A happy new year to you all. The picture above shows our little two year-old rascal Thomas Moore watch the last of the old year whiz past out of the window from his perch on a Virgin train. Thank goodness that journey is over.
2018 was a magical year in many ways. Endeavour sailed bravely out into the bookshops and performed as doughtily as a Whitby collier of old. It made the bestseller chart for hardback non-fiction in September and then was selected as a Book of the Year in the Sunday Times, the Times and the Tablet. I’ve spent many months now talking about ships and the seas of an ‘Enlightening’ (Kant’s term) world. To everyone who has come along to talks in Whitby, Hawarden, Buxton, Cheltenham and Manchester or has picked up a copy of the book – a hearty thank you!
My highlight of 2018 though was spending an hour with an old hero working on a new project. A month or so ago Michael Palin joined me in the depths of Penguin Random House to journey back to the 1840s and the quarterdeck of HMS Erebus. This was to record the first episode of a new podcast that I’ve been developing in partnership with History Today magazine called Travels Through Time. It’s a simple and fun idea. Basically I invite a guest to become a time traveller for half an hour. They can travel to the year they like and choose three scenes within that time.
We’ve already recorded three more episodes of this podcast and many more are on the way. I’m approaching the project in the best endeavouring spirit, which is to throw myself right in and to see where it takes me. I hope you enjoy it.