Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Deck the halls...

Been having a nice Sunday with my hubbie. Did a spot of Xmas shopping in town (getting bits and pieces for my family, who we will be visiting over the Xmas period) and we have also put up our decorations!! Yaaay!! Including our very nice fibre-optic Xmas tree. This might sound very non-traditional and modern for an Xmas tree but I like it that way. It's compact and has little branches that twinkle and glow. It's pleasant on the eye, doesn't take up too much space and most importantly, is low maintenance i.e. doesn't have any bloody pine needles which constantly drop on the floor (something I remember from childhood). So that's nice. I will post a photo of it shortly so you can see what I mean.

What else. Had a bit of a reunion last night with some old friends who I haven't seen since my wedding, Thomas and his boyfriend Simon who live in North London, and Mary, who originally comes from New Orleans but now lives in Wales (quite a change in location!) Anyhow we all went out for a meal in Soho, followed by a few drinks. Thomas and Simon have a marked preference for non-smoking bars so that made finding a suitable eating location ... challenging, shall we say. We spent rather a lot of time treking around which did get frustrating, however in the end we decided on Wagamamas, which was a definite relief! (Yes I am moaning, Thomas!) The food there is pretty good and healthy too, although the order in which our meals was kind of weird i.e. my food came first and everyone else had to wait for their's. Surely it's better if they bring everything at once? I also had a rather yummy chocolate desert with horseradish in it (nicer than it sounds).

It was great catching up with my friends. I first met Thomas and Mary when we were all at Sussex University in the early 1990s - frightening to think how quickly the years have flown by since. We all studied for a Masters at Sussex; Thomas and I were on a very "hip" course called Sexual Dissidence and Cultural Change, which was basically the study of sexuality and gender in fiction, theatre and film, with a big focus on gay and lesbian representation and theory. It was a very interesting course and wonderful to have the opportunity to study something that was of personal significance to me. At the time the course caused a certain amount of controversy, and there were even questions raised about it the House of Lords I think. However it's good to see that the course is still running, and if you want to check it out, try:

I often wonder why I didn't do more with my Masters. In spite of my own personal interest in gay and lesbian culture, I didn't exactly use the course to further my career and the office job I do now is almost entirely irrelevant (not to mention rather boring). However my friend Mary, who now lectures in Feminism and Theatre Studies, was encouraging me to go and do a PhD, which in turn could lead to a university lecturing job. I am actually a qualified Secondary teacher but quickly realised that teaching teenagers was not a life-long desire of mine and soon quit. Since then I have taught adults part-time and also done one-to-one tutoring which I enjoy, but have never had a full time teaching job. One thing I've realised is that I far prefer teaching adults who are (mainly) motivated to learn and who are generally "on your level". You also don't have the discipline issues you do in Secondary school, something I hated and don't miss one little bit. So ... Mary's idea is something to think about anyway. Whilst my love and home life are pretty much tip-top, my career trajectory hasn't been exactly hot, and I've been feeling stuck in a rut for a long time. So we shall see!

Okay, hope you didn't mind that little spell of self-indulgence, boys and girls.

And Thomas has his own blog for anyone who's interested:


  • At 6:12 am , Blogger matty said...

    Yay! Xmas decorating! I love those kind of trees. ...we wanted one, but the ones that went over 5 feet were too much $$$ for us.

    A MA ...I only have a BA. It was to be a BS, but I hated teaching in Texas so I just went with the BA and moved to Boston. ...Now, I'm in San Francisco. ...a receptionist at a very gay dental office uptown. ...so you can see how much I did or have done with my degree. ...but, I'm having fun.

    (I think)

  • At 7:07 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    The very reason I didn't become a teacher... I didn't want to become a social worker!

    My Mum was a teacher though and I've had both terrific and appalling teachers like most people. Thank God, or whoever, for the really good inspiring ones.

    I did my BA (Music) at Nottingham Uni, late 70s early 80s, and my MMus (Composition) at Goldsmiths, London Uni. Education shouldn't just be about the job you can get with the qualification but an enabler to think for oneself for a lifetime.

  • At 9:06 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Matty - yeah, fortunately our tree is only about 3 foot - compact and trim and very portable.

    And hey, that's the ultimate maxim in life really - if you like what you do and you're happy - stick with it! I'm sure working in a gay dentist is kind of interesting (Is Michael Tolliver a customer by any chance...?)

    And I still want to know your opinion of Dante's Cove and Queer As Folk, as I mentioned in my other post ... pppplease ... when you have the time, that is!! Would be interested to hear your views!!

    OC x

  • At 9:19 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Timewarden! Yes being a secondary teacher was certainly like that, having to deal with a load of hormonal and troublesome, not to mention troubled teenagers ... if guns were compulsory for teachers I would have had a class load of dead kids long ago ... Whoops!! Didn't say that really!!

    But yes, we all had our inspiring teachers too.

    Music eh? Interesting subject. I think you're right in your view about the value of education too. Makes me feel better now, even if my job isn't perfect!

  • At 10:11 pm , Blogger Lubin said...

    I think I once gave a talk for that course you were on a few years back!


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