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 “August, 2015”

Postcard from Murcia 2/4: Feeling Philosophical 

The two/teen summer holiday is sadly almost at an end. It has been wonderful and uplifting, occasionally restful, very hot, over-budget, funny and much-needed.
  The hire car – a Mercedes in name only, whose scratches gave it character and acceleration reminded one of an Austin Maestro

I have read a book, which already puts it ahead of last year with 20 month old twins and next year my goal is a night’s sleep in only one bed at least once (I can dream). 

  
There have been cine memory moments of utter bliss in the baby and big pool as the twins have taken their first goes at swimming. These and moments when Didsbury Son has been Captain of the mini Manc Armada are those snapshot moments that make the overdraft, sciatica and Mr. Tumble worthwhile. 
These moments are more noticeable on holiday but are the backbone of any relationship – the moments that cement relationships, lift you in low moments and can be an inspiration. I have in my bank a look and leaping hug from a blonde and squeaky Didsbury Son, a message on a Big Wheel from Didsbury Wife and my team lining up for a Cup Final I had waited twenty years to see – they are irrelevant to most people but are the seeds that have grown my passion and each of us has our own. 
I began writing Didsbury Dad on a holiday five years ago when I looked around the other dads and realised that we mainly did what we were told, relied on our other halves for guidance and had to feign interest and understanding in many many things. 
I am very lucky that in these five years I have now got two more Didsburylings to stress about, have been to several cup finals and learned things I never even imagined. Last time I was really clear I had made the right decision about a little one in my care she was a dog and I was solo. I spend parents’ evenings and most family discussions guessing what I should think and say and have a feeling most other dads do too. 

Postcard from Murcia 1/4 – Sexy Beast

The great thing about family holidays with teenagers, tantrums and a pool are that by the time the tan fades, so does the memory of the arguments, meltdowns over sun cream, mosquito bites and that moment I just had when you squint down through sweat covered eyes and realise that although in your head you are a David Beckham 40, without the tattoos and with body hair, you are not in fact breathing out and it’s all you.   Not David Beckham

This is bliss. Actually in my head I am now Ray Winstone in the Opening scene of Sexy Beast. Didsbury Son has sloped off to his lair, Didsbury Wife and the Pearly Princess sleep coiled like beautiful cat and kitten under a fan in the bedroom and the Mighty Headed Boy has finally conked out on the couch. It is hot. 

  

 Acclaim for my Ray Winstone references 
I am alone. An hour of solitude, but for cicadas and the distant hum of the Mar Menor. My balcony is not overlooked and is split equally between 90 degree sun and cool shade. This is Didsbury Dad bliss. A tummy full of Navajos, a cool drink of water next to me and no Wi-Fi so I can’t stress about anything outside of my sweaty and happy bubble. I am Ray Winstone and I have had the privelige of doing something for the last 30 minutes that I have not done since before I became a Didsbury Dad; nothing.

IMG_0083What is going through my mind right now
I have not thought of anything constructive. I have not made plans, read emails, considered local or global conundrums. I have not tidied, folded the washing or read a book. I have spent the time staring and sweating happily. Now the blog’s written it’s back to the abyss. 

Sleep Depravation and the IPhone battery

Sleep Depravation shows the extent of the convergence between humanity and technology. I have developed battery life akin to my iPhone. When I first brought the Sleep Depravation 4 just under 3 years ago I just needed a quick sync and full charge every week to ten days and worked in full power.After 3 winters and several depravation upgrades (they’ve got heavier, louder and harder to shush down), this third summer has seen my joints stiffen and my energy plunge as short trips (what in the name of Waitrose was I thinking) to opposite ends of the UK have left the toddlers with on tour timings and tantrums and Didsbury Wife and I so low on juice that even an altruistic induced lie-in only gets us out of the red for a couple of hours. Just like your iPhone. By month 24 a quick trawl through Sky Sports News and its wheezing and out of life. 

I fell asleep in a lift today – it would not have been so bad were I not a) claustrophobic b) in a conversation at the time regarding a creative project. 

I have brought a mobile charger (Berocca), a car charger (Coffee) and plugged into the computer (Sugar). But all I know is that I’m only a 5am Peppa Pig Party away from crashing and was so disoriented yesterday I used an emoticon 😭.

  One pig, 15 apps, 12 ribs in sauce

I’m positively looking forward to my next withering put down by teen boy Didsbury Son; at least he doesn’t need milk or picking up.   

 I was so tired yesterday I tried moving his helmet so I could tell them he’d gone to Doggy Heaven. 

Sew-In: An Epitaph

Our cultural icons are changing – the old order is gone. It’s not just Didsbury Son’s teenage advancement with its shedding of childhood. David Beckham’s latest tattoo barely raised more than a dozen front covers, Last Friday night on the last Metro home no one sang an Oasis song with that adenoidal mispronunciation so loved of drunk 40 something’s and now, slipping away on the tide like Wayne Rooney’s hair pre-weave, Sew-In has gone.    Personal tributes across Didsbury
We can no longer boast that Didsbury has a Zizzi and. Knitting shop. 

Last night, as the Didsbury Dad family massed on our triumphant return to Didsbury after 24 Hours away we saw (or is it Sew’d) our reflection through the echoing chambers of emptiness. The big ” To Let” sign now seems to taunt us. Not even the new billboard showcasing Julian Wadden’s latest Tory cabinet look-a-like to join one of Didsbury’s top two purple Estate Agents lifted our mood. 
Didsbury Wife and Son have actually made things from material at Sew-In and when he was a little squeaking 5am riser we wrapped ourselves in Sew-In ribbons as a birthday present for Didsbury Wife.
But like Inmans, Woolworths and walking up the disused railway line the tradition stops here. I never really liked going in there – I think they could tell my dexterity did not extend beyond a handshake and my occasional visits were treated with the glee of a corner shop welcoming more than 2 schoolchildren at any one time. I had to read my order from a list and clearly had no idea what I was asking for.
  The window display often attracted people from yards away. 
So farewell to rainbow wool and the best ribbon in Manchester. As we stood silently to pay our respects to this fallen hero of an age when people are Snapchatting their knitting patterns and few remember Thora Hird I gripped Didsbury Wife, sniffed back a tear and said a silent thank you that none of us know any James Blunt songs. 

– please take a minute to listen to Neil Young’s tribute to knitting shops – The Needle and the Damage Done. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k0t0EW6z8a0

A Zizzi Update, it’s going to get Messi

 “Thank you @craftwords for taking the time to have a look at the building no longer known as Zizzi. No longer shall we largely ignore the hand-torn basil and other limb-related offerings. If only they’d offered something toe-torn it could have been so different.  
 My tribute to Zizzi

There is no Inmans mystery, no Cafe Rouge emptiness. It’s meat time again and vying for your grilled love action with Solita, Bourbon & Black and the double-fronted unfathomable popularity of Urban Grille will be Cau.
  An artist’s impression of Buenos Airies High Street.

Born with Buenos Aires in mind, already established in Wilmslow, Amsterdam and Guildford – welcome to Didsbury, you are very handy for Axons.

In a rare fit of research I read the website http://www.caurestaurants.com/. Although “our story” was reminiscent of an epitaph from someone who had heard of, but never met the original, it looks promising.
You need to embrace chipotle and see chicken as a vegetable but Solita seems to thrive and Fosters don’t do badly without veg so good luck; invite Pablo Zabaleta to the opening, don’t mention Angel di Maria and as the Argentinians always say, ” Hacer also de cayetano”, especially on 7 August. 

Charles Darwin, Giddy Goats and The Bisou Conspiracy

The fashion for hipster beards and the move towards e-cigarettes has given the Metrolink station a specific retro look. The gauche style of inhaling the e-cig as though it were a pipe has given the ramp to the ticket machine the look of a WG Grace / Charles Darwin look-a-like competition.   
Victorian favourites the peacocks plan to ride in on the wave of the summer retro look. 

I don’t understand e-cigs. I used to smoke many years ago, pre-Didsbury Dad days when a) I could afford it and b) you didn’t have to stand outside like a plane spotter at the airport. There seems no pleasure to e-cigs. With nicotine patches you could forget you were wearing them and “accidentally” have a smoke to get a genuinely scary hit. Nicotine gum gives you something to do with your teeth other than bite your nails and going cold turkey makes you look dangerous, which can be useful in a crowd.

I never take being an “ex” for granted; but know that there is more chance of Cibo and Nido returning to Didsbury and becoming successful chains than there is of me buying flavoured vapours to inhale.

Anyway, whilst I’ve been off there have been many changes in Didsbury’s retail look that need attention.

1. Zizzi, gone? This faux Pizza Express and its signage have disappeared from the building that sits in a prime location on the corner of Wilmslow and Barlow Moor Road, but has floundered since it was the Old Grey Horse in the 80s/90s and shows no sign of gaining popularity. Would make a great 3-floor Bisou Bisou Bisou. Sneaking around Didsbury with a turquoise box full of French patisserie has become our naughty little habit. 

2. Didsbury’s first day spa has ground to a halt. On the site of the legendary (to the 40 and overs) Sweaty Betty’s Chippy, the insulation sits in the window like lost bales of hay and the window display has changed from advertising for staff to offering time shares. 

  
Didsbury’s next charity shop?

3. The Dog Grooming shop, In The Dog House on Barlow Moor Road is still open, defying the “How Long will it last” sweepstake kit in the South Manchester Reporter. Not sure if it’s the drop-off proximity to Albert’s Shed or the sudden influx of Pugs and Daschunds to Didsbury’s parks but well done – it’s cool as fox merchandise and breezy demeanour are superb and I’ll be in for a wet shave on Blade’s day off. 

4. The laser clinics are here, Cafe Rouge still stands like a ghost ship and we still haven’t got a Waitrose. There’s a great new clothes shop on School Lane and the Fish Masala at Sangam 2 is worth the view into the Karma Sutra. 
I had the perfect Didsbury conversation in Giddy Goat Toys a couple of weeks ago. I was having a natter with Mrs Goat when Jed the Windowcleaner, complete with Manchester City sweatshirt breezed in. Our three-way conversation moved seamlessly from childcare, the weather and Bisou Bisou, to children and the angst and stress caused by them being led astray in their choice of football team. Mid myopic drone all three of us turned to the patient and brave mother at the till buying her 4 children presents with a hearty “Eid Mubarak” before settling back to judgemental football chat. Anyone who takes more than one non-sleeping child into a toy shop deserves respect. 

  Rumour has it that Zizzi shut after failing to win planning permission for this extension.

Next week – the perils of poverty discussed through the prism of the Bloke selling Sticky Toffee Pudding in too pushy a manner outside The Cheese Hamlet last Saturday. 

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