10 years of Gamboling

It all happened by accident. We didn’t call it blogging back then, we called it writing on the internet. I still think of it that way – of course.

I said, “I want to write”, and my therapist said, “well why don’t you”?
“Ah,” I said, “I do write, I want to be read”.
“Well isn’t there,” she asked, “something you can do about that”?
“Well I could put my writing up on a website.”
“Can you, is that a thing people can do”?
“Well, not necessarily ‘people’, ‘people’ can’t, but I can”.

Because blogging didn’t exist then, or rather it did, but it wasn’t something ‘people’ knew about. 2003 isn’t even that early really. But it is 10 years. 10 years of fun and learning.

I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far. 2 days ago was the milestone, it all started on the 2nd September 2003. Discovering that was an accident. We went to see the Patrick Caulfield exhibition at Tate Britain at the weekend, and I drew/painted something inspired by the visit. Where was I to post it? The blog seemed the obvious place, when I posted it I realised that I hadn’t posted anything for almost a year and wondered if it was the biggest gap so far? To work it out I realised that I needed to know when the blog started, I went back and looked and discovered that the 2nd September 2003 was the date. The blog looked like this then: http://web.archive.org/web/20031006071603/http://www.gamboling.co.uk/archive.html if you had asked me then I would have vehemently hated the word blog as a description. I wasn’t making a blog I was making a writing website. It seems mad now but it was crucial.

When I think, years later, about my favourite posts, many of them were from the early days, but I don’t really know what the best ones are… Maybe you can help? Maybe you’ve been reading for years, maybe not. I sometimes forget about the fiction because much of it was featured in the book, the articles never got that level of recognition. If you have something you can think of from the 10 years let me know. I’ll pull a post together later in the week.

I have to specially thank Chainbear who’s 30th birthday was on 2nd September 2013. He asked people to doodle him an image for his birthday. I had seen somebody had made him this funky hat…


So I felt I needed to draw/paint something for him, and why not a painting of that scene to show it was live.


I actually ended up drawing it on a train while holding my iPhone in my left hand so I could see the original picture I was being inspired from. I had seen the Caulfield on the weekend and had told myself that I would do something inspired by it. I would I’m sure do it… eventually… That’s part of what yesterday’s poem was about. Time slips away doesn’t it. It’s easy to make excuses not to spend some time making something. Because making something, in theory, is the optional part of life – but is it really? So I thought, “hey I should actually do that other drawing”. Is being creative optional? Really?

10 years of gamboling says it isn’t for me.

I really want to thank all of my readers – who are the smartest, most beautiful and coolest people in the world (let alone the internet). I won’t name you here because that would probably be uncool. But you know who you are. THE BEST THAT’S WHO.

So please let me know anything you remember from the last 10 years, go on…

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