Ely, Minnesota
Apologies for the prolonged absence, and I will break my blogging silence soon. But not just yet.

For now, here is the quickest of quick updates. I have returned from my Christmas/New Year retreat feeling detoxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. I turned 40 on December 23, but I feel better than ever.

I have spent the last week slaving over a hot keyboard, completing the latest round of revisions to the manuscript of my book about the Atlantic row. The book deal with Simon & Schuster has now been signed, sealed and delivered, and a publication date set for Autumn 2009.

Tomorrow I start the next step in my preparations for a long term project – a trip to a Pole (whether North or South is still to be determined). I will be spending the following week on a group ski/winter camping trip, with dogs pulling small sleds bearing our gear.

The temperatures here in Minnesota are mild for this time of year, but still well below freezing. I’ve been out cross-country skiing every morning for the last week, trying to avoid being the slowest in the group. I’m still far from proficient (I still manage the occasional embarrassing bum-splat on a perfectly flat bit of snow), but I’m a lot better than I was.

That’s all for now, folks. Check in again in a week’s time to find out how the camping trip went.

[photo: Minnesota – a skier on the dogsled trip I did in December]

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