Rock Maze
  • Neil

Maintaining my Mojo.

When I was a little boy, all slumped socks and grazed knees, we lived in Bugle in a house on the junction of New Street and Crescent Road. Crescent Road isn't a crescent at all it's oddly dead straight. On the inside corner of this junction was Trethewey’s Bakery, we lived on the outside corner. Almost at the top of Crescent Road on the right was a butcher’s shop owned by Mr Neville, then at the very top, where the road joins Rosevear Road was Cyril Knight’s garage. Opposite the garage on Crescent Road was a Barbers and Confectioners owned by Percy Pearce. I seem to remember Percy only having one boys hairstyle in his repertoire, short back and sides. This was the style I sported until my early teens.

It isn’t the barbers shop or the butchers or the garage or the bakers that got me thinking, although I’ve got stories about them all, no, it’s the confectioners, the sweet shop. I’m sure they probably sold a lot more than sweets but I was just a little boy much too young for a packet of 20 Players or “something for the weekend Sir?” I was far more interested in gobstoppers, black jacks, chewing gum, yellow tubes of sherbet with a liquorice straw, Pontefract cakes, coconut mushrooms and sweet cigarettes. All good 1960s sweets.

But one sweet I remember was a Mojo. If my memory serves me right you might have got 4 Mojos for a penny (1d, old money) which made them a farthing each. In 1961 when I was 4, the farthing ceased to be legal tender. I have no recollection of spending one. Back then a penny was a large coin which filled a little boys fist and when ever I had one, off I would wander to Percy Pearce’s for a sweet or two. Or perhaps 4 Mojos.

Many years later, 20ish years later I decided to quit teaching. One of by first bosses, “A”, recruited me because she was taken by my Mojo. For her the word didn’t mean 4 sweets for 1d, it meant “a quality that attracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy” or something like that. Throughout my life I like to think I’ve maintained my own kind of Mojo although it hasn’t always been easy. My Mojo maintenance is now bleddy tough and I feel I’m losing the battle. I’ve had some wins and losses this week. They all take their toll.

One loss that's hit pretty hard is the realisation that a day trip to the Isles of Scilly is more than I can now realistically cope with. It’s been cancelled. Another plan under review is my birthday celebrations. I was hoping for something a bit haute cuisine but it seems to be turning into something a bit more drive thro