Welcome to twenty fourteen! Or two thousand and fourteen. Or two hundred and one four. No, that doesn't work.
Oh my bushy beard, it's been an age since I last threw some words into my shed hasn't it? I can only apologise. Well, I could also chastise myself with a sharkskin scourge but I'm not going to.
In my defence, it's been a monstrously busy year. I've been the length, breadth and height of the country giving talks on all manner of subjects but mostly about connections, problem solving and the wonderful world of crowd-funding. I've visited over 60 large towns and cities and also wittered on at the Edinburgh Festival, Hay, Harrogate International Festival, Salon London, Village Green Festival, the Ig Nobels UK tour and Cornbury. I've also done 'gigs' (get me) for Science Show off, Museums Show Off and Z List Dead List too. Oh, and Latitude! I played Latitude!
Unfortunately, the actions of a 'distressed person' at Ipswich meant that the train line was shut and I had to do my talk, by phone, from London's Liverpool St Station. An odd and challenging experience but I can say that at least my voice has performed at Latitude even if my lumbering carcase hasn't.
I've also picked up a little column on the Sunday People called 'Weekend Wonders' in which I try to make readers go 'Ooo!' with 300 words every week. I repost the content on my Colganology blog so you can catch it there if the whim caresses you.
But now it's a new year and new challenges await. I'm currently nose to grindstone trying to find mind-boggling facts for the new L Series of QI that we'll be recording in May-June. And we've just heard this week that The Museum of Curiosity has been renewed for a seventh series on Radio 4. So I'll be helping put that together soon too. Busy busy busy!
I've also been asked to be a judge for the Transmission Awards. Now, these are given out annually to a person who has been absolutely ruddy brilliant at communicating ideas to the public. I've been reading books, blogs and websites by the shortlisted nominees and they are all blummen brilliant. It's going to be very tough to pick a winner in February.
It's been AMAZING seeing copies of Connectoscope in bookshops around the country. I don't see it as often as I'd like, admittedly, but it's a hugely competitive market out there and I'm up against some big hitters in the world of trivia, including my own colleagues at QI. Saying that, the new QI book - 1339 Facts to make your Jaw Drop - is aceballs, as the young folk say.
So, any help you can give - as one of my brilliant supporters - is always welcome. Tell people about the book (if you liked it, that is). Go into bookshops and sneakily turn the book cover out so that people can see the amazing Tom Gauld artwork.
Every little helps, as a certain supermarket chain likes to propound.
I'll be more regular in my shed posts from now on.
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