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, January 06, 2008

No more champagne...(Why did ABBA pronounce it with a "ch"?)

Happy new year, happy new year, may we all have a Beechams now and then... At least that's what the lyric to ABBA's ode to the NY always sounded like to me. Would someone care to correct me?

Yes I am BACK. I trust you all had a Cool Yule and a Nefarious Nu Year?? Actually I've already visited several blogs and caught up with all your Xmas news. Sounds like you all had a pretty good time which was very pleasing to behold!
As for mine, well, it was a quiet but cosy and fun one in my new home! Yep, Crimbo in the new pad was a nice change.

When I cast my mind back, a great deal happened to me last year. After six years I left my previous job when I was offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy. It was touch and go for a while and I didn't know if I was gonna get it but when the confirmation and money came through, it was truly wonderful. I've never received so much money in my life. Then I had a nice long break from the world of work. Then I found another job just as the boredom was starting to kick in. Then, via lots of prodding, pushing and persuasion from my partner (no comment on the first two "p" words there pure-lease) I decided to make my first ever property purchase. And we found the flat of our dreams! Followed by weeks of paperwork, solicitor shenanigans, backward and forwards phone calls and emails, and much fretting. But in the end it all worked out and we were able to move in, late October! Hoorah!! I also took and completed a web design course and ended up with a Distinction which was immensely gratifying. (I am ashamed to say I haven't really gone near
Dreamweaver, Photoshop or the like since though...ahem). Meanwhile Gustavo got a promotion in his job and a much-needed pay rise. And we both went to Brazil in September for three weeks including Rio. All in all, 2007 was a highly eventful year with much achieved and definitely of change!! Who knows what 2008 is going to hold for us eh? Going back to our Xmas, as I said we had a very nice one indeed, and I now present to you with the pictorial proof, including photos of our new pad in almost pristine condition - go compare with the earlier shots to see the diffference, dudes and dudesses! Here's the "far" side of the lounge which is now our dining area. And the thing hanging over the dining table is a rather splendid canvas mural of Rio De Janeiro which I picked up whilst on holiday there....

Here it is enlarged. Isn't it amazing? I remember as we were walking through the market of Copacabana we came across the stall of a local artiste, which included this painting of Rio (the houses are favelas by the way and the mountains are the Pao De Acucar and the one with the Statue of the Christ. The favelas have never looked more, ahem, beautiful, haven't they?! Artistic licence?) Anyhow the picture grabbed my eye instantly and I couldn't help telling the lady artist how great it looked with its dazzling colours and vibrancy. I could just see it on the wall of our new place... I didn't buy it right away. Gustavo told me we should come back in a day or two but like the impulsive/childish-I-want-it-now person I can sometimes be I kept thinking about it all the time afterwards! After our day trip round Rio I insisted that we hurry back and snap it up before someone else did. And thank the lord is was still there. A few weeks ago I got it properly framed and now it's the crowning glory of the living room. The rest of the room is very "neutral" - beige walls, sofa, brown carpet - so a large splash of colour was definitely needed! And that's enough boasting about the picture!

Here's the other corner of the room's "far side". We've now a sideboard there (here festooned with loadsa Xmas cards) and a fab sci-fi-esque light (do you like it? Kind of looks like it might spring to life and attack you, though. Like a metallic triffid...)

Next to the entrance to the lounge. And two little "Warhol"-style pics again to add some colour to the room. (Incidentally my Warhol "Divas" picture (remember?) now has pride of place in the spare bedroom).

The new sofa, which sits in the middle of the room. It's kind of large and this was the best place to put it. At first I wasn't happy about the erm, position and wanted to have it next to the door but this was pretty much impossible. But I'm happy with it now anyway. It's lovely to have a proper couch to stretch out on...

And lest you think I'm going to go on and on and on about our new place, here's some proof that we actually celebrated Xmas - a bona fide tree!! Originally we'd planned on using the fibre-optic Xmas tree from last year but the new lounge kind of dwarfed it (oh dear I ended up referring back to the novo casa again didn't I - oh what the hell). The room is big and the ceiling high, hence something bigger and grander was required! So we went for the real deal! It looked very imposing and impressive and thankfully not too many pine needles fell on the floor... (one of my gripes...)

And let the Xmas cooking preparations begin! Here's my beau making dessert for Xmas day, a chocolate mousse made from real chocolate bars. It was absolutely delicious but he made rather too much of it, filling three large wine glasses. Needless to say it still all got scoffed.

Ready for a good stuffing, anyone?

And I couldn't resist throwing in a completely gratuitous shot of our fabulous new kitchen stools with chrome table. Posh, eh? Note the box of lagers hiding in the corner, which all got drunk very quickly. And no, that isn't a white circle on the kitchen wall, for some bizarre reason the camera has just gone and done this reflective thing! Or could it be a halo? An angelic visitation?

Gustavo's lovely cousin Graca, perching on one of the aforementioned stools and looking stunning in red. She joined us for Xmas Eve and Day! Great lady!

Fruits in the kitchen! Of the edible variety, mind. What other fruits could possibly be present?

And here's the dinner table, nicely laid. Doesn't it look nice? Graca made the fruit dish in the middle which was beautiful. Incidentally, I haven't mentioned this yet, but we had a Brazilian-style Xmas this year. In Brazil they start their celebrations proper on Xmas Eve, beginning with drinking in the evening and culminating with a meal at midnight (!!) followed by present-giving afterwards! People usually continue celebrating after that, by which time it's normally very late and they don't hit the sack until the early hours of the 25th. Followed by a late rise that day! This was all very new for me and definitely a different way of doing Xmas! We were nicely drunk by midnight and after sitting down to eat, suddenly felt very tired...

Posing by the table. But happy!

Posing by the tree. Happy again!

Erm, has Gustavo turned into an alien? Love this shot!!

Graca shows a bit of a leg. WHAT a diva!! All this and Xmas red too!

Someone picking up Graca's pashmina and being a diva too. Honestly.

Next day, feeling slightly sluggish, we had breakfast...Do you like my Santa/Clubbing top? I only wear it on 25th December as a kind of one-off celebratory thing. Kind of a ritual for me.

Okay, it's present opening time! Looking rather sheepish.

Someone else looking quite happy.

Graca doing more opening!

Hooray! A Westlife CD for G! Not quite MY taste, but I, whoops I mean, Father Christmas, likes to please all his children...

Hooray! Look what Santa brought me! A toy scarecrow from the recent Dr Who classic: "Human Nature/Family Blood"! And a Judoon scanner from "Smith and Jones". Dr Who overload?

Nice beanie present! Well it's bloody cold and we all need to keep ourselves warm eh?

Xmas Day din dins is unveiled. A very nice chicken stuffed with goodies and more besides!

Another shot of the table looking grand. Can't resist showing off...

The obligatory Xmas hats and cracker gifts (actually these were rather good, crackers were from Next you know.... The jokes were still crap though).

And then it was time for an appointment with the Titanic. In space. And unfortunate to say, that was (for me anyway) where Xmas hit a low point...More on that one shortly...

But otherwise a great time was had by all!



  • At 3:31 pm , Blogger Flaming Nora said...

    What wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing. xx

  • At 5:23 am , Blogger The Sagittarian said...

    I am quite fascinated by how other countries celebrate Christmas, sounds like you had a grand day and night of it. Loved the photos of the whole event and the new place looks even newer!! Good to have you back too by the way.

  • At 5:30 am , Blogger Deemer said...

    You guys are so cute!! Thank you for letting us "join" you for Christmas. It all looks so lovely, especially the fruits! Sounds like you had a great '07, isn't it exciting to think of how '08 may turn out?

  • At 1:58 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Nora - Thank you! You're welcome.

    Amanda - Yes, I'm back, back, BACK! And the place is looking MUCH better.

    Deemer - Fruits are always necessary eh.

    Indeed, I hope 2008 is going to be a...fruitful...one for all of us.

  • At 6:06 pm , Blogger The Nasty Stewardess said...

    I want to come to your gorgeous house for Xmas!

  • At 7:52 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Stewardess - Only if you do your best trolly dolley routine. And I expect complimentary booze and snacks.


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