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 tag “Airy Fairy Cupcakes”

Didsbury Village – an Autumn update

Sometimes I wander through the not so mean streets of M20 and think how lucky I am to live in an area with parks and metros, Neros and Airy Fairy Cupcakes. An area so awash with old and new community that there is an acceptance of the vagaries of life.

@Craftwords pointed out to me that the evolution of Estate Agency. Look and learn world, Estate Agents took the sea to land leap here in 2013. Darwin, Attenborough ( David not Richard), Dawkins ( Richard) your guys took a hell of a beating; looks uncannily as though it was designed after a Genius Bar appointment in any Apple Shop. I think there is a touch of Vision Express meets JP & Brimelow in the design and colour scheme, a touch of Tron in the marketing and a gorgeous spicy smell from being underneath The Sangam. I would buy it, but Didsbury Wife thinks it’s not child-friendly.

In Village news- Nido continues to defy the laws of economics and stays open. If you have fallen out with anyone and need a good row over dinner, there’s plenty of room to eat and say the unsayable without being overheard.
Jaanum, once Elite Deli where the bagels were crispy, the salmon smoky and the service rude enough to evoke New York, has gone. I liked the guy who worked there. He was friendly and cooed at the babies and Inwish him well, but let’s be honest, you wouldn’t eat there.

There are more changes in Warburton Street, Didsbury’s very own Northern Quarter. The wonderful Wendy J Levy gallery is closing before the end of the year. Wendy is carrying on, but we are losing our cultural centre. I thought that the glint from all the Pandora jewellery in Harriet & Dee was too much BUT No, Wendy is off to work shopless by choice; a rare gift.

In moves similar to the final hours of the transfer window, Ashley Brown ‘s magnificently maned team are taking over the ground floor (allegedly),. ShopCatLaura v Ashley Brown’s Dog, bring it on. A new Deli is opening in their space and upstairs at Wendy’s will be a support group for people who invested in Nido or the Japanese restaurant that filled the space, if not the tables in the building, now Zizzi, that will always be The Old Grey Horse.

Now over to Didsbury Son for the weather…


So good I snapped it twice.

My mighty-headed warrior took the news about Wendy J Levy gallery shutting with sanguine style and went back to CBeebies.

I write this hoping that nothing bad has happened to the lovely old Jack Russell at Ashley Brown.

Next installment. The twins take over The Holt Pavillion.

Didsbury Upgrades for The Metro

Back to the future with a chair

The Metro is coming (sing or shout this for full effect). Didsbury, gird your loins. The big metal horse is on its way from the exotic west (Pomona) and the icy north (Bury).
Pretty soon anyone wanting a haircut or a cupcake can be in Didsbury (or West Didsbury) without even having to block a driveway with their car or ignore the “residents only parking” signs as they dump their kids they got into school by pretending they lived nearby or attended the school’s church – heady days.

It’s little wonder that there are clusters of upgrades around the stations at Burton Road, Lapwing Lane and School Lane. There are rumours of a John Lewis stall in the Save the Children Fund shop on School Lane (just started by me) and talk of an Airy Fairy Cup Cake expansion. I’m a convert – wooed at a dinner party to get over my natural aversion to any shop named in irony ( I can’t set foot in the Edward Scissorhands barbers), I am now an Airyfairyan and am considering going out door to door spreading the gospel of cupcakes and warning against the evils of muffins. Muffins who like GIs, Halloween and the Grey Squirrel came over here from America with their flash ways and tried to take over from our Tommy’s, Bonfire Night and old Red. We shall not cower. We shall bake our cakes thoroughly and decorate with Britishness whilst favouring treacle toffee and fireworks over plastic sweet buckets and pumpkins. We know deep in our hearts that one day those Red Squirrels at Formby Point near Southport will fight them on the beaches for the chance to get the Metrolink from Parrs Wood to Piccadilly, with the option of a hazelnut cupcake and free wi-fi on the way.

Lapwing Lane specifically has taken on the upgrade idea in all its glory. Across the arcade they are primping and getting ready to beckon the Metrolink commuters who accidentally get off at the wrong stop for Burton Road, The Village or Parrs Wood.

Pizza Express started it. Their al fresco dining is essentially extra seating for the bus stop with a panoramic view of Blockbusters’ bins. The chair theme was then added to by making every new shop on the parade be called “Didsbury —–“. This seems similar to people getting prominent tattoos of their children’s names on their arms just in case they forget. So the Didsbury (sic) tearoom opens with fixtures and fittings straight outta a Cheshire village and the domino rolls. I can now enjoy Didsbury’s most welcoming coffee on a metal chair in Pete’s Fusion Deli or… Eat in at the chippy next door, now called something like the Didsbury Noodle Emporium. Genius. I can now sit at a table whilst waiting for the Metro and read a 2009 Hello Magazine eating out of polystyrene … at a table. Inmans should open a crèche, Sterling Pharmacy insert lumbar support chairs and I want outside massage tables at the health spa. It may be over top but Didsbury, it’s necessary.

Once the Metro opens next year it will be full by Didsbury Village and you’ll have no chance of a seat from Lapwing Lane.

The mysterious world of baking in Didsbury

There is one Didsbury favourite that I fail understand. Over the years I have been fortunate to spend time with some great intellectual minds. I have been inspired by academics; I have worked with great writers and been in the vicinity of inspiring musicians who have taught me many wonderful things and explained many complicated ideas.

Didsbury Wife made Quantum Mechanics as straightforward as the offside rule for me. I can lip read Kenny Dalglish, see early on what Rolf is painting and remember when Burnage, Withington and Northenden had not been annexed by Estate Agents into some Prussianesque Greater Didsbury

But… Cupcakes. A cupcake is a fairy bun with a fascinator. A scone is not a gateaux, Aldi’s Norpak can’t believe it’s called butter and a Cupcake is nearer a Jaffa than a dinner date with Marie Antoinette.

A real cake – with fruit in its heart – maks a stance of defiance at Selfridges

A Cup Cake is the miniature poodle of sweet bakery. It’s all decoration. Iced promise and nothing to play with – but we have almost as many Cupcake shops as Charity Shops. The shops themselves are lovely. Airy Fairy Cup Cakes is a bright, sweet-smelling and welcoming space and the website can make you salivate. But airy and it’s  cupcakey mates to the West seem to have taken the hairdressers approach to naming themselves and this only serves to make me suspicious that it’s all name and no substance. You can’t dunk a cup cake.
Airy fairy meet Edward Scissorhands.
The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon say hello to KoolKutz
Gentleman’s Grooming you will play Year 3 Cookery class.
I made fairy buns in 1970something and ate them on the way home in the back of the Vauxhall Viva. Didsbury Son has brought home the spongesque, multi-coloured iced junior school staple and so have you.

News of a new Cupcake shop opening gets a positive reaction from the lunchtime queue at Gregg’s.

My dream of opening Jacked Up, a Flapjack Emporium / Urban Cakey Collective seems sensible in comparison; yet they prosper, as does the cup cake. 2 Broke Girls, an NYC comedy about to take over E4 has a cup cake as its central theme. There must be some FA Cupcake mementoes and the mark up would make Starbucks blush.

A bit like the secret of tying your shoelaces I don’t know how or why Cupcakes work, but they seem to. So is it me who is the too hot oven or the non-sealed Tupperware box? We should learn from the Brown Mushroom. It was an unloved sideshow to it closed cup cousins until a bright spark marketed it as a Portobello and suddenly we loved this mediterranean Funghi that baked beautifully with parmesan – but in its heart, back in the barrio, in the shtetl of mushroomness it was a brown mushroom. Cupcake, fairycake? I believe in fairies.

Didsbury Son has re-imagined a KitKat

Coming next week: Scaffolding, the new Didsbury Village fashion statement or finally, a replacement for Head Over Heels?

Cupcakes. But are they really patriotic?

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