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

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Out and Proud

Better late than never, here's my report on Pride...Saturday 4th August.

It was a beautiful hot day, in fact hot all weekend so we were absolutely blessed (given how totally sh*te the English weather has been all Summer). Perfect Pride weather!! This is how it should always be!!

Gustavo and I got a morning train from East Croydon which was packed to the nines and had to stand all the way to Brighton. Not too bad though as there was a good atmosphere on the train and everyone was in the party mood. I got talking to a lovely lady who actually came from York (the town I grew up in from 7-18 years of age and where most of my family still reside). She'd come all the way down just to go to Pride - dedication eh.

Once we got to Brighton we then had to hike our things over to some mates of mine, Ben and Harry. I'd forgotten how steep and hilly Brighton is! Heave ho, up to Hanover we go!! And here's Ben and Harry looking very alluring in matching sailor suits:

We'd missed the start of the Pride march which always commences at the Peace Statue on the Brighton/Hove border, so we sashayed straight to Preston Park instead - where the Pride Party was taking place. Great park at the North end of the town with lots of pretty flowerbeds, a bowling green and loadsa space. Except when you've got literally thousands of fags and dykes there, it becomes somewhat crowded. But it was still a great atmosphere. And lots of stalls, dance tents and fairground rides! And here's some piccies of the occasion...

Gustavo, Kim (an old workmate) and moi!

Me (horrid cheesy grin) flanked by our friends Roberto and David. Look at that blue sky!

And look at these fabulous drag queens! How can you get through the door with hair like that? And I was amazed that their make-up didn't melt in the heat. As well as walking on the grass in stacked heels. The price of glamour is a high one.

A tent roof top, which kind of reminded me of something ... any ideas?

Inside the Popstarz dance tent it was rocking music and dancing aplenty.

Gustavo getting into the party swing.

Isn't he cute!

Then I ran into Emma (that's her on the right) an old mate from London who I hadn't seen in ages! And her new lady (on the left!) It was really good to see her - that's what often happens at Pride though - you run into people you haven't seen in yonks. Of course when it's nasty exes or people from the past that you'd rather avoid, it's best to head in the opposite direction. I had, erm, a fair few dalliances during my time in Brighton but I'm pleased to say I didn't encounter anyone who induced the running-away reaction or highly believable "Oh, er, Hello! Who are you? Sorry? Do I know you?" response. VERY convincing.

Gustavo and the boys outside the Revenge tent. Getting nicely trollied. Just before this point I'd also attempted to go and find a group of gay Dr Who fans from the Outpost Gallifrey site who apparently were congregating by the clock tower. I couldn't find them bloody anywhere. Probably cos stoopid me forgot to take down phone numbers and couldn't remember faces. Of course if they'd erected a giant Dalek or police box it might have been a bit easier to find them all - kind of hard when there's hundreds of people milling about all over the place. And I didn't have the guts to go up to complete strangers and ask "Excuse me, are you Dr Who fans?" I might have got a slap or beer chucked all over me or something...

Having failed in my mission to locate the Gay Whovians I tried to find Gustavo, Roberto and David but they'd vanished amongst the throng. And in typical festival fashion, mobile reception was bloody abysmal i.e. the whole network was flooded which made trying to phone people bloody difficult. And my mobile ran out of credit. Grrrr!! Anyway, after about an hour and several queenie strops later, I reconnected with my hubbie and pals. Phew.

This pic was taken by a very drunken mother who had her kids in tow. Bless her. But that's what I love about Pride - when the parents bring their children it's so good to see. That's what we need - the next generation being educated to see that it's normal to love someone of the same sex and that we're just regular people wanting to party and have a good time like anyone else. Brighton has always been a very liberal and open-minded place though and I wish there were more places in the UK like it.

Oh no!!! For some reason unbeknown to myself I was coerced into going on one of the sh*t-scary fairground rides. Whyyyyy? This one was a pirate boat type thing that went very high up and rocked backwards and forwards at a terrifying angle. Nice.

And this was the "highlight" - getting suspended in mid-air and then being stuck there! You can make out Roberto in the front seat and me in the one behind with a serious case of Beetroot head. Whyyyy do I put myself through this kind of thing? It was f*cking torture.

Late afternoon we left the park and headed to Kemptown (or Camp Town as it's more affectionately known), the gay district of the town (every good city or town has one!) The whole of St James Street had been shut off for the festivities; one big street party. Hoorah! That's it above. Even when I lived there they didn't use to do that - I think it's got even better.

We headed to Legends bar on the seafront and holed up there for the rest of the afternoon and evening. A lot of the other clubs and bars were charging extortionate prices so it was kind of easier just to stay there. It's a rather tacky bar (in fact I used to live just a few minutes' walk from there) but endearing in its naffness and they played lots of top toons to dance to, so one can't complain.

Carry on drinking...

Roberto and Gu get on down. Not sure what Rob's trying to do with his fingers.

Me and David having a bit of groove too. Elizabeth Taylor looks a bit po-faced and disapproving. Cheer up love! It's Pride!! You're the woman who practically invented the meaning of camp!!

We then headed to the downstairs bar/club for some real dancing. I loved the laser lighting, truly cosmic.

More futuristic strobing...

Oh dear. That young lady on the left looks rather...monged.


I love this shot of Gustavo suffused in a pink light...very artsy.

And...that's about it! Next day we had a late breakfast down on the seafront while nursing our hangovers and then went for a stroll on the fabulously tacky Brighton pier which was lovely...unfortunately I didn't take any pics so you'll just have to take my word for it that we had a good time. All in all, it was an excellent weekend and Gustavo and I's first wedding anniversary too!

Here's to Pride 2008! I wonder what we'll all be doing by then? Time will tell...


  • At 2:28 am , Blogger matty said...

    You two are such a cute couple!!!

    It looks like it was a fab time!

    And, I'm so in love with that drag queen's big hair do!!!! such a 'don't' that it has come 'round to total 'do'!!!!

    In 2008? Hmmmm... I suspect you two hot gents will be hosting a Pride Party in your way cool new home! ...a home you both own!!!!


    ...happy Pride a little late!

  • At 7:05 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Looks like a great time was had by all - and fab weather too! That tent... reminds me of Wonder Woman for some reason...!

  • At 9:52 am , Blogger The Sagittarian said...

    Why would you miss that!!

  • At 9:54 am , Blogger The Sagittarian said...

    aagh, me and my fat fingers! Meant to put that I liked the pink photo thingy too. Very arty.

  • At 2:24 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Thanks Matty! You're right about the "do". Tracy Turnblad would have been jealous!

    Well - I hope your 2008 predictions come true, babe! You could be right!

    Steve! Ha ha. Would you care to elaborate on why the tent reminds you of Wonder Woman? It's the colours isn't it?

    Sagittarian! Thank you! Of course I was wobbling the photo all over the place to get the effect...

  • At 11:42 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Or should I say wobbling the camera...doh...

  • At 3:28 pm , Blogger Minge said...

    You two are hardcore!

  • At 3:29 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    That's one way of putting it!

  • At 12:58 am , Blogger Minge said...



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