Didsburydad's Blog

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

David Attenborough, Bear Grylls, The Birdman of Alcatraz and Me


Holiday Excitement – Family Style. Holidays should be full of moments that will brighten up a winter traffic jam when the sun is up after the babies and complaining that it is too hot seems a cruel joke.

Way before I was a Didsbury Dad, in fact from my earliest memories I have intimate knowledge of holiday problems.
My earliest recollections are of sitting on the side of European motorways next to a steaming Vauxhall Firenza and an immobile caravan. Since then holiday issues have been spontaneous and varied.
A stunt car recreates my childhood

A stunt car recreates my childhood

aaI have been grounded by war, nearly missed my own barmitzvah due to a strike (I know, we have all been there) and as a teenager was unfairly, if repetitively, a visitor to police stations in a wide range of countries. It was not exactly Midnight Express, but a first “boys” holiday ended with an unforgettable combination of arrest and dysentery.
It has left me sanguine, primarily unflappable and hard to impress wit a little trouble abroad.
I’ve flown Ryan Air, negotiated single-track cliff roads and been liberally pick pocketed. Didsbury Wife once had a job that took her on global jaunts, so a family caravan holiday in that jungle that is Wales would seem an easy week. Until we met this…
spaarrow5 Sparrow Hawk ating
Many things have woken me suddenly over the years; teachers, colleagues, policemen, worry, but never a Sparrow Hawk.
The exclusive deal between Kestrels and Adidas has driven Sparrow Hawks to search out Nike

The exclusive deal between Kestrels and Adidas has driven Sparrow Hawks to search out Nike

We had driven through the night with a car full of blissfully sleeping children. Didsbury Wife had graciously allowed me to lie-in and was feeding and entertaining the whole troupe when I was woken with…”There’s something in the awning you should see”.
This could have been anything – spider, tramp, projection from any orifice of any child. It was a Sparrow Hawk sitting on my sports bag eating a starling North to South – it had got to the Midlands in thorough fashion.
I stormed out, with only the protection of rare birds and the safety of my children on my mind. I eyeballed the bird and we communicated. I told him I respected his hunting prowess, he told me he would not harm my family. I opened the awning shared Avian Human respect and he flew off with his prey. Ish.
After thinking this trumps a trip around the ruins of Criccieth Castle I did what any same man would do. I locked the door and called the site manager and asked him to to open the awning as I needed to go to the toilet.
Didsbury Son has a great story to tell at school and we have another tale to tell the twins about our Welsh Safari.  I learned one important lesson- Dettox gets rid of the blood from most items, eventually.
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