In 1996, Andrew Grumbridge registered the domain name ‘deserter.co.uk’, only to abandon it for the following eighteen years. He then joined with Vincent Raison in 2014 to reinvigorate the project and co-found the website, Deserter.
It is both a digital magazine and website that promotes unconventional thinking, alternative lifestyles and unique ways of seeing the world. Although its ethos is played for laughs, the ideas within encourage readers to take stock and evaluate their current happiness, reconnecting with their inner slacker in order to see beauty in the ordinary.
Both Andrew and Vincent present taking sick leave a little more seriously and breaking from the tyranny of work, while advocating spontaneity and an interest in counter culture. The Deserter philosophy is not simply about escapism, although appreciating departure and the joy of stolen moments. It is anti-capitalist, anti-mainstream, anti-targets and goals, but also optimistic, applauding the unsung hero, the wide-awake gadabouts and the smart chancer.
In July 2015, Deserter IPA was also launched in collaboration with brewer Late Knights, to commemorate the anniversary of the Deserter website. It is sold in a wide range of London pubs and is described as an ‘All-day breakfast IPA’, with a label stating it is ‘Best drunk during work hours’.
Research for the website and upcoming book bible DESERTERISM: HOW TO SHIRK, REST & PLAY involves lying on chaise-longues, going to pubs, smoking cheroots and daydreaming. Ironically, it is ruddy hard work.