Category Archives: Admin

What’s the deal with this gamboling blog then anyway?

“What’s the deal with this gamboling blog then anyway?”

So yes, on and off for many years I have periodically updated this blog in fits and bursts. Sometimes I have written a new piece every day including weekends. Sometimes I haven’t. Not all of the archive is still in place due to a problem, and eventually I will go back and fix this, but I’ve been saying that for a while.

“So is gamboling back?”

Well I’ve probably said that over the years more times than I would care to remember.

“But this time is different right?”

Um, probably not. I mean I’ll stop again, but that’s what you want really – how on earth could I keep you interested if I wasn’t interested?

“Ok, so not different?”

Well a little different. This time I have built up a buffer. So if I don’t write anything at all from the point that I publish this post you’ll have a month of stuff, not a month of every day stuff but a month of stuff with enough frequency you might be able to keep up, but that it doesn’t seem sporadic.

“So why not just publish one of these things instead of writing a thing about why you haven’t written anything?”

YOU AREN’T THE BOSS OF ME! No I didn’t mean that. Well I thought I better explain what was going on.

“Ok, so you’re back, what kind of gamboling phase is this going to be?”

The mixed bag phase, with features, articles, fiction. Things like “Reasons to be Cheerful”, and the question for the comments will be back. There will be none of the ponderous thought pieces and more of the silly stuff. The cool thing is that there are ideas and features I’m really excited to introduce you to, and that hasn’t happened for a while.

“So when is this first article coming, why don’t you publish it already?”

It’ll be here in a an hour. It might already be here, if you haven’t been madly refreshing this semi-dormant site every five minutes for a year just in case something is published.

Hope you enjoy it,


Moving Day

So today, being a Thursday, is supposed to be all about the archives and in many ways it is. Gamboling has today moved from blogger to wordpress. This means there has been a bit of a spruce up. You will probably have to change your feed reader to point somewhere else.

Practically it does mean that finally the 2003 / 2004 archive will be moved into the main body of the site. I am working on that at the moment.

Loads of links have probably broken. If something is broken and you spot it then simply let me know.

Just one quick thing to mention… there are a LOT of posts! Crazy.

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?

So what’s been going on with Gamboling?

So what’s been going on with Gamboling? A letter has literally flooded in from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales. She writes:

Dear Johnny Wilkinson,

In the end your kicking wasn’t enough, but I still like your shops.

Hmmm. So yes. There hasn’t been any writing on here for a while and that has mainly been because I’ve been busy with work, busy with home life (we’ve bought some sofas) but mainly because…

A book is born

Yes finally the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the fiction you’ve read for free online in a handy pay format.

The book is called “The book with the missing first page

It will hopefully be available from the beginning of December.

It’s a selection of the fiction from the site. But every story has been altered at least slightly.

What’s going on?

So a couple of weeks ago I rather grandly announced that I would be writing less on gamboling and more of the stuff I am supposed to be writing. I think gamboling has now settled down to the around three or four posts a week that I intended which leaves the a question: So what is the stuff that I’m supposed to be writing?

I am working on a tv pilot and a novel. I have to be a bit more secretive about the pilot because a part of what makes a pilot work is it’s concept. But that won’t stop me talking about the process. Because it will be easier to keep track of I’m going to take a word out of the title of the screenplay and use that to label all of the posts. That way every time you see the word Sheets you’ll know it’s about the screenplay.

On the other hand I’m happy to talk about the novel and what that’s about. The novel is about the character Inspector Citron. He is a rarity in the world of detective fiction in that he’s a first person character. I’ve been writing the novel on and off (more off than on) for two years. Near the beginning of the year Citron even made an appearance in a short story here. It gives an impression of the kind of thing Citron will be about.

So yes. I feel it’s time to talk about them properly on the site because that’s likely to make it seem more real. Then I won’t have any excuse not to finish.

A gamboling problem

I have decided to change a few things around here, for my own sanity. I am on holiday at the moment, which partly drew my attention to the issue but it’s been a more general thing that’s been occurring to me.

I’m writing too much on gamboling I’m pretty sure, and it makes it hard for everyone to keep up. By being that prolific I’m almost certainly reducing the average quality level of my work. Also when there are good things written then I’m pretty sure they can get lost easily.

I will still probably write a couple of times a week on here. But the main thing that I will be attempting to work on are a novel and a script. When I started writing gamboling I wrote that blurb that’s been sitting up in the top left. I have been using gamboling to try and find some focus and to get the number of words I was writing a week up to a higher number. The aim being that I would then be able to harness that to finish at least some of the scripts and novels. Gamboling has been going for 4 years and that hasn’t really happened. So something is going to have to change.

I think this can be good for both of us. I’ll be writing more of the stuff that’s important and you as a reader will have more time to recover between each article and story.

Let me know what you think. As always I really appreciate any comments.

Gamboling on the future

I am going to make a few changes around here. Have a bit of a sweep and tidy up.
In my job which I amazingly manage to do and keep four blogs on the go part of my role is managing change. Trying to change the way that my firm goes about it’s business. And one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt working on projects like this is the concept of fail fast.

People get incredibly invested in the projects they are working on. They feel that if they just tinker a little bit more then it will suddenly come right. But it isn’t often true. You have to learn to be brutal even with the projects you love.

Now here at Gamboling we’ve added the weekend section since the beginning of the year. And I’ve personally liked the Sunday Illustrated section very much but the Saturday deafinitions have been wearing me down. They aren’t funny enough, they take ages to write and I don’t want to steal them from anywhere else.

If I were going to I would have already posted my personal favorite from Stephen Fry, for I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’s Uxbridge round who did “Countryside – the act of killing Piers Morgan” at lunchtime on a Sunday on Radio 4 and nobody complained. Presumably because they thought it was true.

So if I’m not enjoying it I think I better retire from that particular feature. So what, you may be asking will you be getting instead?

Well I have been, as you might have noticed experimenting with some longer fiction of late. And frankly I would like to do some more. So I think what I’m going to do is add another day of Fiction into the mix. One of the fiction days will be for short little stand alone things and the other will be for longer pieces which will appear in four parts each. So a four part story will take four weeks still. And there will be some other fiction each week to keep you going.

The other fiction will likely include some recurring characters. For example in the up and coming months we can expect to see our friends from the frozen school of the future again and I will also be bringing you some short stories from Citron, my detective. Citron has been in the pipeline for a while now, he’s one of the novels that I mention in my profile. His novel has the virtue of being the only one I’ve been actively writing in 2006 and I am continuing on that tack in 2007. But some ideas simply can’t fit into the novel so they will appear here.

The only problem is that Friday and Saturday are right next to each other in the week so it might get to be a bit too much. So to solve this I’m going to have a quick re-jig of the days. So we will have:

Monday – Short Fiction to start up the week
Tuesday – A Joke
Wednesday – An Article
Thursday – A Joke
Friday – Longer Fiction
Saturday – An Article
Sunday – An Illustration or an illustrated article

Anyway that’s the plan. Obviously feel free to let me know if you don’t like it, or drop me a line for any reason.

Thanks for reading,


So I may have started another blog

I actually already have a blog post called this here on gamboling: So I may have started another blog which I posted when I was starting SofaF1.

Nick and I have decided to start making films under the soubriquet “Troy Road“. And so there is a blog associated of course: Troy Road Blog.

Well I shall be writing even more this year than even I thought! Hope you’ve been enjoying the new features: Deafinitions every Saturday and Illustrated every Sunday.

Thanks for reading,


Ask a question

Haven’t you always just wanted to ask a question to me here at gamboling but been too shy to ask?

Isn’t there some question lurking that you would really love to hear the answer to but have never worked out how to search for the answer on the modern interweb?

Or are you like Nick who suggested this idea because sometimes you know you could look up the answer to the question but you’d rather have the gamboling style answer to read?

Anyway whatever the reason is, just stick your question in the comments here and I will try to give you an answer as soon as I possibly can.

A few bits of admin for Gamboling

There have been a few small changes around here, just to tidy things up a little bit. So I thought I’d just run through them so that we are all on the same page (so to speak).

There are now tags* for each post (you can see them at the bottom) if you can click on them then you can see all of the posts that have been tagged with the same thing.**

Also I’ve added a recent links section up there on the right. This shows some recent pages that I’ve been looking at on the modern internet. If any of the titles take your fancy then please give them a check out. (You will be taken off to the rest of the internet, so do please remember to come back at some point).

*Or as us blogger bloggers are supposed to call them: labels!

**Although it isn’t all of the posts really because there are still of the old gamboling posts which you can get to still by clicking on Older Archive on the left there. Because they are pre-blogger they can’t be tagged unfortunately but are still there.