Pablo Cheesecake’s Wall of Sound(tracks) – Episode One

Hello, looks like I’ve remembered once again that I have a personal blog.* Who knows what nonsense lies ahead of us?… well, I mean I do but then I’m writing this post so I don’t think that counts.

Nearly twelve months have passed us by since my last post. In that time there’s been a constant miasma of shitty politics (Britain is well and truly fucked innit), terrible world events (humanity appears well and truly fucked dunnit**) and not nearly enough chocolate.

To combat this hugely disappointing turn of events I have decided to make one of my many, many obsessions into a new hobby.

Some of you will know I read quite a lot. I waffle about all manner of bookish stuff over on The Eloquent Page. When I’m not reading I tend to be consuming all manner of other entertainments. TV, console games, and films fill my free time more so than just about anything else. One of the things I love about these various distractions is the music that is associated with them all.

Music is a constant in my life, there are always sounds on in the background whenever I am doing anything. Of late, probably since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been listening almost exclusively to soundtracks. Over the years I’ve been picking them up fairly regularly but I hadn’t realised quite how all-consuming this preoccupation has become. I started tallying everything up on a spreadsheet (I do love a good spreadsheet) and it turns out I’ve managed to accumulate around 400 hundred of the buggers.

So what is required for a soundtrack to earn a place in the Cheesecake Hall of Fame? It’s pretty easy really. I have to hear it and like it. Simples. What with living in the future and having access to 21st tech like Spotify finding new favourites is no problem at all.

I tend to go through phases where certain soundtracks get heavy rotation, usually just after I’ve discovered them. For example, currently, Crimes of the Future by Howard Shore is making my ears very happy. I’m not a huge fan of David Cronenberg‘s films but the soundtrack is something else entirely. Its a fantastic mix of electronic and classic tracks that blend together creating something quite extraordinary. Having listened to The Lord of the Rings soundtracks, also by Shore, many times in the past this new work was revelatory. Modern yet also timeless in a single stroke. Masterful stuff indeed.


The other thing my soundtrack obsession allows me to do is seek out those musical oddities that make life worth living for. David Arnold‘s Bond homage album Shaken and Stirred is a perfect example. Where else could you discover David McAlmont channelling his inner Shirley Bassey?


Or perhaps the album of Alpine-flavoured yodelling from Alexandre Desplat that accompanies The Grand Budapest Hotel. Weird as all Hell but awesome nonetheless.


One of the best things about soundtracks is even crappy tv, games or films can still have a cracking score.


Dont believe me? Check out King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The Guy Ritchie movie is not great by any stretch of the imagination. The soundtrack by Daniel Pemberton however is an absolute gem. X-men: Dark Phoenix is another good example. The film is incomprehensible nonsense but the Hans Zimmer (yes, that Hans Zimmer) soundtrack is magnificent.


I’ll round out this music-related waffle with a recommendation. Seeing as it’s Halloween tomorrow I’d suggest checking out the soundtrack to Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet Of Curiosities. There are eight episodes in season one and, as it’s an anthology show, every episode has a different composer on soundtrack duties.


My intention is to try an post about my new hobby regularly (once a month maybe?) but I’ve made such extravagant claims before. Anyway. Feel free to recommend any favourites you might have, old or new it doesn’t matter. I’d be over the moon if it leads me to something I’ve never listened to before.

Till next time, stay frosty people.

*Fuck knows why I even continue to pay for the hosting. It can’t be terribly cost-effective can it? One post a year?

**I’m less upset about that than I should be if I am entirely honest. We’ve had our chance and we’ve screwed it. Time to move on world.

Pablo Cheesecake, Hedge Wizard?

The content of this post is probably not quite as exciting as the title would suggest. Today I want to talk a bit about the joys of gardening.


Astonished wizard unavailable for comment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been looking for something that would help me decompress. Mentally, I’ve been up and down like a bloody yo-yo. I do read a fair bit but sometimes I’ve struggled with even that. I decided I needed something a bit more physically demanding than picking up my Kindle.

We’re incredibly lucky, our home has a good size back garden so trying to make something of that seemed like a good idea. Madnad has been growing veg for a few years now and the results have been pretty damn good. We have plenty of jars of homemade Marinara sauce and more jam than you can shake a big stick at. The raised beds take up a good chunk of the garden so it was really just the rest of the plot I am keen to do something with.

I’ll insert a disclaimer at this point – I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GARDENING. At best, I am an enthusiastic idiot who is curious to see if he can grow stuff/bend nature to my will.  With a bit of trial and error, I’m hoping I can create a pleasant space and our garden will help me learn the odd manual skill or two.


The bit of the garden I have become mildly obsessed about is right down at the far end where only some trees currently grow. It’s too shaded for fruit and veg but I dont want to leave it unloved. The plan? a bit of suburban rewilding. Ideally, I want to let this patch of wasted ground do its own thing. Now you could argue I should just leave as is but I see it as a bit of an opportunity. Specifically the chance to grow some indigenous wildflowers to add a bit of colour to offset all the green we currently have. A couple of weeks ago I started off by turning over all the ground using a deadly looking bit of kit called a rotavator.


It’s like a lawnmower on steroids with a really bad attitude. Happily, I did not kill myself or anyone else so that was good.

This leads us nicely onto what I am calling experiment one.

Using Amazon Packaging As A Force For Good

To best prepare the ground for reseeding we figured it made sense to try and hold back the growth of any new weeds and grass. Our low-tech solution? Old Amazon delivery boxes. We removed any packing tape and flattened them all out.  Then we covered the ground with this cosy cardboard patchwork blankie. Another disclaimer here – I should stress that this is many months worth of boxes from all over the place. We’ve been saving them for a while. I won’t want you thinking this is just a weeks worth of deliveries.

Some cardboard yesterday (and you thought this post would be boring. Shame on you)

Hopefully, come Springtime, this ground will be ready for planting. We want to entice as many pollinators into the garden as we can! I would also really like to legitimately be able to use the phrase “a riot of colour” in some future blog post as well.

Right what next? ah yes…

The Great Mulch Experiment of 2021

As I mentioned we have three reasonable sized trees at the end of the garden*, you can see two of them in the photo above, and at this time of year they are shedding their leaves in abundance. That gave my partner in crime another idea for a second experiment. She suggested we have a bash at making our own leaf mulch. My first question was, unsurprisingly, what precisely is mulch?

Mulch (noun)  – material (such as decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil.

Ok, I think I can manage that.

Finally, a job I can excel at

Leaves get chucked into bin bags. Bags are poked with holes and contents liberally watered. Contents are left to rot. Simples.

Do I really need to describe this photo? Ok, ok. Some bags of leaves. There, happy now?

Well, that was easier than expected. (There are more bags than this I took this photo halfway through)

Wait, what do you mean “you have to wait a year until it has all successfully mulchified”. Feel free to swing back to the blog in Autumn 2022 for the second half of this experiment –  LeafMulch 2: Mulch-a-palozza.

Additionally, we’ve added leaves directly onto our existing raised beds as well. This will protect some onions and garlic that have already been planted. Keep them warm and snuggly over the Winter.

A raised bed. Crafted single-handedly by Madnad.


What Of The Future?

In 2022 we have a couple of new projects we’d like to kick off.

  • We have a small spot in the middle of the garden where we’d like to add a little paved area. We have bought the bricks so this is definitely going to happen.
  • A brick-built raised bed for strawberries. This will replace the existing buckets. (These first two projects will be fun, I’ve never built anything from bricks before in my puff. How the fuck does cement even work?)
  • Installing a small trellis to encourage our newly planted Virginia Creeper to grow up the side of our extension.
  • Refresh the pond to encourage frogs back into the garden.

Longer-term there are even greater plans afoot

  • A new garden building built from scratch (including solar panels)
  • A brick built BBQ

Will any of these grand schemes come to fruition? Only time will tell.

To round things off, here is a picture of an incredibly colourful leaf I spotted on a blueberry bush the other day. Isn’t nature grand.

Nature, innit

Will I successfully pass Herbology 101 in Professor Sprout’s class and take my first step on the road to Garden Magician? Do I have the capacity to develop green fingers? Will I kill every plant I touch? Just how dangerous are garden tools? Tune in next time to find out!!

Hmm, turns out a had quite a bit to talk about after all. Perhaps the Hedge Wizard should have his own YouTube channel?

*Magnolia, Apple and Pear for the curious amongst you that have made it this far. We have a Plum and Quince as well but they are pretty weedy, to be honest.

Rambling, Disjointed Observations From Within the Midst of a Pandemic

Remember dear internet chums there is no place for puncuation here. This is waffle (drivel) in its purest form. Feel free to stick around and enjoy as a permanently confused Scottish man mentally unravels in ever-growing increments*. If you listen really carefully you can probably here it happening in real time.

Dont say I didn’t warn you…

What The Actual Fuck?

Wow, 2020 has just been stupid crazy so far hasn’t it? We’ve moved from confused, passed odd, through panicked and onwards to terrifying and that was all just in one week around mid-March. The murder hornets were nearly my pick of the year so far but COVID-19 just managed to edge them out of the top spot. The uncertainty of our current existence is hard work (more on that shortly). 

I think the key thing to remember is that we are only just half way through the year. There are all manner of terrible things that could (probably will) happen before the end of December. Its all still to play for.

Meanwhile politics has gone beyond satire into the realms of batshit crazy, the new normal is now just normal. A racist is in charge in the US (please note, the previous statement is not open to debate. HE IS A RACIST). In Britain an entitled buffon plays at being a leader while his strings are being pulled by a man who thinks he is far cleverer than he actually is. The trans-Atlantic game of fuckwit one upmanship would be hysterical if it werent for the fact people are suffering because of these pricks.

A couple of arseholes yesterday

We should be looking to countries like New Zealand and Germany as  blueprint of how things could/should be. Both run by women, I think that particular fact speaks volumes. 

Living At Work

Working from home is a thing that has happened. Part of me is enjoying the experience. I think it is over four months now and my other half hasnt killed me…yet. I’ll take that as a win. It is nice to be able to share my lunch break with her every day. I’m curious to see how my employer will handle those wanting to continue the working from home situation when the office reopens. We’ve proven working from home is viable so will it be considered a long term option? I’ll admit there is a small part of me that is missing wider social interaction. Dont get me wrong Teams, Zoom, Skype and Facebook are all good when it comes to video calls but its not the same as being in the same room as someone is it? Ultimately I am having some good days and some bad days. For me I’ve found the best option is taking each day as it comes. Trying to stay busy seems to help. If I stop for too long I find myself focusing on the wrong things. Its easy to fall into your own neagtive thoughts.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

The flip side to all the negativity is that there are some amazing people out their doing amazing things.

We’ve experienced some of these things ourself. Our new next door neighbor came around to introduce themselves a few days ago and when the discovered my other half is shielding they immediatley offered any assistance should she need it. Thats a pretty amazing thing to so when you have known someone all of about three minutes.

The professionalism of the NHS and our other emergency services remains, more so than ever, inspirational. Never mind z-list celebrities, footballers and the like its the doctors, nurses, hospital porters and cleaners who are real heroes.

Those courageous people who are determined to promote and embrace real change in the world for the better. Racism is a blight on the planet and needs to stop. I’ll admit to a degree of ignorance  on my part so I’m trying to educate myself. I’ve learned a lot about the nature of privilege in the last few months than I have ever learned in the last forty+ years. Its not enough to just be not racist you have to be actively anti-racist.

Run Away! Run Away!

There are some things that have kept me going in these uncertain times. When it comes to entertainment I am all about the escapism. Taking a break from yourself can be a genuinely cathartic experience. Here are just a few things that are currently cheering my weary heart – 

The Last of Us 2 is just as good, if not better, than its predecessor. As apocalypses go, it is a little bit brilliant. I am playing in one hour slots just so I can eek out the game for as long as possible. Five hours in and I am already an emotional husk of a man. Naughty Dog are unparalleled when it comes to compelling, narrative gameplay. They are just so good at story telling. I am more than a little bit in awe, it is such a truly immersive experience. If a television version of these games does ever materialise then it has the potential to be something quite special. As the kids say, “its giving me all of the feels”. 

Twelve months from now…

Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga is the best movie about The Eurovision Song Contest you are ever going to see. True it may be the only movie about Eurovision you are ever going to see but it is unashamedly self depricating and wonderfully joyous. The contest always brightens my soul and in the absence of an Icelandic winner this year** I’ll settle for a movie instead. I dont think you could ask for more. Jaja Ding Dong, indeed.

♫♪♪ Volcanic Protector Man ♫♪♪

Though my reviewing mojo is currently all over the place I have still read some cracking books. Did you know I’ll have been running The Eloquent Page for ten years come the end of July. I never would have believed I would have stuck to it this long if I’m honest. Some people even actually rate my opinion about genre fiction, the foolish fools. On a more serious note, I think I would be lost if I didnt have my books to fall back on. They are my security blanket of choice. Being able to share my thoughts, however fuzzy and indistinct, about them is one of my favourite things.

We’re rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning. The 1990s look like a different planet from a million years ago. Its a double edged sword. Its fun to reconnect with the characters but it reminds me constantly that I’m a middle aged man now. I have a sneaking suspicion I may no longer be quite so rock and roll as I think I am. I do intend to try and counter this dawning realisation by getting more tattoos as soon as the fates will allow.

Oh! I’m Done, How Very Abrupt

If you’ve got this far then I apologise I have already taken up far more of your time than was entirely necessary. I do however appreciate you stopping by. Be nice to people and look out for one another.

*It may be that this is just the sound of my brain dripping out me ears. We’ll probably never know

**Daði Freyr was robbed!!

Beardism 101

Time for a long-overdue personal blog update. As ever, the topics I chose to discuss are entirely random. I can almost guarantee the spelling and punctuation will be amateurish at best.

All Things Beard-ish


Recently I’ve been asked, on three separate occasions, my advice about beards. In each case, once I got over the initial shock that anyone considered me even remotely expert on anything, I dutifully answered the questions to the best of my ability. These terribly manly encounters made me ponder facial hair in all its hirsute glory. I look like Sasquatch on a good day so here, without any further pointless waffling, is my guide to all things beardy.

Points to consider before growing a beard

  • Contrary to what you might have heard it is not the lazy man’s get out clause to avoid shaving. Turns out cultivating a beard takes as much time, if not more, than being clean-shaven.
  • Are you a patient soul? Giving yourself over to the lords of the gruff is not quick. Even if you’re naturally hairy (*holds up hand*) the process takes time. My advice is sit back and enjoy.
  • There will be a point where you experience the dreaded itch. It is going to happen. You cannot avoid it. I’d imagine a whole lot of potentially epic beards fall by the wayside at this point. Don’t give up, keep going!! As with all things the itchiness will soon pass. You just need to power through.

So, you’re growing a beard…


  • In my experience, facial hair is profoundly different to the hair on the top of your head. Do not expect it to behave in the same way. For example, the hair on my chin is far more wavy than the hair on the top of my noggin.

  • Find your style – This is the fun part, you get to experiment. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for pirate, Viking, gunslinger, wizard (my current style of choice), Amish carpenter or 18th century Russian Orthodox rabbi just enjoy yourself. I could wang on about how some people think different shaped faces lend themselves better to specific styles but I think that is a load of old tosh. If you are going to rock a beard, OWN IT! To hell with what anyone else thinks.


  • I’ve spoken to different beardists about this one and the jury is still out. The best way to look after your face based security blanket is entirely up to you.
  • Try to get into a routine. I normally wash my beard a couple of times a week using a beard shampoo. Other days it just gets a rinse while I am in the shower. There is something wonderfully soothing about a good old clean.
  • The one thing I am not going to do in this post is recommend one brand of beard products over another. There are tons to chose from. Find the ones you like. The various oils, lotions and potions I’ve tried do tend to make my bristles a little softer and, usually for around twenty seconds every morning, smell absolutely amazing. It’s a nice process, I always feel like I am pampering myself. It’s a pleasant why to start any day.
  • Too blow dry or not to blow dry? – Once again I have heard conflicting opinions about this. Most mornings when I get out of the shower, after applying my product of choice, I do blow dry my beard so I can give it a brush. My only advice is use a cool setting so the hair doesn’t get too damaged.
  • Go to a barbers once in a while – After having a full beard for quite a few years I finally plucked up the courage to go and see a barber*. I really should have done it so much sooner. My local barber enjoys a natter and is licensed so will happily provide a bottle of beer during a trim. Its all terribly civilised. The most important thing I’ve learned is that a good barber will be able to tidy up your facial topiary without diminishing your impressive growth.
  • I’ll admit I did spend a little cash to get a quality boar’s hair brush. Trust me, its worth it. Giving the old beard a good brush from time to time is an absolute joy. It reduces a condition I like to call “Kinky Beard” quite dramatically.
  • A word of caution, you may need to modify your eating behaviour. Going full Hagrid has meant I’ve had to pay more attention when putting things like soup in my mouth. Dairy products are also a group that you need to watch out for. You do not want an errant crumb of cheese or a splash of milk find its way into the depths of your face maze. The stink of stale foodstuffs under your nose all day ain’t much fun.

General Tips

  • Get a cat or dog so you came blame them when you shed hair. You will definitely shed.
  • Choose your hat wisely.

I appreciate beards aren’t for everyone but I just thought I would offer a little advice. Chances are I’m stuck with this for life now. My better half thinks I look like Peter Griffin when I am without it so the face rug stays.

Till next time ya filthy animals!

Pablo Beard-cake

*I was genuinely concerned I would be mocked for poor beard maintenance.

Where I’m At…

After a terribly long time, nearly a year and a half if you’re counting, I’ve decided to resurrect the old personal blog. I have no idea how frequent the posts will be and I can’t speak for the quality of content. All I can promise is it will be 100% me and nowt else. Who know what old piffle I’ll come up with. Lets start writing and see what happens.

The Reluctant Gardener

Mrs Cheesecake and I are incredibly fortunate, our little Hobbit hole has a pretty reasonable sized garden. For the last few years we have been concentrating on the inside of the house but as that is finally managing to take shape our focus is shifting from indoors to outdoors. There has been some hardcore diy. We built four raised beds from scratch and currently we are growing potatoes, onions, cucumbers, strawberries, courgettes and a selection of herbs.

Phase two of the great gardent expansion is going to be some fencing. At present we have hedges and to be honest they are a huge pain in the ass to maintain. I am in the process of cutting them all back to nothing and later in the year we hope to get them replaced.

There is a problem though. I turns out I am far too tasty. The local insect population find me irresistible. I spent a couple of hours in the garden earlier in the week and now I am covered in bites. The worst thing is that I appear to react quite badly to said bites.

I enjoy gardening, I really do, but it is hard work when you are a walking buffet.

What I’m Watching This Week…

First up, Chernobyl – This mini series was utterly enthralling. I have vague memories of the event at the time and I remember people being scared. I seem to recall we were told to avoid going outside if at all possibe. The dramatisation of the catastrophy was first rate drama. It was horrific, shocking and at times even inspirational.Well played Sky Atlantic and HBO.


Season one of Castle Rock, henceforth known as StephenKingTown in my head, was pretty well exectued. I had great fun King reference spotting and the plot was just bonkers enough to keep my attention for the entire run of ten episodes. The penultimate episode, where the revelations start coming at you thick and fast, is a particular headfuck.

Castle Rock

Season 3 of Designated Jack Bauer* appeared on Netflix last night. For reasons I am not 100% clear about swearing is suddenly a thing in this show. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t before but even Keifer said “bullshit” at one point. Do presidents swear? I suspect they do. Nice to see the clusterfuck that is Brexit got a mention.

Designated Survivor

Movie-wise Searching starring John Cho and Debra Messing has an interesting premise – an entire movie that plays out using social media. I rather liked it.


A Political Hiatus

I’ve shied away from all the political too-ing and fro-ing of late. Over the last few years it feels like I have been watching the UK slowly implode. Media commentary has appears to be driven entirely by agenda and it seems clear to me the country is treading a dangerous path. I’ve been given a few weeks off as the Tories disappear up their own arses but I can see the chaos starting to ramp up again in the coming weeks. Fuck knows when this nonsense will end. I am so tired of it all. I just hope we can save the NHS or the most vunerable are going to suffer. I’m sure our drug-addled overlords know exactly how to ensure the best for everyone.

Coming to America

Well, technically it is actually going to America but that title seemd appropriate. Later in the year I will be travelling to the US for the first time. We’ll be visiting the Boston and New England. I’m excited at the prospect. I just need to sort out my fear of flying and my various social anxieties and I’m sure it will all be fine.

Anyway, I think I’m done for now.

Till next I decide to spew my brain thoughts onto the internet be nice to people and perhaps they will be nice back.

*Ok, Designated Survivor.

Back Once Again Like A Renegade Cheesecake

First A Few Ground Rules

I made the decision during the recent winter break that I was going to write more personal blogs. I didn’t update this site at all in 2017 and it seems I shame to leave it idle.

For the uninformed amongst you the rules here at are ridiculously simple

  • Don’t expect everything to be perfect. This is stream of consciousness stuff and life is to short to worry about punctuation and whatnot on a personal blog.
  • There will be swears. If you are looking for something more genteel I suggest looking elsewhere. You may wish to have a gander at my book review site The Eloquent Page (it’s a lot more sedate and I don’t say fuck there half as much as I do here).
  • Anything goes. I write about whatever I feel like. No topic is verboten.

Got it? Good. Now on with the show…

A Hirsute Man in Search of a Hobby

My other half is a bit of a fiend when it comes to all hobbies practical. She is a baker, a confectioner, a sculptor. She has turned her hand to archery, painting and writing and always manages to make it look effortless. I was bemoaning the fact that with the exception of casual gaming, watching television and films, the odd book review or fifty I don’t have any real hobbies. This Christmas* herself decided it was high time this situation was remedied so she bought me a Make Your Own Halloumi kit and a Grow Your Own Bonsai.

I decided to focus on the bonsai first (expect a cheese related blog post at some point in the future – Ed.) Based on the advertisement for said product, and my reaction, I can only conclude this is the ideal present for me. Time will tell.

Hmmm, I look more terrified than happy don’t I? (Yes, I do know my beard needs a trim. Thanks for noticing)

I have begun the planting process and even gone so far as purchasing some additional equipment so I can do the job right but it will still be a while before I see any results. When it comes to bonsai cultivation I rather suspect that is part of the charm. It is a contemplative undertaking. That works for me, I do enjoy a good think.

A Little Bit of Politics

Brace yourselves…

Over the last couple of years I’ve found myself getting more and more opinionated when it comes to the political climate in our little country. Lets be perfectly honest, 2017 was an EPIC clusterfuck. The Conservative government continues to be an ill-informed, shambolic group of self-serving fuckwits promoting greed and ignorance at every turn. Bo Jo offends everyone he comes into contact with. David Davis is incompetent. Jacob Rees-Mogg is all about Dickensian values and Theresa May can barely string a coherent sentence together. Brexit continues to be the biggest mistake we have collectively made as a country for decades. Right now there are idiots crowing about the colour of our fucking passports. Does the colour of a passport matter? Really? Look around, the NHS (arguably our country’s greatest achievement) is disappearing before our eyes, people are living in poverty or on the streets, the economy is already suffering. It’s all ok though because your average Leaver gets to banging on about reclaiming their sovereignty. You know, that sovereignty that we never fucking lost in the first place. I’d love to see the government admit they have made a costly mistake and we take a step back from the precipice. I fully appreciate however that this will never happen. We’re long since passed the point of no return. Undoing this fuck up is going to take a generation.

Meanwhile in America a failed businessman continues to fail an entire country while antagonising everyone he can on a daily basis. Sad.

Its all a bit fucked isn’t it. I’m not clever enough to know what the answer is but I do think a fundamental paradigm shift is required. We need to change the way we view ourselves and others.

In all honesty who knows what 2018 is going to bring politically? This time next year I’ll likely be updating this blog on a slate tablet whilst relaxing in my makeshift nuclear bunker. Perhaps its time to rewatch Threads?

Apologies for whanging on about politics but it is really starting to grind me down and I needed to get it off my chest.

Wow, that last section got a bit heavy didn’t it? I was going to write more but I think I need to go have a lie down in a darkened room. Who knew blogging could be so bloomin’ mentally taxing? 

Till next time Internet Chums

Adios Amigos

*Back at Christmas 2016 my other half bought me make your own haggis kit. I’m Scottish and I’ve eaten haggis before, and liked it, so making my own sounded like a challenge that was worthy of my attention. It was great fun, if somewhat messy, and the results were extremely tasty.

The Cheesecake Strikes Back…

Can you believe I haven’t written a personal blog post since May 2015. There are multiple reasons why. I wont bore you with all the details. The quick answer is that in a nutshell real life has been the top priority (more on that in second). Recently though I’ve had a ponder and I’ve decided to try and start posting again. For how long this lasts or about what topics I’ll post I have little to no idea. Please remember as with my previous attempts at personal blog posts this is stream of consciousness type stuff. There will be typos, there will be swearing. It is unlikely there will be any insights into the human condition. You get the idea.

Pablo and The Brain

After much investigation it was determined that not only do I have  a dodgy thyroid (i’ve know about that for years) but I am also epileptic. It took me awhile to actually accept this but I’ve got there now. The good news, if there is any, is that I only appear to be prone to nocturnal seizures. This is good news because when the fits do occur I tend to be in bed. Probably the safest place to have a fit if you’re going to have one. brain

Herself and I have discussed it at some length and I previously agreed that if I had another seizure I would start taking medication. Another seizure happened so meds it was. At the beginning of September I started taking a drug called Lamotrigine. It takes a couple of months to work up to a full dose, I’ll be there as of next Monday. Interestingly this wonder drug is also used to treat bi-polar disorder. The things is I’m still not entirely sure about this medication. Obviously I don’t want to ever have another fit, recovery is bloody hard work and its traumatic for both me and MadNad, but the list of potential side effects contain some real doozies. My personal favourites are increased seizures or increased symptoms of bipolar disorder. My worry is that I’m not sure I would spot a side effect if there was one. Things like a sore throat or itchiness can be relatively common indications of something completely different. Other more serious side effects like depression I think would be far tricker to pick up on. I mean everyone has a low day now and again. If I started to feel that way how would I know? Happy days eh. Time will tell I suppose.

Feel the Burn

On a far more upbeat note I have managed to improve my overall level of fitness. (Not going to let a dodgy brain slow me down). I go to the gym a couple of times a week and from time to time I go out running. I should stress I am not an Olympic athlete but I am enthusiastic. Over the list year may weight had started to creep up again so I decided to take steps. I have shifted 15lbs and I plan on loosing a bit more. I actually quite like going to the gym if I’m honest. I hate the thought of it beforehand but once I’m there I get the chance to just zone out and destress.

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

Its like looking in a mirror. Honestly!

So basically after all this gym time I’m totally ripped (I’m totally not). What I actually am is healthier than I was before. You know what? that’ll do for me. On Thursday there were two separate incidents where I was told I was looking trim. I may have gone full smugface at one point. (You have to admit though Cavill looks pretty darned amazing doesn’t he? He is an impressive specimen. I remain somewhat jealous)

The Beard That Would Not Die

An admission. I grew a beard for two reasons (1) Clean shaven is not an option. I look like a mildly interesting King Edward potato (2) I am really quite lazy. Turns out reason 1 is 100% accurate, reason 2 not so much. Maintaining a beard is just as much work as bloomin’ shaving. You have to trim it regularly, oil it from time to time, keep it in direct sun light, don’t feed it after midnight, etc etc. The list is endless. I imagine the time I spend on my facial topiary is similar to the time one would spend trimming and shaping a bonsai.


“Why all the effort then Pablo?”, I hear none of you cry. It is just so damned comforting. It is like having a security blanket for your face. There is a wonderfully reassuring feeling that comes with my face fuzz. It does help that MadNad likes it as well I suppose. At some point I may even take a trip to one of those fancy barbers that are around now. I’ve heard you can get your beard professionally trimmed. Sounds jolly exciting. That said there is every chance I would be spectacularly intimidated by the whole thing and not even get passed the front door.

There, I feel better now that I have waffled on a bit. Cleared the cobwebs out of my brain. I was going to rant a bit about Trumpton, Fractured Europe et al but I might save that gem for later. Instead I’m going to go and get some soup ( Hell Yeah, I know how to live!)

Until next time (fuck knows when that will be) have a splendid existence, be kind to one another and ignore that haters.

Darth Cheesecake salutes you

2015 Why Don’t You Just Kick Me In the Nuts And Be Done With It

I know I mostly talk shallow nonsense on this blog, as is my want, but currently I have a profound desire to vent a little. Be warned this post is likely going to get a bit ranty. I just need to get some crap off my chest. Feel free to disregard what comes next entirely if you wish. I promise I won’t be offended.

Now the eagle eyed amongst you my have noticed that I’ve not written a single personal blog post so far this year. Why? Well the quick answer is mostly because, so far at least, 2015 has been an almost continuous pile of shit.

In January I had another epileptic type incident. Once again I woke in the middle of the night to find herself telling me that everything was going to be alright and she had called the emergency services.  Prior to that moment I was 100% oblivious to what was going on. Its frightening when you realise it is possible to be entirely absent from your own life. There is nothing in my frame of reference I can compare this to. I’ve been drunk many times in my life but I’ve never blacked out. Since that night I have had no further incidents but I am still talking with specialists regarding what happens next. The human brain is a miracle alright. Sadly my brain is slightly less of a miracle than some others.

February was quiet but in March my other half had some health issues of her own. I’m not going into the details, primarily because that is her business, suffice to say the problems she had were pretty fucking terrifying. Two serious illnesses in the space of two weeks is damned scary. I think I may have aged about twenty years in the space of a single month. We’ve both seen more than enough hospitals in the last few months thanks very much.

Now that things have calmed down a little, most of our hospital appointments/consultancy visits are done and dusted, I have finally reached the point where I think I can view things with a slightly more objective eye. The single silver lining in all this bloody trauma is that it has made me realise just how extremely lucky I actually am. I’m not the most demonstrative chap in the world and I know I don’t say it often enough but I’ll say it now for the record – My other half is the love of my life. She is the better part of me and I would be completely and utterly lost without her. She makes me want to be a better person. The last few months have driven home the message (that I’m sure many of you already know) – Life is precious and ephemeral and needs to be grabbed firmly with both hands and held onto tightly. I fully intend to do much more of this now.

So what next? Hopefully something resembling normal. Recently I have come to the conclusion that good times are best viewed as the absence of bad things. I’d like to get back to that. I was good at that.

Thank for the opportunity to get that out of my system. I feel better already.

Normal slightly fuzzy, mildly shambolic service will be resumed as soon as possible

Later you ‘orrible lot. I’m away to live a little.

Love and overly long hugs

Senor Cheesecake

2014: A Cheesecake in Review

Another year nearly done and dusted. Once again 12 months have just flown by in a flurry of semi coherent moments. I am, as ever, thankful for my family and friends.

With the exception of books, which I’ll waffle a bit about soon over on The Eloquent Page, there have been bucket loads of great entertainment this year. Here are just a few of my personal highlights*


I have what can best be described as eclectic tastes when it comes to tunes. I listen to a ton of soundtracks but love bands as well. My top five for 2014?

Royal Blood – What a RAWK-tastically awesome self-titled debut album. 32 minutes and not a duff second among them.

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag by Brian Tyler – There are some fantastic game soundtracks out there. I love that the same level of detail that is spent on things like game play and graphics is being spent on the music that accompanies it.

Gloryhammer – Tales From The Kingdom of Fife – Mad as a bag of hammers and all the better for it. The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee is sublime lunacy. In order to pull off daft you have to do it well and these guys know it. I’m mightily impressed.

The Last of Us by Gustavo Santaolalla – Another game soundtrack. I hold this entirely responsible for me actually buying a PS4 and the game. Hauntingly evocative stuff. Just blissfully good.


The Flash – A perfect companion show to Arrow. I love how Barry revels in his abilities. I was discussing it with MadNad and she prefers Arrow, she likes things a bit darker than me. She did agree however that Flash is entertaining. The Man in the Yellow Suit in particular was a stonking episode. The crossover episodes with Arrow were great fun as well.

The Walking Dead – The end of the world just keeps getting darker and darker. Cannibals, corrupt cops and some nice morally dubious decisions. Great stuff. I’ve noticed every week MadNad taking copious notes. I’m sure she’ll be prepared when the inevitable zom-poc arrives.

Vikings – Oh Ragnar Lodbrok you just want it all don’t you? Lets see if you cant get it. Well played History channel, well played.

The Musketeers – Cheesy I know but I adore a bit of cheese. Second season is imminent. I look forward to it buckling my swash. It is the facial hair, I am ALL of the jealous…and the hats.

I want a hat with a feather in it. Dammit!

I want a hat with a feather in it. Dammit!

Dr Who – I was never in any doubt. Capaldi is a perfect fit. The Tardis is in safe hands.


We’ve managed to devour over 135 films this year. Most have been pretty damn good and there have been a couple of real standouts.

The Imitation Game – This was MadNad’s choice and I’ll admit that I had zero expectations when we went to see this at the cinema. I was more than pleasantly surprised, I loved it.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel know exactly which buttons to press when it comes to summer blockbusters. Damn them and their pelvic sorcery!


Nightcrawler – Jake Gyllenhaal being all sleazy and shit. Dark as hell and all the better for it.

Interstellar – Christopher Nolan appears to be quite a divisive figure in many circles. Personally I’m a fan. I’ve liked all of his films and this was no exception. I suspect this is the sort of movie that will require multiple viewings. I’ve only seen it once so far but have no doubt I’ll watch it again. Nolan’s like a cinematic onion (honestly, that is a compliment)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – More Marvel, more explosions. Nuff’ said.

So there you have it some of my entertainment highlights for 2014, the year I turned forty (please note my mental age is still roughly fifteen. I dont expect that will ever change).

I reckon 2015 is already shaping up to be interesting. There are various plans afoot in the Cheesecake household that are bound to create a certain amount of chaos. I’m always game for a bit of mayhem. In other, entirely unrelated, news I think I have made a decision regarding my fitness challenge for 2015. More on that soon.

Hope you’re all having an utterly splendid festive season.

See you next year

* Yes, I’m well aware some of the things mentioned in this post have been around longer than the last 12 months but this is my blog and so I can do whatever I like 🙂

I Can’t Do It Captain…I Don’t Have The Power!

I promised myself I would start updating my personal blog more regularly so here it is,  a quick Sunday night update.

Every since I had the problems with my thyroid diagnosed I have been suffering from a bloody annoying secondary condition. I’ve feel like I am running on  75% power. It’s the weirdest thing. It doesn’t happen all the time but more often than not by around 8pm I am utterly exhausted. I fall asleep at the drop of a hat. The only thing I can do to combat this appears to be is coffee. I’ve even managed to fall asleep during the day on a few occasions. (Sorry if you were sat in that panel at Edge Lit. I was the one who was snoring. I still feel bad about that now.)

Herself has been very understanding but I’ve realised that I need to do something about this and I need to do it now. I’ve started doing some research but was wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions? I’ll try anything, within reason, to increase my energy levels.

Any ideas? I want to avoid further instances of this…