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, August 06, 2007

Because We Want To

I haven't written a post in over a week. Naughty, naughty me. Things have been kind of busy again of late though, which is always a good excuse.

Firstly, my BIG news is that Gustavo and I have finally decided to buy a property together after umpteen years of renting. I mean renting is really an incredible waste of time when you think about it, money going in some landlord's pocket and no stake in your own place. So that HAD to change. With the redundancy money I got from my previous job, plus other dosh that I have managed to save over a number of years (it has taken literally eons) I finally have a decent amount to put down as deposit. Of course there's all the horrid fees on top of that - stamp duty, solicitor's fees, evaluation etc etc - my God, it's a killer! - I never knew that buying somewhere could be so expensive. But I should have enough now. Anyway we've already found a flat in South East London (close to Crystal Palace / Croydon) and put in an offer which has been accepted so I'm very pleased about that! The area is not as desirable as where we're currently living, slightly run down in fact but it's not terrible either. Affordability forced us to look further afield - at the moment we're living in a one bed place and it now seems very small - two beds are soooo much better - but the problem was that two bed flats in our current location are mostly out of our price range, hence looking elsewhere. Anyway the area is meant to be "up and coming" and it's close to lovely Crystal Palace and the park. There's also good transport links and they're extending the East London line out there for 2010 which means that local properties will most likely go up in value. As for the flat itself it's gorgeous inside, with a massive lounge and modernised to a pretty high standard (good for someone like me who is clueless when it comes to DIY - the prospect of having to do a place up fills me with total dread.) And I'm really looking forward to having a second bedroom as a study/guest room. So all of that kind of sold it to me. Anyhow I don't want to run away with myself too much here as we're still awaiting the outcome of the mortgage application and there are a few other hurdles to get over. I am praying that all will be okay. Please pray for us too, dear readers!

Yesterday Gustavo and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary! We had a pretty full on weekend actually, most of which was spent in Brighton for Gay Pride. An appropriate place to celebrate. And the weather (as most of you in Southern England probably know) was totally fabulous. Pride in the rain is a bad proposition but we were truly blessed with some scorching sunshine all weekend long. And thousands of gays and dykes dressed up to the nines, not to mention an abundance of trannies and some truly wonderful and outlandish outfits. I also love Brighton and whenever I go back it's like going home (well, I did live there for six years...) The moment you step off the train and feel that sea air it's so relaxing and being cooped up in London one definitely appreciates the change of scene. I want to persuade Gustavo to move there one day, well maybe in a few years' time once we've made a bit of money on our current place. Whoops, I'm writing about it as if it's already ours aren't I? A more in-depth Pride report and photos are pending...

After we got back from Brightey we went for a nice anniversary meal at a Brazilian cafe in Fulham, which was very pleasant. I would highly recommend Brazilian food, although it's rather limited if you're a non-meat eater (the concept of vegetarianism is largely unknown in the country I'm told).

What else...I've been trying to get my butt back down the gym, as our Brazil trip is just under a month away and I don't want to look like a beached wale on the dunes in Rio. No senor! Jesus, it's hard though. Basically I'm going to have to abstain from any alcohol and unhealthy eating for the next month, which is quite a tall order for me. I can manage though...I've got very bored of countless sessions on the treadmill, running machines etc at the gym and to make things more interesting I'm been doing some exercise classes instead. Last week I went to a Pilates class (shades of Madonna) and also a "Box-fit" one which entailed doing lots of punches, flurries and uppercuts to cheesey pop music. You basically go round the room in a circuit with one person holding up "pads" which the other person wears a pair of gloves and punches and hits the pads. The latter is a great way of venting all your energy and I enjoyed it, but goodness, it's knackering and my arms and shoulders really ached afterwards.

And I recently read Billie's Piper's autobiography, Growing Pains. Strange to think that someone so young (only 24 years old) has already written about their life. Although after reading it, you do realise that she's already lived quite a full existence - plucked from obscurity to become a Pop Star when only 15, marrying Chris Evans at 19, experiencing anorexia, attempting suicide, becoming an actress and of course winding up in Dr Who. I actually really enjoyed reading it, although hardly a great work of art it was still quite enlightening, especially Billie's revelations about the Pop industry and the whole attempt to manufacture her image and persona which led to her depression and obsession with losing weight. Tellingly she later realises that her true ambition was to act. Parts of the book lacked depth though and I was disappointed (naturally) that more wasn't devoted to her time as Rose in Dr Who - she tends to generalise about the show with not much emphasis on making specific stories and I was dying for some more revelations and gossip. A bit of a let down in that respect.

Whilst on the subject of Who, I am still to finish my review of the final few episodes of Season Three. It's coming though, I promise.

Some of the forthcoming DVDs are looking good though, I'm loving the boxset of the Key to Time:

Although now I'm in the sensible business of buying a flat I will have to abstain from frivolous activities such as buying more DVDs. I'll probably have to ask for some for Christmas instead.

And I didn't even get round to doing "Quote of the week" this week! For shame.

11 Comments:

  • At 2:33 pm , Blogger newplanet said...

    Renting really is a bugger. I just moved into my first [First! At 34!] place recently and it really opened my eyes to how the whole thing is just a money making scam for stuck up landlords who don't give a shit about their tenants. Hmm... yeah I know the whole point is to make money - it's the fleecing tenants for cash but do all the decorating on the cheap that I object to.

    The place I am living in now is hardly luxurious but the estate agents won't let me decorate for fear that I'll damage the property. And they don't care that my bed hasn't seen any action cos it'll fall to pieces the first time I have sex in it.

    Anyway, glad you got on the housing ladder at last.

     
  • At 5:54 pm , Blogger Steve said...

    Double congratulation! Really chuffed for you - a house as well as married for a year! Good on you! Since buying our house I'm suddenly panicking every time the interest rates go up - a news item that for years was a complete mystery to me and that I totally ignored. Ignorance really is bliss but on the plus side it's so nice to know that all our hard earned money is going into a very real asset. Makes it all worth while.

     
  • At 8:57 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Hi Newplanet - Thanks and yes I agree about landlords - although our current one is pretty good and helpful whenever things get broken and the property we're in is in good condition too - I've certainly lived in some dumps in the past though! You mean you've only just moved into rented property for the first time?! Blimey! Were you living at home with Mummy and Daddy before then? (Just teasing!)

    Sounds like you need to find a posher pad, Mister!

    Steve - Thank you!! Yes about time. You're right though - interest rates going up isn't good but once you're on that ladder you can definitely reap the benefits. Oddly enough there was yet another story in the Metro today about the predicted rise of interest rates on properties which makes me very, very glad that I am buying now.

     
  • At 1:54 am , Blogger matty said...

    Oh my gosh!!! Congrats!!!!

    That is awesome!!!!

    I want you to get on one of those shows like changing rooms!!!! You must! You simply must!!!!

    I used to own. I hated it. Too much responsibility pour moi. But, I think you two are going to love it!!!!

    Can't wait to see some pictures!

    ...speaking of which -- where are they?!!?!?!

     
  • At 4:17 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Congrats on both the property front and your Cotton wedding anniversary! My brother lives in Brighton, on the sea front, and seems to like living there too!!

    Don't forget to set your video for "The Sarah Jane Adventures" which sounds as though it will air while you're in Brazil next month.

    I think I'll hold off buying "The Key to Time" too, for a while, as it's not exactly the best season ever! The box looks temptingly attractive in your pic though!!

    Haven't read the Billie book, as I presumed she wouldn't write much on "Who", though I did read a brief extract, about a year ago, on a fan site about how Evans bought her a car! Lucky girl!!

     
  • At 9:49 am , Blogger Flaming Nora said...

    Congratulations on your 1st anniversary and good luck in your home hunting.

     
  • At 1:14 pm , Blogger thomas said...

    happy anniversary, and great news about the flat!

    I remembered cos we went to Brighton Pride too ;-) it was a bit crowded wasn't it... I was half expecting meeting you and lots of other people... but fat chance in that crowd...we spent most of the time in the park hanging out at the back of the Wild Fruit tent, near the threshers, urinals and Popstarz tent not too far either...Sunday afternoon St James St party with Boogaloo Stu DJing for the whole street was pretty pop-tastic! I wanna go back to Shinky Shonky! :-)

     
  • At 2:05 pm , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    mon congrats on getting a pad of your own! I've never rented, thankfully, it just seems like a waste of money.

    Anyway, I would like my guest bedroom done in Caramel Blush and Bleached Linen (check out dulux.com) rofl

    cheers! alan

     
  • At 2:49 pm , Blogger Minge said...

    Congratulations on your anniversary and buying a flat together. Let me know when the housewarming is.

     
  • At 1:54 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    Let "US" know when the housewarming is, Mingela means. We'll be flying down to Stansted using my sleazyJet Staff Travel account (Just £6.99, yes £6.99 per person) and you'll have to drive from Croydon to pick us up.

    What do you mean "That's over 40 miles away?"... you want us there or not?

    Oh god, I really should go to bed now.

    PS: Caramel Blush and Bleached Linen (It's just a wee hint) lol

     
  • At 12:48 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Thank you for all your lovely comments and good wishes everyone!!

    Matty - I wish I had got on one of those progs, then the whole process of buying and doing up a property would be sooo much easier! (I am not a very practical person, although I can just about manage using a paintbrush).

    Well as soon as the sale is finalised I will post some pics...it's still early days and I don't want to count my chickens (just call me superstitious).

    Tim - So your bro lives in Brighton! He has good taste! It would be lovely to have a seafront flat though expensive I should imagine.

    I almost forgot about the Sarah J Adventures. I will try to remember to set the vid, although it's a little complicated...

    As for the Key to Time series, I think the first four stories are the best, the latter two are pretty cack from what I can remember!

    Yes I remember that bit from the Billie bio - Chris E was (still is?) pretty loaded and they could afford to have loads of time off, living in the country. Nice life if you can get it.

    Nora - Thanks chuck, well we've actually found the place so here's hoping it all goes smoothly...

    Thomas - We went to some of those places at Pride too. We walked down St James' on Sunday but I didn't know that Boogaloo Stu was playing there! Damn! And I wish Shinky Shonky hadn't moved to Stoke Newtington, it's not exactly accessible...

    Salty - Well darling, I will have to check out those colour schemes on the Dulux website. They have to be cleared with the Cheeser first. I will keep you posted.

    Minge - You're back, back, BACK Hen! I thought you'd disappeared off the face of the planet. Good holiday then?

    And I would love you and Alan, and your fella to join the housewarming shenanigans!! At the moment we're hoping we'll get completion by mid October at the latest but it's always a bit unpredictable how these things can go...we'll see.

    And the Sleazyjet tickets sound like a bargain, but rather than me pick you up (finar finar) at Croydon, can't you just arrange for the jet to touchdown on our roof? We'll be flying the pink flag...

     

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