Happy New Year my ciderlings! I'm trust that the end of year festivities were suitably gratuitous and engorging? It certainly was for me. But, 2018 is a new year, and guess what? I'm off on a bit of global gallivanting (yes, I know, again), starting right now. I'm at Heathrow Airport right now. When I started this Ciderologist lark last summer, I assumed that the first quarter of 2018 would be a pretty barren time, so I booked myself a round the world ticket, taking in the US, Australia and gold ol' NZ for fun times and 'work'. First up is the States where I will be attending/presenting at CiderCon, the world's largest cider gathering. I'm so tempted to wear and apple costume, but I'm attempting to be (vaguely) professional, so maybe not. Certainly it's going to be an opportunity to network, talk and drink fab cider on an epic scale. Lush.Next up is Aussie to see my old buddies Matt and Reet, just a few weeks before they are expecting their first little Knight. It better be called Gabriel/Gabrielle. And then it's back down to Aotearoa to team up with my old buddy (and award winning winemaker) Trudy to make some wine, and have a crack at making some awesome cider. Back to the old haunts, seeing old friends and hanging at the beach after work. Yes, that was deliberately placed there to make you all jealous. In, and amongst this, will be a spot of cider touring and cider judging. It's a hard cider life. Finally, a wee little swing past the West Coast of the US before landing back in the UK in time for blossom. Boom. Three months done. Anyway, so much for quiet first quarter of the year, I'm well busy! As well as three wassails, I've managed to squeeze some amazing tasting sessions in, undertaken some boundary breaking training sessions, and will be returning to head up cider judging at the International Cider Challenge, as well as a host of other events over the summer and beyond. I've even managed to squeeze in a little TV appearance, wearing traditional cider making attire (Hawaiian short, shorts and sandals). In addition to me bashing away on the keyboard, I'm going to be doing a lot more videos this year, too. I'm teaming up with The Stable restaurant group (concept: pizza & cider - what's not to like?!) and will be filming 'Stable Cam' for them along my global gallivants, so be sure to check out their YouTube feed for clips starting very soon. Right, my flight has just been called, and I haven't finished my plate of pig meat and eggs. Gotta dash. Wassail!