Well I'm not entirely sure where 2017 has gone, but I'm itching to get started on all the exciting projects I have planned for 2018. And by way of a thank you for all of your support this past year, and to set you off on the right foot for the year ahead, I wanted to give you a little present for the New Year - a free to download Rydal Water wall calendar for 2018. Jade and Corinna have done a superb job of digitally tracing my scribbles and doodles and I hope that you will enjoy the end result of what has been a lot of very hard work.
Once you have downloaded the file, you can either print it off yourself at home, or you can find an online or physical shop to have it printed professionally for yourself, friends, and family. If you want to sell it commercially, that's also fine, I just ask that you email me to let me know, and ask that you don't change anything about the file, or try and claim it as your own work.
So far 2018 is looking pretty exciting for myself. I've got a number of school talks booked through School Speakers, and I'll be speaking at the Wonderful Wild Women event in Kendal, Cumbria in January. I'm currently being filmed for a documentary on Channel 4, connected to the origins of my love for wild swimming and winter swimming, and I'll be making an appearance as a fortune teller on the new series of Hetty Feather on Children's BBC, though don't blink or you might just miss me!
The Rydal Water adult colouring book and 2018 diary will be available to purchase from Amazon in the next 24 hours, and this will be followed up in about ten weeks time, once the second of my colouring books has been digitalised by Jade and Corinna - the Grasmere Water adult colouring book. You can always follow my author page on Amazon if you want to get a message for any new releases.
I've set myself a HUGE challenge for 2018; to write and publish one short story from the adventures of Bertram and Molly, every single day, starting from the 1st January 2018. Each book will be free for the first five days, and each story can be read as a stand alone story, or as part of the series.
The aim is to become a better writer, and to find a sustainable way to bring in the money I need to buy the house that I currently rent (which is up for sale), and to do more to support the children who receive free online, environmental and STEM education through my charity Oceans Project since I want to leave my books as a long term legacy for the charity.
Bertram and Molly's adventures will follow the same route that I swim along over the course of the year as I explore the length of the River Thames from source to sea. And I can't wait to visit every single school along the length of the Thames, in my role as a STEM Ambassador.
Throughout the year I will be connecting with schools worldwide through Skype in the Classroom, a chance to read some of the Bertram and Molly stories to students, and for Literacy month, World Read Aloud Day, and World Book Day between the 1st February and the 1st March there will be something extra special for schools, including signed copies of the Bertram and Molly books.
As a grand finale for the year, I will be hosting a free concert for schools, at the Southbank Centre, London in March 2019, which will include video footage of the River Thames swim, as well as music that is being especially composed for a children's orchestra and a children's choir. Based on the adventures of Bertram and Molly and my River Thames swim. I am incredibly lucky to be working with Danish composer Peter Jensen on this project and I'm looking forward to sharing progress with you on the blog here over the coming year. The event will be live streamed to schools worldwide, and to the general public. Peter previously worked on a wonderful project with Eivor from the Faroe Islands, and the result was 'at the Heart of a Selkie' which you can see below.
I really hope to get you know you all better over the coming years, and I hope that you will be as excited as I am to see what kind of a ripple effect can be achieved from little, daily actions. May your year bring your great health, and a lot of happiness.