Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the month “October, 2011”

Has The World Turned and Happy (insert relevant festival)

Tesco in East Didsbury (I love the geographical split of East, West and The Village – it has a 70s European feel to it) currently has merchandise on display for Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas, Diwali, Jewish New Year and Freedom for The Flemish with Phlegm Independence Party.

Every newsagent in Didsbury now seems to be a licensed mini-mart packed with so much stock that daylight is a thing of the past.

The fight for supremacy between coffee shops and charity shops can only lead to Emmanuel and St James churches going to head to head with a Starbucks Fairtrade Chocolate concession or maybe a John Lewis themed coffee shop.

It’s October 15th and on a perfect summer’s day I strolled through Fletcher Moss with Didsbury Wife and Son past the soon to be Dimitris. The park was full of yapping dogs, happy children and the whiff of suntan lotion. We then sat squinting and basking outside Caffe Nero as cars pumped out summer sounds through open roofs and windows.

City are top of the league. I saw a fish in Evans within my price range, there was no broken glass outside O’Neills this morning and Didsbury Son patiently worked his way through a mock entrance exam as our year 6 parental paranoia cranked up a notch.

All this and last week Didsbury Library had both of the books I was looking for, whilst Gourmet Burger King had more customers than staff on successive weekdays.

These are strange times. I feel as though I may blink and find Salford is the capital of British Television, the LibDems are the government and when I get home my car will be cleaned and SkySports News will be humming behind a steaming cup of tea in my favourite mug… just wishful thinking and mad ideas

Didsbury Dad’sDiddsbury World

Come into the world of Didsbury Dad. Early 40s, something in the media, but not sure what. Lives with Didsbury Son, Didsbury Wife and the cats (one fat, one thin) who run all the catnip this side of the park.

Didsbury Dad is not quite sure how to match a creative and optimistic view of life with the trials, dilemmas and competitive parenting required by modern society. He is uncomfortable with the pecking order in the school playground but strangely fascinated by mothers who dress up to pick up children from school. His head, heart and verbal communication have had to take different paths as he strives to keep the peace . If there was room for a shed in the back garden, he would be in there writing and interspersing creative genius with Championship Manager, The Simpsons and taking his son to burp on demand. The demands on modern dad can be difficult.

Didsbury Dad lives in the leafy underbelly of suburbia, where the motorways, chains, olde world cheese shops and modern Britain collide, and where you can buy 38 types of coffee, 27 varieties of olive oil but a lightbulb is hard to find.

The Boden Supremacy and The South Manchester Reporter

Dateline 1/10/11… Didsbury son and I were up early today. The battle for pinch and punch on the first of the month; slip slap can’t hit back has become competitive. There is finally an advantage to being past 37 and needing to get up early through force of nature. 1-0 to Didsbury Dad and a good start to the weekend. We decided to do the great dad/son sitting on the dorstep not saying much and doing less – sun coming up slowly over the new Metrolink, bottles clinking into bins in the village’s pubs and cats, squirrels and early risers mooching about with a hint of a smile. A rare and lovely Manchester morning.

Anyway 30 seconds of bliss before Didsbury Son began talking to me about cartoons and asking questions, generally interrupting my stupor. I decided it was time for some proactive, interactive, inventive and patient parenting. I got him the iPad, a glass of juice and brought myself 15 minutes of silence. Aah back to the bliss.

The South Manchester Reporter was delivreminiscent was my turn to bother Didsbury Son by reminiscing about a time when Didsbury Dad thought he was a media darling. The Withington Reporter had it’s office on School Lane and held the pulse of M20. From The Midland (now The Metropolitan), to the dole office (Withington Community Hospital). From The Old Grey Horse (now Zizzi’s) to The Dog and Partridge (still The Dog) we would wait for Trelawney’s Sound of the Suburbs – where wannabe Indie moppers, Madchesterians and DJs would wait for their first publicity and we would find out which band was hot and whether we went to school with them.

I even had a brief reign as Trelawney and begin to waffle at the poor boy, sharing my 20s with an increasingly bored Didsbury Son. My “Do you know what we used to do where Cafe Rouge and O’Neill’s are now?” was a final straw. Didsbury Son decided it was time for my pacifier, the sports section of the paper and a cup of coffee. We went back to comfortable silence.

But this day had more in store for us. The scourge of modern man, the true love of modern family woman, Boden and this time it was in town. Didsbury Wife had a flyer through the door for one of the most excruciating yet car crashingly entertaining mornings fo the year – The Boden surplus sale. For one morning every year or so Boden take over the George Carnell Leisure Centre in Urmston; one of the finest culture clashes of the season. 4X4’s, Freyas and Archies and lots of middle aged women in matching umbrellas descend on an unsuspecting gym near The Trafford Centre to fight over remnants of the Boden Catalogue. At any one time there are 4 Henrys and 3 Jemimas being squeezed into colour coordinated two pieces. Didsbury Son and I make a half hearted attempt to join the melee, find something and then retreat into a corner to watch the tears, tantrums and purple satin lining. This is a precision operation for both shoppers and sales staff. Do not be fooled by a sea of stripes and deep pastels, this is like running with bulls in Pamplona, hesitate and you are lost.

 

As the temperature and the pitch rises I am transported back to my front step and morning sun that welcomed October. It may only have lasted the first few days but when this week’s South Manchester comes through the door with rain and cold accompaniments, I will be recreating the Sound of the Suburbs and boring Didsbury Son with why a Guy Called Gerald beats Olly Murs, hands down.

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