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 “February, 2014”

Postcard from Andalucia

A snapshot of time. It’s Midnight in a friendly hotel bar somewhere in Southern Spain. Tonight has been the Wheeltappers & Shunters Andalucia danceathon. The bar is fine, the waiters friendly and an Iberian Covers Band have savagely beaten death songs ranging from 1940 to 1983. It is finally time for the last rites; Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again” segueing seamlessly into “Wake Me Up Before You GoGo”. This is not Prince on Burton Road or The Pistols at The Lesser Free Trade Hall”. This is family holidays and a dance floor full of the Octogenarian Mutant Njnja Turtles.

Didsbury Wife and I have slow danced and enjoyed the freedom of not speaking the language or knowing the dance floor etiquette as we bounced off a swirling 80 year old dressed as a tablecloth and wearing cataract glasses with a touch of the Edgar Davids. The noise of the band drowns out the sound of clicking hips and Didsbury Son dutifully steps up to share the last dance with Didsbury Wife.

Oh the passage of time. This is no longer the squeaking Blondini delighted to share the dance floor with his glamorous mum. This is the pre-teen, acutely aware and overly conscious boy who feels the world is filming and judging his every move. So when I popped up to take a snap for posterity I was shunned like a paparazzi on a moped.

Diana and Dodi, Brad. still married to Jen with Angelina. Didsbury Son walked off the floor, hand up to the lens, warning me of the consequences. The passage of time can be difficult.

Six hours ago the five of us had frugged around the room to Europop with The Mighty-Headed Boy and The Pearly-topped girl whooping with delight and waving at the camera with their big brother as we laughed and cheered. The rest is silence.

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Me, Tony Curtis, Zabaleta and formula

Normally I’m not one to namedrop. I’m too busy hanging out with City players eating Fish & Chips in Didsbury or riffing with the media cognoscenti round Gregg’s and The Royal Oak.

So I am sitting here outside a hotel bar in a lovely Spanish resort. Didsbury Wife is socialising, Didsbury Son sits next to me in comfortable silence watching Minecraft videos and there is a double buggy on my right with finally motionless boddlers dreaming of swimming pools and being the boisterous darlings of the patient hotel staff. This is bliss. A bliss I had never imagined or expected and I have no idea how I managed to get here.

I looked over earlier today and saw me, dual nappy changing by a pool thick with the waft of the outdoor smoking still so popular in Southern Europe; saw some pacifying of Didsbury Son who has shown stoic patience beyond his years and thought it was my own Didsbury Dad.

So back to the name dropping. Many years ago in a pre-DD life I ended up in a pre-show conversation with Tony Curtis. I had been introduced because the New York crew on the show could not believe they had met…
“Tony, a Jew. From England. This guy even knows what a bagel is. ”
We shook hands. I blessed my knowledge of ethnic baking and thought how proud my dad would be to meet him. I wondered if he liked football and felt a bit guilty for preferring Kirk Douglas.

He was deaf. Could not hear 70%, or understand my accent for the other 30% and we both look confused in the photo; I digress.

He told a story which made no sense to the Brits but had the Americans crying. He talked about coming to Hollywood as a very young man . After his first day on set he was tired and hot. He was staying with a friend who had a pool. He dived in and swam the whole length underwater. When he surfaced, it was today. His story of the passage of time struck a chord with me today.
I remember going on my first boys only holiday to Aranel in Majorca. I was 17. I back combed my white blonde hair, put my string vest over my white t – shirt and tucked my Rothmans Reds into my white 8 pleat turn ups and headed out for a night of Bacardi and trying to avoid getting punched. When I came to I was asking Didsbury Son to get the formula from the room so I could get the twins down.
The Dog & Partridge is still the same, Nido was the worst idea bar Betamax and I’ve ordered a Bacardi to toast my own luck.

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The beauty of older children is that you don’t have to join in so much.

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There’s no place like home.

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