Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Year resolutions

I almost called this post “New Years” resolutions just to annoy my friend Kris. But I couldn’t make myself do it in the end. But I have of course included it so he can still have a small grumble to himself.

My new year resolution is 1024 x 768 – Geek Joke!

No my actual resolution concerns this fair site – There has been some suggestion in the ranks that there hasn’t been quite as much activity here as there once was. But no more. I’m going to take things back to the founding principles of Gamboling and post every week day. Back in the old days I used to have a standard set of features depending on which day it was:

Monday – Article
Tuesday – Joke
Wednesday – Article
Thursday – Joke
Friday – Fiction

Then as I was ramping up to writing my first book, “The book with the missing first page” which is still available from Amazon and makes an ideal, “you bought me a present for Christmas but I didn’t get you anything so I’ve now got you this” present, the format changed to…

Monday – Short Fiction
Tuesday – Joke
Wednesday – Article
Thursday – Joke
Friday – Long Fiction

But this time I think I’m not going to put the jokes in. They might show up from time to time. But putting two rubbish jokes in a week meant that the jokes were often really, really rubbish, and I felt they dragged things down a bit. So now I’m going to go for:

Monday – Article
Tuesday – Question
Wednesday – Article
Thursday – Archive
Friday – Creative

So there are three new categories here. First up is Question. Each Tuesday, I will pose an exciting* question which you will hopefully be kind enough to answer. These aren’t going to be hard questions like “what’s the square root of 1,000,000?” but rather things like “what’s your favourite colour?”**.

The second is Archive. Gamboling has been going since September 2003!!! I don’t expect everyone has been reading all of that time [I’ve had to! – Ed.]. Even I don’t remember some of the nonsense I’ve written over the years. So I’m going to use this section to bring some of it to light. It might even be the spur to write some new articles.

Finally there is Creative. I’m guessing this will mainly be fictional things, but they might not be. I don’t really know what this is going to be. We’ll just have to see.

Anyway. So that’s the idea. Let’s see if I can keep it up through 2010 or if it’s going to do me in.

* well, maybe not that exciting.

** see?

Presents of mind

Buying a present for somebody is trouble. Of course we all know this, but we don’t admit it. It’s better to give than to receive, they say. But at Christmas you are doing both and that’s got to be a recipe for disaster.

So where does this all come from? It would seem to be something to do with those supposedly wise men. I mean surely a rattle would have been a better present than what they bought? History doesn’t record what Jesus returned their favour with, but my guess is that it was more at the peace and enlightenment to all men end of the spectrum and I happen to know that the guy who bought the gold was hoping for a hifi. Shouldn’t have given gold to an infant then should you?

But therein lies the problem. You don’t know what scale the other person is working to until it is too late. Sorry, if I had known you were buying me a 1:1 size aircraft carrier with both dry and wet dock, I wouldn’t have simply bought you a bottle of Netto’s own wine wrapped in an already half-composted plastic bag.

It’s a nightmare. But the solution of withdrawing from the entire sorry affair marks you out as a complete weirdo. I personally think it’s quite a reasonable strategy, but I’m sure when you tell people you don’t celebrate Christmas, they look at you like you have two heads. And then try and explain why you shouldn’t have two heads and end up shaking their own heads at the impossibility of it all.

Come on Jedi. We invented you for this very reason. It’s your destiny. We can say, “sorry I don’t celebrate Christmas because of my religion”. And people will shut up.

Despite all of this, I am a soft touch. I know at some point on Christmas morning I will look across the vista before me, and a small tear will come to my eye. Probably as I’m trying to defrost the turkey with a hammer and my hand slips.

Merry Christmas!

Creative endeavours

You may well have been wondering what I have been getting up to of late. The novel is progressing well. I have started getting feedback on my second draft – I have two and a half responses so far and it has been a fascinating process.

In the meantime, it is stunting my writing ability. I’m not sure why, but I’m in some kind of pause mode. Only on the writing front though. So if you are looking for something to keep you occupied, I have two projects to occupy your mind.

One is brand new and ideal for the season – an advent calendar. Every day, instead of a chocolate, you get a joke. Surely that’s a fair exchange?

Also I have made some interesting updates to There has been a second episode of the podcast and after seeing the Anish Kapoor exhibition, I made a video which I think explains what it felt to visit the exhibition. Check it out!

I hope this tides you over till the novel is done.