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 “November, 2011”

Own clothes, spots and November

November is always full-on. After a summer malaise that, depending on the freelance market, lasts 3-5 months, it is November when we are back to full pace. Christmas is around the corner, schools are busy inventing new ways to make you pay for them and… I need to take a pause here before I get back to the list.

Yesterday’s event I, as usual forgot, was ” Own Clothes Day”. Why? We’ve only just got over the trauma of forgetting “wear spots” day, so yesterday’s hassled phone call from Didsbury Mum near the city centre to me in deepest Lancashire that Didsbury Son was the only child in uniform just cranked up the stress. (Didsbury Son has just informed me that next Friday is bring a chocolate bar day; fine now, but I will forget by Tuesday and then have to make up a lame excuse about protecting him from Diabetes to try and justify my poor parenting).

Why? Are they so desperate to entertain the children? I think that should read why are they so desperate to entertain the children?
Many of the educationalists are parents so make it easy for us and engage the children in ways that they care about. All messages about wearing “wacky” clothes, taking in a pound for the children of former bankers, baking a cake for cats or getting the staffroom a new massage chair should come back in a fake tattoo on the child’s hand or forehead. This way I can’t accidentally miss the email that arrives at the same time as my Fantasy League update and Didsbury Son can concentrate on remembering the latest must have accessory for playground bragging rights.

On an educational tip, this is what Zygotsky called the “Zone of Proximal Development”. The theory states that whatever the loudest child in the class brags about most convincingly, all the others will want for Christmas. My argument that once children aren’t sure Santa exists we should end big presents comes from not really understanding Christmas. I am an outsider and Chanucah is a different world. I love the goodwill to mankind and winter brightness aspect. As a football fan I like the people who have religious belief, faith is very underrated in any field. But I have never quite understood the craven sprint to debt the day before everything is half price.

Oh well, November, lovely really and especially mild is year. Rainbows and storms, excited children, Didsbury is at its best as autumn goes into winter. We have trees that shed their leaves impressively and I am hoping to find time for a walk around Fletcher Moss on my Saturday morning mooch with Didsbury son today. It always makes me feel lucky to live so close to somewhere near the city that is so beautiful, and now it has Dimitri’s, it’s handy for souvlaki on the walk home.

A parochial elegy


Cue inspiring music.

Once in a generation a hero comes to your village. Something to give a hint of the Wild West (Burton Road) or the beauty of Lapwing’s Fusion Deli to Wilmslow Road.

It roars to Axons, YES we have Artisan Meats, Wafts to The Hamlet in a Wallace & Gromit stylee “Smell My Cheese” (actually I think that was Alan Partridge) and challenges Evans to a game of Fresh Grouse; this usurper with a sans serif font on its door.

This is something to erase the memory of Carphone Warehouse’s feeble pavement stalking, fag smokingly, indifferent staff.

This is a sign to the volunteers at our many charity shops that Sausage Barms with real meat are on the menu. For the Estate Agents in the village now charity shopping since the downturn good news. It is not just Tesco and Whitbreads that can afford the rent.

M&S, Co-Op, Subway, Costa are you watching? Bond, Jo Padmore, No. 4, Moretons you have a new family member.

In our house, excitement could not have been higher had Didsbury Son arranged to get Pikachu round for Christmas or 3-4 venti coffees with cake replaced 5 a day as a health requirement… My very own gentrified food shop with an industrial fridge in the back, in my village.

Didsbury Village Farm Shop, we welcome you to our humble village to share your purple kale, nutmeg laced £3 custards and stuffed Turkey crowns…

Let the price war hopefully commence.



Movember and the Golden Fleece(ing)

It’s been a month since my last post, Mea Culpas all around. Unless that involves buying a Mea culpa souvenir cup, wristband, t-shirt, fancy dress outfit or themed Mea culpa sweets with special gooey filling.

Please donate to keep these people off the TV

October/November is now weeks of a thousand tiny cuts to my Didsbury Dad wallet and of a stocking up on pre-Christmas tat for a delighted snd sugar overloaded Didsbury Son.

We have celebrated the rise of evil American influenced Halloween spirits against my better liberal morals. The  outfit, bucket of sweets etc. and my payback was to make up ghost stories for a roomful of 20 neighbours without being convincing enough to be ostracised or need a CRB check.

Hot off the back of Halloween we went to the Toc H rugby club firework display. I have always been slightly nervous of Rugby clubs since school. Too much forced bonhomie and unacknowledged homoeroticism. No worries or head dunking down a toilet on the night. The fireworks were good, the bratwurst was excellent and like all good 10 year olds Didsbury Son ran around aimlessly in a gang whose parameters stretched from the mean streets of Parkfield Road to the badlands off Victoria Avenue.
Via various charity boxes around school and Eid contributions we have Movember. Grow a moustache for men’s health. I’m partial to facial hair when allowed and have been through the goattee and the Adidas stripe phase. I didn’t get to start until the 11th and anything that researches an easing of prostate examination seems more appealing once you tip the scales past 38. BUT, even this requires a contribution. I barely have enough left to gorge myself on tidbits at our new Didsbury Village Farm Shop (more to follow in a couple of days).

Who doesn't look good with a 'tache?

Finally and with the full backing of the country, the piece de resistance, Children in Need. I love the idea and am happy to contribute to endless “Name the Olive Oil”, guess which side of the mountain the Focaccia flour was harvested from and a myriad of Didsbury inspired fundraising challenges but I hate the TV programme-a-thon.

I went to bed in disgrace with Didsbury Wife and Son for being bah humbug a month early. It’s not the crying celebs or the wonderful small charities; they are worthy and inspiring. It’s the newsreaders, actors and general BBC staff moonlighting as karaoke bores that makes it unwatchable. Elbow and Coldplay on Thursday night at the MEN, fantastic. Gok Wan doing Chicago, Eastenders committing regicide beyond awful. Want to double the takings? Get these abysmal show ponies back in their comfort zone and out of sight.

Too much sugar on halloween gets to Didsbury Son

Hey, only 5 weeks to Christmas.

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