Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988-1998 (Palin Diaries, Book 3)
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10 years in different directions. The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.
Travelling to Work is the third volume of Michael Palin's widely acclaimed diaries. After the Python years and a decade of filming, writing and acting, Palin's career takes an unexpected detour into travel, which will shape his working life for the next 25 years. Yet, as the diaries reveal, he remained ferociously busy on a host of other projects throughout this whirlwind period.
Travelling to Work opens in September 1988 with Michael travelling down the Adriatic on the first leg of a modern-day Around the World in 80 Days. He was not the BBC's first choice for the series, but after its success and that of the accompanying book the public naturally wanted more. Palin, though, had other plans. Following the tumultuous success of A Fish Called Wanda, he is in demand as an actor. His next film, American Friends, is based on his great-grandfather's diaries. Next he takes on his most demanding role as the head teacher in Alan Bleasdale's award-winning drama series GBH. There is also his West End play, The Weekend and a first novel, Hemmingway's Chair, and a lead role in Fierce Creatures, the much-delayed follow-up to Wanda. Michael describes himself as 'drawn to risk like a moth to a flame. Someone grounded and safe who can be tempted into almost anything.' He duly finds time for two more travel series, Pole to Pole in 1991, Full Circle in 1996, and two more bestselling books to accompany them.
These latest diaries show a man grasping every opportunity that came his way, and they deal candidly with the doubts and setbacks that accompany this prodigious work-rate. As ever, his family life, with three children growing up fast, is there to anchor him.
Travelling to Work is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page to his ever-growing army of fans.
heats’ etc. then process down a lane to the graveyard. Despite the foul weather in London it is bright, with white scudding clouds, and the sun shines as Nigel is buried. Then to the pub close by. Good chat and many memories. Some of the people in the local Labour Party didn’t even know Terry was Nige’s brother, so good was he at concealing his background. Wednesday, September 28th The novel has much greater momentum now. H asked me the other morning ‘Is it funny?’ and when I said ‘No, not
pleased she did a little dance around the room. That I would love to have seen. Phone off the hook at ten and try to forget the head-swelling events of last night and concentrate on finishing the book. The Atlantic crossing is as anodyne to write about as it was to experience and I find it hard to breathe life into these last days or to say anything new about ships and oceans. To the Halcyon Hotel in Holland Park to record a short video for Greenpeace, to promote their views in the US. Peter
background in one of the video introductions we are to shoot today. He says Eddie Mirzoeff was a changed man after seeing prog nine. Almost sentimental about the series and lyrical about its pleasures – even enquiring as to whether we might do another! Two of the three introductions are completed quite swiftly – though I do make a Freudian slip – referring at one point to ‘only 25,000 meals’ instead of miles, to go. This leads to some rapid calculations and the conclusion that Nige and I ate
for Best Supporting Actor for A Fish Called Wanda, March 19th, 1989. Being silly with Gilliam. Edinburgh Film Festival, 1989. Python's twentieth anniversary filming with Steve Martin, September 23rd, 1989. Publicising 80 Days at the Western Show at Anaheim, California. ‘Have your photo taken with Michael A Fish Called Wanda Palin’ – December 15th, 1989. John with a few deceased parrots I gave him for his fiftieth birthday, October 27th, 1989. Mum on her terrace at Southwold, summer 1989.
party Hatt, John Hattersley, Roy Hatton, Derek Havana Havers, Nigel Having a Ball Hawke, Bob Hawkins, Sarah Hawksmoor, Nicholas Hawthorne, Nigel Haybill, Ms Haycraft, Anna (Alice Thomas Ellis) Haycraft, Colin Haydon-Jones, Ann Haydon-Jones, Pip Hay Literary Festival Hayward Gallery Healey, Denis Heartbeat Heartbreak House Heath, Sir Edward Heathrow Hilton Hotel Heffer, Eric Heinz Heller, Joseph Catch Closing Time Something Happened Heller, Valerie Helvin, Marie