Ian Mortimer


What's New?

6 January 2022
Happy New Year

Hello, 2022. Pleased to meet you. Better than not meeting you. As for whether I like you, I'm reserving judgement. Given that it's cold and wet, and everyone is terrified of Covid-19, it's definitely not love at first sight.

What do I expect you'll deliver? Well, I suppose a lot of that is down to me.

Workwise, I've just sent off a couple of articles to academic journals, which is a pleasing feeling. I've drafted my chapter on Sir John Mortimer (d. 1424) for the book on the medieval Mortimers to be produced by the Mortimer History Society in the autumn of 2023. My wife are I are getting on with our study of old pubs (Cornwall, Devon and Dorset are done; Somerset next). The next book, Medieval Horizons is with my editor and will come come back to me for revisions at the end of January, with a view to it appearing in March or April 2023. My next next book, A History of England through the Windows of an Ordinary House, is about one-third done; I'm about to start work again on that and hope to finish it by the end of the year. I'm planning to create an audiobook of The Greatest Traitor soon. I continue to think about historical methodology, and writing something about what I have learnt about that over the years. And I'm hoping that my eldest son will complete the editing of my second album of my songs, which were recorded in 2016 and 2018. No rush on that last one.

New Year's resolutions. I'm not making fifty again, as I did in 2017. I am continuing with one that I started that year, though: the resolution to have a minimum of three alcohol-free days every week, without fail or excuse. This is the sixth year of that continuing, and I swear by it. (It only gets really difficult on holiday and at Christmas.) I've also resolved to run a half-marathon once a week, to volunteer at parkrun once for every two runs I do, and to attempt to hit a 75 percent Age Grade at a 5K race. That last aim entails me running the distance in 20:18 this side of 22 September. My fastest time in 2021 was 20:27, so it should be possible. It would be nice to think that I could run the distance in under 20 minutes again but that would take a lot of effort and dieting, so don't hold your breath. Next competitive races will be 5 miles in Exmouth on 1 February and the Exeter City half marathon on 12 February.

So, 2022, what else will you bring? My brother's fiftieth birthday, my daughter's 21st and my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Things to celebrate. A weekend away researching pre-1500 pubs every month. Visits to Bristol to see my elder son and to Southampton to see my younger one. Some archival research, I hope. More music purchases on vinyl, more pints in the pub, more friends dropping by or welcoming me in, I hope. But most of all, as this list suggests, I long for a degree of normality. I might have a PhD in the social history of fatal diseases but I really could do without being reminded, on a daily basis, of Covid-19.

Yes, New Year. For once, I just want you to be 'happy'.

What was new in other years