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, September 21, 2008

I'm sowwie

Hey everyone

Sorry about the recent lack of posts - just for a change. I'm up to my eyeballs in teaching stuff and my weekends have suddenly become chock-full of preparation and marking, etc etc. Natually all of that's had to take priority. I'll write something more substantial when I can find, oh, a few spare micro-seconds or something.

Meanwhile: It seems that the E-Space Trilogy might be coming out on DVD in the not too distant. Hoorah for the rather-good "Full Circle"! And the Marshmen! And Romana being bitten by a marshspider and turning all veiny and nasty! And procrastination aplenty! Hoorah for the very deliciously gothic "State of Decay"! And the Three Who Rule! And lots of vampire bats on strings attacking the Doc and Romana in the woods! And Paddy Kingsland's wonderful incidental musical scores in the aforementioned two stories! A semi-hoorah for "Warrior's Gate"! (A bit of a weird story in my book and not one of my all-time faves, but with some merits nonetheless...) And the lionine Tharils! And a nasty villain in Clifford Rose! And the touching departure of Romana and K9 Mark II! And last but not least, a less-than-hoorah for the debut of mathematical genius cum brat with crap pudding bowl haircut, Adric! Anyway I look forward to that one.

Mmmm. So much for not having the time to write.

My driving lessons are continuing to go okay, though not as frequent as I would like. I'm currently doing right hand turns. My steering needs some attention and the concept of the clutch is a new one to me, but I'm getting there.

Back inside the walls of Wentworth, Doreen's been packed off to the funny farm after twisted psychologist Peter Clements sends her round the bend by suggesting she might be a lesbian (like you do).

The winsome n' whiney Lynn Warner has finally departed the show, never to be seen again (rumour has it she later turns up as an alien in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and some kind of princess in "Dynasty"... No lie ...)

New arrival and baby killer Bella Albrecht (above with fabulously flicked 70s barnet) has been drowned in a sink with Bea and Monnie being the prime suspects.

However it transpires that it's actually the devious Martha Eaves (aka "Big M", above with Vinegar Vera) who is the culprit. Martha then decides to go up on the prison roof and hold Vera hostage with a kitchen fork (like you do) but eventually gets caught, not before we see that Wentworth is in fact a TV station (hence the radars):

Who knew?! Or could it in fact be a tracking station to locate alien intelligences like the Pharos Project (well, there's precious little intelligence inside Wentworth, so they've got to find it somewhere ...)

Fabulously flouncy prison social worker Jean Vernon has allowed Noeline Burke's daughter Leanne (above, an even better example of white trash than her mum) to stay in Meg Jackson's house, to the latter's chagrin. Cue hilarious scenes of Leanne trashing the joint and lounging on Meg's sofa, smoking loadsa fags, drinking loadsa tinnies and listening to loadsa naff 70s wah-wah music (which also seems to get played on the radio in the Wentworth laundry rather a lot - God, but they had excellent taste back then).

And future full-time warder Colleen "Po Face" Powell has made her first fleeting appearance. Not sure about the John Lennon look though, Colleen, love.

Right. Best go then. Strange how I can suddenly start waxing lots of lyrical when I get onto a favourite subject, isn't it?!

Hope you're all having a good weekend me lovelies ...

OC xxx

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Great Exhibition of 2008

Yaaaaay!! It's taken me a bit of time to report back on this one, but a few weeks back, my good friend from ooop North, Stephen, his lovely son Max and myself all made a trip to the Dr Who Exhibition which is currently showing at Earls Court. And a very good time was had by all.

It was so funny/strange taking Max with us. He's five years old and just getting into the whole Dr Who thing. There were lots of other kiddies there too who were equally relishing the experience, running around and shrieking with excitement on seeing their favourite monsters / creatures and all of it took me right back to my own childhood. It really doesn't seem so long ago when me and my friends in York, all die-hard Whovians, used to hold "group meetings" in which we got together to "rap" about DW and watch badly copied VHS tapes of old DW stories, which we'd paid through the neck to get hold of (we had a "contact" in Leeds who helped out for some extortionate price ... All I can say is THANK GOD for the advent of the DVD ...) I was also a member of the DWAS (that's Dr Who Appreciation Society to you plebs out there) and a regular subscriber to Dr Who Weekly (I still have a copy of the very first issue), closely followed by Dr Who Monthly. And erm, you are going to think me frightfully naughty, but me and a friend who shall remain nameless once wrote an "adult" version of the Colin Baker story "The Mark of the Rani", on his ZX Spectrum. This was in our later teens, you understand and we were, testosterone-infused not to say frustrated youngsters ... (Mind you it's probably no worse than this recent effort or this one, is it? Some things never change ... ) Regrettably "The Mark of the Randi" never got published.

Another highlight of my Who-infused childhood was a visit to the Dr Who Exhibition in Blackpool - which is still going strong. I think I went in about 1982 or 1983 and remember being terribly, terribly excited. I didn't get out of York very much and this felt like a trip to the USA or something similar. With hindsight I now realise Blackpool is probably one of cheapest and tackiest places one can visit but at the time it all felt sooo glamorous. And we went to the DW Exhibition and loved it. They had the regeneration scene from "Logopolis" on a looped video in the shop and I remember buying a china TARDIS money box and having my picture taken with my friend and his brother outside by the "TARDIS" entrance.

Anyway, flash forward to 2008 and Earl's Court. Here's a pictorial guide of what was on offer that day!

A taster of things to come!

Stephen and Max getting all excited in the foyer!

Doctors numero Nine and Ten invite you to the Exhibition ...

There were lots of good pictorial displays like the one on the right ... lots of good Who info and facts! It was probably more informative than the Blackpool Exhibition I'd say.

Saints preserve us! It's shop dummies coming to life! Could they be ... Autons?

Does the Henriks logo remind you of anything?

The David Tennant incarnation of the Doc outside the TARDIS. If you're wondering why his face is blank, there was a projector which "shone" a moving DT face onto the dummy .... unfortunately it didn't come out very well in the photo so he actually looks kind of sinister!

A David Tennant / Tenth Doc display.

Mewsters! It's a cat nun! Tin of kitty kat, anyone?

Lordy lordy! It's the wise and reputable Face of Boe! What a humongous head (oh, no comments please ... )

Me attempting to commune with the Face of Boe ... you can see the difference in head size ...

A bendy-wendy Slitheen! He (or she?) was positively huge! Big pincers too!

That famous model of Ben Ben from the first Slitheen story. Good model!

Aaaaah! It's that bitchy stretchy piece of flesh, Cassandra!

And one of the Trinnie / Susannah (not sure which it is) robots from "Bad Wolf"!

Uuuuughhh! The Empress of the Racnoss!!

An Ood waits patiently in a corridor. One of the best of the new Who monsters in my opinion ...

A Santa Claus robot! Rather silly staring eyes though.

This was an interesting display - showed you how they "made" an Oood mask. Who knew the spaghetti heads used blusher?

It's - that monster with the long name from "Love and Monsters"! Didn't look as good as on screen, I have to add. The jock strap didn't seem to ... hold very much.

Affirmative Master! Everyone's favourite doggie on show.

One of those scary looking clockwork dolls. Nice britches.

Enter ... the Cybermen!! Great display and great design. Kind of looks like they're on TOTP though.

No, no, NOOOOOOOO!! Don't delete me!!

Roger Lloyd-Pack, or should I say the Cyber-controller?

A solitary Cyber-bloke.

Rose's gorgeous costume from "Idiot's Lantern". Again she seems to be sans face ... but that's what happens when Maureen Lipman sucks the life out of ya ...

Couldn't resist a close up of Rose's lovely pink heels.

Remember those pictures the girl in "Fear Her" drew? The one of the absent Dad was rather horrible ...

Heaven help us! It's Wendy the Weeping Angel! I thought she was a testcard girl?

And no DW Exhibition would be complete without ... the Daleks! Enter the Black one ...

This was a cool bit of the Exhibition. You can't really see it from the photos (and the dry ice kind of obscures things) but three Daleks glided onto the "stage", threatened the audience as "unidentified intruders! and then shot them! Cue lots of laser beams ...

A Sontaran, recently returned to DW! Again didn't like the silly staring eyes though. Guess they couldn't exactly use real ones ...

One of those fishy aliens (again I can't be bothered to find out the name) who got all loved up with Martha in "The Dr's Daughter".

A scary scarecrow! Another one of my fave DW creations ...

A model of the Dalek Emperor.

Please do not touch the exhibits. Or you will be EXTERMINATED!!

The truck thing driven by Kylie of Minogia in "Voyage of the Damned". Remember?

Bannakaffalatta. Is he Darth Maul's baby brother?

Stephen and a Dalek. Actually you can't see, but Max is inside! They had a microphone inside in which you could imitate the Dalek voice - great fun! Naturally the place was filled with screeching kid's voices, all going "Exterminate!" again and again. I guess if you worked there it might drive you slightly mad ...

A saucy showgirl from the Daleks in Manhattan two-parter. Great outfit!

And later at home, Max tries out his newly purchased radio-controlled Dalek!

How exciting!! Oh to be young again ...

Well it was a good day in all. What Stephen and I both noticed (and as you'll probably have gathered from the photos above) was that the exhibition focussed almost entirely on NEW Dr Who monsters (apart from the obvious "crossover" aliens like Daleks and Cybermen) from the revived version of the series. There were no old ones, which was a slight pity. I guess the reasoning behind that is that a lot of the attendees will be too young to remember DW Mark One and far more au fait with Mark Two, hence the recent exhibits. Also the fact that if there had been monsters from Mark One PLUS Mark Two, a very big venue would have been needed! (And Earls Court is pretty big as it is - much more spacious than the Blackpool Exhibition for instance). But it's still great to know that the DW legacy lives on and that a whole new generation of children are being reared on the show, as I once was. Okay, what's the point in denying it. Going to these kind of things is really just an opportunity for my inner kid-like Whovian to manifest itself. Or, should I say, materialise!!

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42 inches of pure pleasure

Greetings ladies and gents.

I'm BACK again. Sorry about the hiatus, but it's been a busy one, particularly with this business of starting a brand new job. And I'm pleased to report that side of things seems to be going well. The college is a very nice environment indeed (gosh for a supposed English teacher I really do need to come up with some more imaginative vocabulary), my new work colleagues have been welcoming, supportive and fun, there's loads of excellent resources in the college, including some very impressive IT packages they use for both teachers and staff and they also use interactive whiteboards which are ultra cool! The one thing I haven't actually done yet after being nearly there for nearly two weeks is TEACH! So far it's been mainly student enrolment and preparing lessons, schemes of work etc. I also managed to get out of having a tutor group which was a pretty good respite as apparently there's a lot of extra work involved in that (a colleague of mine described me as "jammy" which isn't too far from the truth!) I feel like I've had to assimilate enough as it is, so I can't say I'm sorry about that particular development. Anyway lessons proper start next Tuesday so fingers crossed ... I am feeling a touch nervous I will admit. Pray for me, good people of the Bloggersphere!

I had a nice (that insipid word again) time in Weston Super Mare, although I didn't do very much atall, just relax at our friends and eat, drink and watch TV. Watched Goldmember, the third Austin Powers movie, and realised it wasn't actually very funny. Watched Batman Begins (as a precursor for when I eventually get to see the much-praised Dark Knight) which was much better than Goldmember (well, they are rather different different kinds of movies, yeah ...) (And oddly enough, last night I watched the 1960s Batman movie, which was hilarious for all the wrong reasons ... )

Also took a walk on Weston's pier, which, despite the recent fire, is at least partially still intact. On the way I encountered some strangely familiar creatures ...

So that's what eating too many hot dogs and chips does to you in Weston ...

Oh My GOD!! The Dalek Invasion of Weston! Could the evil pepperpots be the ones responsible for the fire on the pier? Okay, that was a little bit tasteless ...

Proof that I ain't scared of no goddam Dalek. Mind you, the barrier between us does kind of help to allay that fear...

But look at the wreck at the end of the pier above ... sad eh. Still at least the whole thing didn't burn down.

I'm still carrying on with the driving lessons, although they haven't been that regular. I must step up their regularity as I don't want to get out of touch and want the driving thing to start feeling more natural and instinctive! I just feel SO scared about going on a big, open, busy road. Oh just DO IT Simone! Okay, okay, I will...
And Gustavo and I have purchased a flat screen TV!! Just like the one above. Cost rather a lot but we went for one of those "Buy now, pay in 6 months time" deals, so it should be alright. I have to say in some respects I wasn't bothered about getting one before, but now I've definitely seen the light. It looks and sounds amazing. Like having a mini cinema in your home. And in our cathedral-sized lounge I now perceive that purchasing a 42 incher (as it were) was a definite necessity. Prisoner Cell Block H has never looked better...

Talking of which ... I just CAN'T resist telling you about the latest developments on the Wentworth front ...

Any vacancies for a moustached clone in a women's prisoner, governor? Oh. So Freddie Mercury's filled the post already ...

Male moustached Deputy governor and sex god Jim Fletcher has arrived at Wentworth, a seemingly odd, not to mention, rather bad-tempered and dysfunctional sort of chap. However we soon find that not only has he split from his wife, she's also denied him access to their kids PLUS he's still traumatised by his experiences while serving as a soldier in Vietnam, leading to lots of tortured soliloquies and downing endless whiskeys in bars. Poor bugger, as Lizzie would say. Unfortunately the ladies what lunch at Wentworth aren't too enamoured with Jimbo from the outset, branding him "Fletch the Letch" i.e. a bit of a perv in general. However as Mr F stays in the programme for at least another 200 episodes, I'd wager he has a bit more dramatic mileage in him yet.

Warder Meg is dating resident prison Dr and sex-god Greg Miller, and having to suffer various mocking comments from prison inmates and staff alike in the process, not to mention dirty looks from ex girlfriend Karen Travers. The sultry Ms Travers has now been allowed to go on day release to university, whilst being wooed by hot-shot lawyer and sex god Steve Wilson, but that doesn't really go anywhere ... then in classic "Prisoner" (if not soap opera) style Steve's character vanishes into thin air never to be mentioned again ... ho-hum.

Meanwhile Queen Bea is back inside having been dobbed in to the police by a devious teenage girl - played by one of actress Val Lehman's own daughters no less - hope that's not her REAL persona - the rotten biiiiiiiiiitch!!

Classy Clara Goddard has been shipped off to another prison and whiney and winsome Lynn Warner is finally about to released from Wentworth (again!), both departures causing Wentworth's dopey dumpling, Doreen, much distress. Dor doesn't have much self-esteem you see and tends to cling on to others for comfort and support ... she even tries to frame Lynn for stealing pills from the prison dispensary, in order that her release gets delayed and she stays in prison longer to keep her company ... silly girl.

No Doreen, I don't have any kiwi and cinnamon facial scrub. This is the best on offer, you sneak! You drongo!!

And when Lynn finds out she's none too happy and gives Doreen the mud-pack treatment (and we're not talking Body Shop style ... )

Home and Awaaaaaay ... with you each daaaaaay .... Alf? Where are you? Oh! So the actor who plays you turns up in Prisoner three times does he? Well, I never did!

And Ailsa from Home and Away has also turned up as an inmate, with a secret stash of cash that everyone wants to get their hands on!


a fabulous weekend and week after, my lovelies ...

OC xx

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