I’m David Gibbs, and this is where I get to tell you something about me. I’m trying to second guess why you might want to know this, so bear with me if I stray off the point …
As the Goodies once said, am I just an inbetweenie? I left “youth” behind a couple of years ago, but not without a fight, but I try to kid myself that I have a few years to go before I approach “middle age”. Forty is an odd age, and it hurts more when you don’t have much hair.
I was born in 1967 in Hertfordshire, we moved to Essex when I was two and a half, and five years later to Yorkshire. I thus consider myself to be a Yorkshireman, perhaps erroneously – but it’s the only heritage I have!
I lived for many years in the East Riding village of Cherry Burton, which I never really appreciated until I left. You know how it is as a teenager – “this is dull, it’s so quiet and boring”. It’s only when you’ve tasted the rest of the world that you realise what an idyll you left behind.
I went to university in St Andrews in 1985, which I managed to string out to five years by various means, some of them pleasant. I’m jolly glad that I did, as it was in my final year there that I met Fiona, and we’ve been nigh on inseparable ever since.
After university, Fiona and I moved to Howden, back in East Yorkshire, where I worked as a sub-editor for the Press Association for a couple of years while Fiona completed her teaching training. Her first teaching post was in Tamworth in Staffordshire, so we moved down there for another couple of years before escaping to our current hideout of Kilsby in Warwickshire.
After six years together we finally remembered that we’d never got round to a wedding, so we got married in 1996 back in Cherry Burton, six years to the day after we started going out. It was all so sudden that many of our friends and family were convinced Fiona was pregnant …
Shortly after this I fulfilled a somewhat tragic childhood ambition by getting a job at the Radio Times. Saner souls than I would have moved to London at this point, but I couldn’t bear the thought of city life, so instead I chose to commute the 90 miles each day from Kilsby. In many ways, it was my dream job, combining my immense reservoir of TV trivia with my love of publishing, and I’m very glad I worked there, even if Wood Lane is the arse end of the universe.
After four years of that I decided to have a mid-life crisis and go back to university. I’d always wanted to do archaeology, so I took advantage of Fiona’s good nature and spent a year at Leicester University studying landscape archaeology, a thoroughly redundant degree but terribly interesting.
Thomas was born in October 2002, and is an absolute delight. Indeed, I don’t even care about the sleepless nights. He’s that cute. He has, of course, turned our lives upside down, but it’s hard to remember a time without him. The best thing we ever did, and we’ve done some good things in our time.
Sadly my father, Alan, didn’t get to see him – he died a month earlier, after a very short illness. He was a wonderful man and unique in so many ways. We all miss him very much.
What do I do …?
Not a lot. But I spend a lot of time not doing it. After Thomas was born, I went part-time, making us very poor but very happy. I rather took the work-life balance to the opposite extreme!
On the occasions when I do work, it’s at Practical Action, a development charity who work with poor people across the world to develop appropriate technologies. I edit the Practical Action website so you’d think I’d be able to make a stab at making my own website halfway decent … Alas, the world doesn’t work like that!
In my younger days I was really rather sad. And sadder still, I didn’t entirely grow out of it. Yes, I was, and in a very real sense still am, a Doctor Who fan. Once, the full-on convention-attending fanzine-editing type, now more the watch the occasional video and visit painfully sad websites type. I briefly edited DWB in the early 90s, and I’m pleased to see it thriving away from me as Dreamwatch. I also edited my own zine, Five Hundred Eyes, which is lurking around this website somewhere.