hunting for raw milk.        

What’s raw milk you may ask?

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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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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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