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 “September, 2013”

I Cannot Grumble, but is a quick moan alright?

It had been an exceedingly long day. As I munched my Monday Focaccia and ambled through the built up roads and empty Gourmet Burger Kitchen of Didsbury I was ready for a good moan about my long day. I had a whole spiel concocted with regard to some perceived snub and a great play on words inspired by a banal piece of oneupmanship. All of it dreary and in keeping with the first burst of winter after a summer when we could finally moan about the heat (and did).


I admit it. I have, on occasion used the twin babies as a front for being a bit crap. “Ooh, I’m so tired, Aaaah I’ve been up all night, but can’t grumble (make yourself comfy I’m about to grumble copiously)” . Nobody else has ever had children/gone to work/made their own tea occasionally.


The British are famous for moaning, tea, fish and chips and punching above our weight at sport without ever being sure how we did it. I’ll address the other three later but we know you need patience to make a decent brew and trying to gain sympathy from people without appearing to is more ubiquitous (if you can be more ubiquitous) than football and Holly Willoughby on ITV.

So here is the Didsbury Dad guide to the top 3 dad moans for opportunities we should celebrate.


  1. Nappy changes. I am not sure everyone realised that at midnight on 31 December 1999 we rolled into the 21st Century. Changing a nappy is occasionally smelly and a bit messy. At worst it can be an entertaining tussle. It’s nothing a quick hand wash can’t sort out.

In addition to giving you the excuse to blow raspberries on your baby’s tummy it builds trust and there is no chromosomal reason not to do it. It is also quicker and easier than washing up and watching the Mighty-Headed boy wee on me randomly has provided Didsbury Son with some of his most entertaining moments his year.


2. Getting the baby(ies) down. This is the best for many reasons. After pretending you are the king of funny voices, funny stories and general nurturing you get to cuddle up with them on the pretext that they weren’t settling in the cot on their own. When you lie with a baby curled up into you, their arm on your chest and the scent of their heads filling your nostrils, it removes the residue of any sleepless night. It is a count your blessings experience,  even if its during a Champions League Game (pre-Christmas group games obviously, I’ve not lost it completely). This  also provides you with the chance of a quick snooze or a game of Candy Crush on the iPhone over their shoulder.


3. The cost. Let’s be honest. There is a little bit of Homer Simpson in most of us that involves wasting money on tat, high salt food and over-priced drinks.  That we now realise we should have opened a chemist shop and saved up instead of throwing greats parties is by the by. When I spend less on coffee than I do on Aptamil I will moan.


It’s been bloody cold today and I got wet. I’ll just get the phone and call someone who cares.

The wisdom of the ages and a large cappuccino to go, Jamie Oliver and Jessie J.

This much I have learned as I sail past 39 years 39 months and a bit extra for winter.

1. Years ago I went to a 60th Wedding Anniversary. It was the 80s and even the buffet was brown. The husband got up and said “When we married we agreed that she (he said pointing at his bride) would be in charge of the small issues and I would decide the large issues – in 60 years there hasn’t been a single large issue”. The audience laughed, I titivated my Morten Hacket mullet but it stuck in my mind.

2. Look after the pennies and you can afford a large skinny cappuccino with an extra shot every now and then.

3. By the age of 40 everyone gets the face they deserve; but not necessarily the house, car or the respect.

4. Counting blessings works more quickly than counting sheep, adding up credit scores can lead to insomnia.

5. Feel the fear and see if someone else will do it for you anyway.

6. Laceless shoes and school uniforms without ties can cover up a lack of coordination and dexterity.

7. All your haircuts will eventually come back in to fashion.

8. Reading everyone’s twitter feeds when you are in babysitting alone can make you feel like you are missing out on life, taking a peek at the sleeping heirs can redress the balance.

9. No dad really knows the answer to 99% of the dilemmas in life – the other 1% relate to football.

10. Most things in life are better after a mooch and a coffee.

Not exactly the Dalai Lama – but he didn’t have to spend an hour tonight singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands”.

PS: other things I have learned include the fact that everyone says potato and no one says “potarto”, predictive text should always be turned off to avoid losing friends unwittingly, we all go through a Jamie Oliver phase and Jessie J was right, but didn’t have to pay childcare for twins.

Early shots of the costume department for Star Wars 7 don’t look promising.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, quite often a finger in the ear and sometimes a warmer neck than you had hoped for

Didsbury, a desirable residency with room for an extension

Didsbury waves goodbye to the summer and welcomes indoor dining and drinking and hairdressing. There are changes but its back to the future across M20.

The Pound Bakery scam stickers on the site of the old Didsbury village Farm Shop (proof we are not yet ready for a £4 sandwich) is still my favourite trick. Apparently it is still set to be a Toni & Guy, they are just waiting to see if they can adapt the cold store for beauty treatments.

Dimitri’s has changed names but not  pricing strategy, Nido and Applebeys still defy the laws of economics to stay open. Each time I pass I feel a little pang of guilt at their emptiness and a little source of joy they are not mine. A bit like being at school when someone else is being told off.

WestFest was responsible for more weight gain that De Niro for Raging Bull and… It’s a sign of the times- we have TWO new Estate Agents ready to fight of our business.

This is back to the future. Before we were the charity shop Northern HQ. Before every shop sold coffee and flowers, we were a village of banks, off licenses and Estate Agents. The TSB is now Nero, Merrills, a shoe shop and 10 years ago this month Jo Padmore’s beautiful displays replaced Victoria Wine. Now we have a flange, or is it a whoop of Estate Agents coming to Didsbury – and there is previous.

Just as Didsbury Barbers fell out and became two barbers within yards of each other, so we welcome back Julian Wadden from his self-imposed Stockport Sojourn. In a nutshell ( a spacious shell with split level living options and planning permission for a utility room) and with no attempt at specific reality here goes an anecdotal Didsbury memory. Once there was Jordan & Fishwick. A flame-haired young agent joined and they were Jordan, Fishwick and Wadden – Mazeltov.

Local residents welcome a new Estate Agents in Didsbury

Local residents welcome a new Estate Agents in Didsbury

THEN he left. Jordan & Fishwick went back to being a duo and Julian moved to the upwardly mobile end of Stockport where he raised an army of Estate Agents using a simple purple on white board that conquered The Heatons and Reddish and now… He’s Back.
The window display promises evolved estate agentry, no spells, no curses and the window looks just like JP& Brimelow who are already successful, so it’s a winner. I like Estate Agent wars. It’s similar to watching the coalition government debate – you don’t really want either to win but you might get to see sharp suited people getting uppity.

But the Wadden Army has competition in the West. Callaghans Estate Agents are opening on Burton Road at the heart of our BoHo left of centre. Both promise a new kind of estate agent ing – which unless it means they are cutting hair, selling coffee and not selling houses is hard to understand.

Failure in business has a high price

Failure in business has a high price

The excitement never stops. Now if I want to buy flowers and coffee and sell a house my choice is bewildering. I may go and have a massage to ponder. Didsbury Wife reckons The brilliant Village Physio is the most suitable – if not the one most searched for online when people look for a massage in Didsbury.

How to sleep like a baby

Last weekend, for the first time since morning sickness appeared next to me in bed I was… Woken by the alarm clock. This domestic mundanity will seem like bragging to anyone stuck in the continuous waah, soothe, wake mode.

I woke in a state of shock, fuddled that 38 minutes of sleep/unconsciousness was not interrupted by the sound a mighty-headed boy searching for a soother or a pearl-headed girl shaking the bars of her cot like a mini-petite zoo monkey.

After a couple of seconds of mmmmmm came the fear.
1. They had stopped breathing. This is a terrible thought and one that people told me I would have. I realise I now lie awake listening for a snuffle, shnurgle or windchime from down the hall before I can relax and collapse to the soothing tones of Candy Crush.

2. They had escaped. Apparently other fathers also believe their children are the most beautiful, clever and impressive – uncanny. I imagined Dora the Explorer coming to them in a dream and showing them how to open the stair gate. I would then find them either playing Minecraft with Didsbury Son, making smoothies in the kitchen or scaring the cats by trying to “stroke” them.

Watching an 11month old baby stroke a cat brings a new level of respect for feline patience and has more in common with a five-year old playing “Operation”.

3. I was working away and dreaming I was at home being disturbed.

On finding out they were still asleep at almost 6.30am I strolled down to make bottles without a shoulder snapping, sciatica inducing start, feeling a sense of elation that showed me just how much my world had shrunk and focused.

Six hours sleep and up on a Sunday morning before 7 warming milk and I was giddier than the morning of my first cup final.

I walked downstairs and suddenly realised that nothing hurt. One night without bending, lifting, cooing and squeezing into unnatural positions round babies and I felt almost 39 3/4.

The rest of the day was a blur of pain-free happy blandness. I could feel creases in my forehead getting shallower as I focused freely.
Didsbury Son swooned as I politely greeted him AND listened to a few sentences ungrumpily. All this, for the kind of sleep that for most of my life would have counted as an interruption and an early start.

It was a friend who gave me the truth. You try everything, you think you have reached the point of no return but they know. Just when you feel you can take no more – they take pity and sleep through.

It’s the law.

Make the nightcap a big one

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: