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

Monday, July 09, 2007

I'm back, back, BACK!!!

Well hello ladies and gents....yes, I'm back, back, BACK!! Not that I've been away for THAT long - the last few weeks have kind of flown by (well for me anyways, as I've been pretty busy...) But now the Cheeser has been freed from the cycle of work, work, work and has more time on his hands (well a little more at least).

I finished my web design course last week (thank the lord) and I have managed to create at least a partial website as a result. I say partial - we are talking about 10% if that. Kind of made me realise that the whole technical process of web design is a time consuming one. It also didn't help that my laptop at home was playing silly beggars and wouldn't let me do certain things like insert images and links. Huh! So I had to go into college to do some of the work.

Anyways I managed to create a very snazzy home page with lots of fun images that function as rollovers/links to other sections of the site. That took enough time to do in itself! Then some information on the background and history of the organisation for whom I was creating the website, but again that was more than just a case of writing a load of blurb. I put some Flash animation in there to make it more interesting e.g. a cartoon image of a fish with speech bubbles coming out of his mouth...which took some doing too! Still I'm quite proud of what I've done (even if I think it could look better stylistically) and at least I'm getting another skill under my belt. Next step is that I have to keep working on improving my abilities and finish off the work for my friend. I've been quite slow to get things done, so hopefully with practice I'll get faster and faster! I also had to write an evaluation for my tutor on my website. As some of you might have gathered, I'm rather fond of writing and got rather carried away in the process - the thing ended up running to 20 odd pages! A very detailed account of the work I did but I tried to shove in (so to speak) as many technical references as I could to show my new found knowledge. I think my tutor was fairly impressed. Anyway we get our result in about four weeks. I just pray I've achieved a Pass. I don't think I'll get a Distinction but if I happened to get a Merit I'd be pretty bloody satisfied indeed.

On top of that I was also doing the extra work for the exam board which was taking up my evenings and weekends! That too is now thankfully over, but it's worth it when I think of the money I'll receive. Just in time for my trip to Braaaazil in September, lots of nice holiday money, which will be muito bem, as they say in Portuguese.

In the meantime the world has carried on its own sweet way. Wimbledon has been and gone and made very little impact on me in spite of the fact that I live in close proximity to the green tennis courts. I just don't find Tennis a very exciting occupation, either to play or watch. And who on earth wants to pay £5 for three strawberries and a smidgen of cream? Not me, Jocasta darling.

The residents of the Big Brother continue to bitch, argue, bicker and snipe. And there's now a generous helping of male specimens inhabiting the human zoo. To be honest I haven't caught much of it the last few weeks but have just about enough awareness of what's been going on. Laura has been the latest personage to depart. Charlie and Chanelle seem to both hate each other's guts. Ziggy continues to be rather arrogant and up himself. My hot favourite to win is Jerry, who has a calm but quirky quality to him which I like, plus I think he's kind of cute. I don't know why everyone's going on about Nicky winning - she's okay but it's true she never smiles and I do find her something of a mardy madam. However I don't know how much BB I'm going to be watching from this point on. The latest batch of housemates haven't really grabbed me and I'm found the whole thing to be a bit of a dead-in-the-water affair, in spite of earlier dramatic incidents like the Emily-racism debacle. Of course I'll probably end up writing daily posts on the bloody thing...

But on an infinitely more exciting note, the latest series of Dr Who reached its climax the weekend before last. Mmm. "Exciting" is a slight misnomer actually, as I have to say I really wasn't altogether impressed with "Last of the Time Lords" and after the fairly gripping "Sound of Drums" I found the concluding episode to be something of a letdown. Russell T Davies really does need picking up and shaking. Or replacing altogether. I do actually think it's time. Anyway, more on that topic later and I will be subjecting you all to a brace of mini reviews of the final episodes from Season Three that I didn't get round to writing about (yes, I can hear you all guffawing when I say "mini"). But I just don't know what I'm going to do with my Saturdays now!! Help!!

Still on the Wonderful World of Who, there's been a number of other major developments within that sphere. Firstly, the announcement that Freema Agyeman will only be in half of the next series and will also be joining the cast of Torchwood for a few episodes. To be honest I'm not too gutted by this news. I started off really liking Freema/Martha when the last series began, then as it progressed I increasingly noticed her limitations as an actress. To anyone who's read my reviews, this will probably come as a bit of a surprise as I've (mostly) sung her praises in just about every episode. Don't get me wrong, Freema has tried very hard in the role and has definitely had her moments. She's a likeable girl. But there's something about the way she delivers some of her lines that doesn't entirely convince. Billie Piper was definitely a stronger actress. However I don't think the blame lies entirely with Ms Agyeman - her characterisation has also been pretty hampered by her "mooning after the Dr" persona. PLEASE don't let the replacement companion plow the same furrow. More on that topic in a mo...

Second, the news that Aussie popstress and one time Ramsey Street resident Kylie Minogue will be starring in the Dr Who Christmas Special, Voyage of the Damned. I can cope with that. I actually think she'll be rather good, and can just see her playing a kind of early 1900s flapper (And yes, I said flapper...mind you the Charleston and all those dances hadn't really taken off at that stage had they? Okay, an early 1900s chorus girl? A waitress? A saucy cabin girl?)

And the final piece of information, and one which I am less than overjoyed about, is the announcement that Catherine Tate will be reprising her role as Donna Noble (from the 2006 Christmas Special) for the entire Fourth series. Noooo!!!! As much as I admire Ms Tate as an actress and comedienne, I just don't think she's going to work as a long term companion in Dr Who, the limitations of her character being the major reason for this. A full and detailed protestation against the reinstatement of La Noble, in the form of a post by moi, will be forthcoming. Meanwhile my fellow bloggers Steve and Time Warden have already waxed lyrical on this subject, here and here.

What else...well, Gustavo and I have just purchased a digital box for the TV!! Hoorah!! I was very excited. They're actually very cheap - this one cost just £30 - and as a result we have loads more channels and infinitely better picture quality. Before we just had a portable aerial that would sometimes lose reception and the picture would be grainy and generally rather sh*t. I don't know why we put up with it for so long. Now the picture is crystal clear (apart from the odd bit of pixellation or frozen images, but that's cos it's connected to the portable aerial...it's still miles better to watch). Having said that the box does seem to get rather hot on the top when in it's been left turned on for a period of time, which is a bit alarming - I hope it doesn't blow up or anything. Still, I can always buy another one. Perhaps a more expensive one would be more of an investment. Anyone know much about digital boxes? Indulge me, please...

Oh and I've succumbed to the hype and just signed up for Facebook. I guess it's a good way of networking with mates and keeping up with all the latest info. It seems to me to be very similar to My Space, which I never got into before. Any other fellow Face-ies out there? No, I said Face-ies...

And that's my mega update out of the way!! Ta ra for now, folks...

The OC xxx


  • At 3:11 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Why, Old Cheeser, what an unexpected pleasure! Good to see you back, young man!!

    Moving straight to the heart(s) of your post, do you think when RTD goes it'll make any difference to the series or do you think it'll still be business as usual because it's so commercially successful the way it is?

    And, while we're on the subject, I don't think DT will stay any longer than RTD, who is supposed to be leaving at the end of the next series! Despite what Tennant says, I still believe the Doctor will regenerate next year!!

    I believe Kylie is playing a waitress.

    Tate's casting simply compounded the feeling that the production team are directionless concerning the series. Why didn't they keep Tate after the special for the season just finished, introducing Martha halfway through, then write Tate out at the end of said season and keep Martha through next year? It would've provided more stability, to my mind, and RTD might've got away with it!

    Our set top box cost around the same as yours and is perfectly adequate. Sometimes we lose BBC4 together with one of the children's channels which are broadcast on the same frequency.

    It seems at first like there's a lot more choice, with Freeview, but a lot of channels are Teleshopping. Drama channels do tend to recycle the same episodes of the same shows but at least you can get to know those series well if you want to! I hope you enjoy your purchase and, if you didn't tape them or retain your recordings if you did, you're just in time to watch series three of "DW" all over again beginning this Friday!!!

  • At 7:24 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Yay - welcome back Old Cheeser. The bloggosphere hasn't been the same without you!

    Good luck with your web design results - I'm sure you'll do brilliantly. My money's on a Distinction.

    Karen and I are considering buying a set top box as out TV aerial took a nosedive off the roof last year and (very embarrassingly) we still haven't got it fixed. Well... TV aerials are so retro aren't they!

    I share everybody's concerns with Doctor Who (cheers for the plug by the way) and feel that series four could be make or break as far as I'm concerned. I'm looking forward to the return of Torchwood though.

    I agree that Freema was effectively hamstrung by her role in DW. There was no where for her to go other than leave. Talk about being boxed into a corner.

    As for BB. God it's so desultory. I watch the occasional episode and though the housemates annoy the bejasus out of me they just don't inspire me to write a post about them. Guess I'm more of a Celebrity Big Brother fan. Bigger egos to get my teeth into (though Charley's is pretty humungous).

    Anyway - great to see you back!

  • At 9:05 pm , Blogger DanProject76 said...

    Like you said, RTD is great at the set-up but bad at the resolution. Again. But I still love it.

    He is indeed allegedly doing season 4 as his last one. Rumours of the programme ending are mad. The BBC makes a fortune out of it!

  • At 1:36 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Tim - thank you kind sir!

    Mmmm - well I'm not totally sure what impact RTD's apparent departure will have on DW exactly. I think at the end of the day, the Beeb want to retain/up the viewing figures, for better or worse, so that will probably remain a priority. But with a new producer at the helm there could be a change in style and direction. Look at the differences between say, Philip Hincliffe, Graham Williams and John Nathan-Turner. They all produced during the Tom Baker years but there approach was notably different.

    Also with RTD gone perhaps we'll actually be left with the truly decent writers - I do think that a lot of the stronger stories from the last three seasons were written by other people! Perhaps too we'll have a more away from the more domestic/soap oriented approach that RTD so favours. I think we've had too many Earth companions with families and associated plotlines. We really do need a break from that mould. However with Catherine Tate due to return that doesn't look like it's going to happen just yet - let's see what happens if/when RTD departs!

    Not sure about DT - three years is a decent period for a Dr and I wouldn't object to a replacement coming along.

    Kylie as a waitress eh? Will she be a singing/dancing one in hot pants?

    I know what you mean about the directionless thing - not very well thought out and I can't believe with the wealth of writing talent onboard they couldn't come up with something better than resurrecting a half-baked character like Donna.

    Yes it's good to have a Freeview box and yes I can watch DW repeats now! And DW Confidential! Wooohooo!!

    Steve - thanks matey, good to be back!

    A Distinction, mmm, thanks for the vote of confidence - we'll see!!

    Yes, go buy a digi box - you KNOW it makes sense! Besides which they're going to permanently switch over the TV signal from analogue to digital in the not too distant future, so we'll basically have no choice.

    I too feel that Series 4 could be the testing ground for the show's future. Not to put too much emphasis on it but I strongly feel that the weight rests with a certain Ms C Tate!

    I too am feeling the same about BB. Roll on the next Celebrity BB.

    Dan - yes perhaps RTD doesn't always deliver the goods but there's enough fun to be had from DW. I didn't think "LOTTL" was terrible by any stretch of the imagination, just ultimately disappointing.

    And if the prog continues to pull in ratings and dosh how can they possibly pull the plug? NAH!!


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