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 “Aldi”

Didsbury, I have a confession

I want to make a full confession. I’ve been unfaithful, several times. It didn’t mean anything, I’ve done it with friends and Didsbury Wife has been there with me. Once or twice Didsbury Son, Pearly Princess and The Mighty-Headed Foghorn Leghorn were there. They didn’t know what was going on. It’s been exciting, it’s been refreshing. So I want to come clean. Over the last month I’ve been going out in… Chorlton.
I’m sorry Didsbury. I know my heart lies with Fusion Deli and Bisou Bisou. I can practice all I learn watching Dora the Explorer at Pinchjos and that Steranko, Aldi and Didsbury Library fulfil all my needs but, but.
I was weak, I hadn’t shaved for a bit and I’d seen a feature on hemp clothing and it happened. First I went to Coriander (don’t tell The Third Eye, I think I should do it myself). They served goat. I was powerless. On the way home we went to the Co-Op next door. It was so old school, so poorly laid out, the staff were hopeless and I got nostalgic. 
Then it escalated. For a birthday treat Didsbury Wife and I went to Laundrette (achingly upbeat, average food, love drinks and staff who look like they eat once a month). They served Strawberry Mojitos and despite the lowness of the seats my knees barely creaked.
Everyone there was 20 years younger than us and I felt so proud to be able to hold a conversation without the use of a mobile device we stayed.
Then last week it happened. Afternoon Delight. I was in the area with Didsbury Wife. We had an hour until we had to pick up any children. I needed a chemist and we went to San Juan on Beech Road for tapas. It was 4.15 and there was not only a free table, but there was no man in there with a beard and they had Scallops and Rioja. I am only human. 
I can barely look at the new dog grooming shops in the village for shame. It’s so obvious. We have a hundred hairdressers, now let’s cut animal hair. 
Didsbury Wife and I have decided that this illicit little sidestep is just the start. In a different pre Didsbury Dad life I lived in Chorlton. And we have much in common. Whilst this is not a political blog it is nice to be sure that both sides of The Parkway the attitude is unashamedly, Metropolitan minded and open. Tomorrow we are going to Cheadle, sshhhh. 
Advertisements

Zombies in the heart of Didsbury

The Returned. Spooky French series where the town’s dead return (hence the title), unaware they are dead . Lots of moody French people standing around smoking shruggily. Not like the beautiful people sitting outside Shed D’Albert, but gallically challenged.

Yesterday lunchtime, I was driving distractedly through The Village, when, as though it were a scene straight from Dawn of the Didsbury – I saw a small woman in a t-shirt and jeans. She looked human and real down to the last detail, but for one tiny flaw.
I saw her outside the open doors of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which was open. How? Was it Didsbury Open Gardens? Was this a chance for a final stroll of the last great empty indoor space in the region? Would Zombie Burger Kitchen be taking over and eating our many barbers and Estate Agents?
GBK died in the great pandemic that also took Nido. A virus that infected restauranters into thinking they could make a buck in Didsbury with any old crap.
What next? Razma Reads re-appearing with living dead and political biographies only. Domino’s serving food so processed it has a half-life? Aldi doubling as a bus garage?
These are strange times. The addition of Wine & Whallop from the team that brought you Folk and South Park series 8 looks promising. The French Patisserie that has taken over Ashley Brown can have its own blog and Giddy Goat Toys will soon see off Toys R Us. But…

Casa Tapas has either turned into a closed film set or followed Spain out of the World Cup and news reaches DD HQ that Cafe Rouge is going. This is a public disaster. Rouge is more influential in Didsbury Child Rearing than Gina Ford and Aptimil. It has hosted more dates than an Algerian port and deserves listed status, not the chop. Over 20 years the staff have been unfailingly helpful and the food great. I will be signing the petition and march for them before popping down to the Shaun of the Dead Burger Kitchen.

20140629-091732-33452531.jpg
A Zombie’s brain pattern

20140629-091823-33503071.jpg

20140629-091821-33501168.jpg

20140629-091822-33502270.jpg
Extra security has been drafted in , so have dormitories

A Quick Guide to surviving the Didsbury Festival

In addition to not eating for three days beforehand so you have room for all the lovely pakoras and samosas, there are some key things to remember so you survive, thrive and not end up making the mistakes which led me to disgrace (2006), hospital (2007), Nido (2013).

Didsbury Festival has all the essentials of a great festival. There is a procession, there are stages, a tremendously over-priced mini fair, a dog show and portable loos to send the healthiest bladder into retention.
Surly teenagers terrified their parents / siblings will speak to them and call them by their pet home name roam hoodily, perfect.

Camping: normally it’s the 16-18 year olds who are way too cool to come to Didsbury Park who camp it up. Be yourself and if you want to sleep – you can walk home.

Health & Safety: keep little kids on a tight rein, make them wear something bright and don’t be distracted by the puppies in the dog show. Should you need supplies Tesco, Copo or Aldi are on hand.

Drugs: it’s a festival, people let their hair down and what goes on in Didsbury, stays in The Reporter. I condone nothing, but if you get brain freeze from an ice cream, need sun cream or have a headache there is a Boots and Peak Pharmacy ( the weird independent one with no stock).

Security: this is no time to leave your pram unguarded. There have been thefts and “swaps”.

Music: usually surprisingly good. Do not miss the Zumba

Travel: Metrolink is promising that they may have a tram running this weekend- just the one mind you.

Manchester City: the year they brought the FA Cup was fantastic and there is a rumour (started by me) that they may bring The Premier League Trophy. United are rumoured to be bringing a picnic.

But most importantly, do not park in a residents’ car park, give credit to the bloke in the hat who is on the tannoy for all 6 hours and if you see sleeping twins please do not wake them.

…@craftwords, it’s just about getting the young ones through and then sneaking to the Fletcher Moss at the first opportunity.

20140606-214000-78000550.jpg
One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for an eerie walk past with the pram.

20140606-214136-78096094.jpg
Rhymes with Nell Lane

20140606-214522-78322805.jpg

Re-imagining without imagination

Didsbury’s gone building and refurb crazy. If you can’t find your favourite builder on Daytime TV then pop down to M20 on the Metro to find them here and check out what they’re up to.

Dene Road’s last few one-lady owner, not refurbed since the 70s opportunities have finally passed through their family’s estates to keen builders and eager amateurs with exactly the same plan. This is to turn that 3-bed 30s semi into a 21st Century dynamic individual des-res. in homage to Life of Brian they still look exactly the same. Same extended porch, two-story kitchen/diner and en-suite addition, same mark-up. I’m only jealous.
Dene Road, which sweeps from the centre of the village to the leafy über-residences near Marie Louise Gardens should have a picture of Martin Roberts and Kirstie Allsop at the entrance. This is the living embodiment of Homes Under the Hammer.

The retailers have caught the bug. The Fletcher Moss looks like its landscaping the smoking section. i want to see one of those big signs outside reading “Last Pub before the Metrolink”.

Our new improved Aldi has opened after weeks of serious work. I went on the opening day and was slightly disappointed to see that all the JCBs had made space for was more wine (Cabernit Sovinyon and Reeoka) and some balloons on the aisles.

The rest of the village is moving on from the Tapastastic O-ism of Cibo, Nido and the Nepalese tapas on Burton Road. Adios or Au Revoir Tapas welcome the rise of the indigenous cuisine. Expo continues to keep the O theme and looks a serious bit of competition for the Sponge Bob Crabbyicinis and Didsbury Deli and (with thanks to @craftwords) the village will soon host almost as many Cafes as haircutters (if we get any more niche people will get confused with Chorlton).
Where there is Tyson Design bring me Didsbury Lounge. Peter Wilcox are you sending your shorn punters to the speedily refitted former morose newsagent that will be Appleby’s? Appleby’s promises “Hearty English Refreshment”. I’m intrigued and slightly salivating at this contradictory description. Hearty and refreshing, its truth could be nearer to my Jewish Mother’s view that a four course Friday night meal that could floor a horse is “something light”. Or maybe its English Tapas; like the mini Yorkshires and Sausage Rolls you get from Iceland when you want to impress someone you don’t rate. I’m intrigued.

20130704-153125.jpg

Re-imagining without imagination

Didsbury’s gone building and refurb crazy. If you can’t find your favourite builder on Daytime TV then pop down to M20 on the Metro to find them here and check out what they’re up to.

Dene Road’s last few one-lady owner, not refurbed since the 70s opportunities have finally passed through their family’s estates to keen builders and eager amateurs with exactly the same plan. This is to turn that 3-bed 30s semi into a 21st Century dynamic individual des-res. in homage to Life of Brian they still look exactly the same. Same extended porch, two-story kitchen/diner and en-suite addition, same mark-up. I’m only jealous.
Dene Road, which sweeps from the centre of the village to the leafy über-residences near Marie Louise Gardens should have a picture of Martin Roberts and Kirstie Allsop at the entrance. This is the living embodiment of Homes Under the Hammer.

The retailers have caught the bug. The Fletcher Moss looks like its landscaping the smoking section. i want to see one of those big signs outside reading “Last Pub before the Metrolink”.

Our new improved Aldi has opened after weeks of serious work. I went on the opening day and was slightly disappointed to see that all the JCBs had made space for was more wine (Cabernit Sovinyon and Reeoka) and some balloons on the aisles.

The rest of the village is moving on from the Tapastastic O-ism of Cibo, Nido and the Nepalese tapas on Burton Road. Adios or Au Revoir Tapas welcome the rise of the indigenous cuisine. Expo continues to keep the O theme and looks a serious bit of competition for the Sponge Bob Crabbyicinis and Didsbury Deli and (with thanks to @craftwords) the village will soon host almost as many Cafes as haircutters (if we get any more niche people will get confused with Chorlton).
Where there is Tyson Design bring me Didsbury Lounge. Peter Wilcox are you sending your shorn punters to the speedily refitted former morose newsagent that will be Appleby’s? Appleby’s promises “Hearty English Refreshment”. I’m intrigued and slightly salivating at this contradictory description. Hearty and refreshing, its truth could be nearer to my Jewish Mother’s view that a four course Friday night meal that could floor a horse is “something light”. Or maybe its English Tapas; like the mini Yorkshires and Sausage Rolls you get from Iceland when you want to impress someone you don’t rate. I’m intrigued.

20130704-153125.jpg

It’s Metrolink week in Didsbury

The Metrolink is coming, not in some distant future with a Star Trek type date. “Captains Log 2.73 Donkey 48. Didsbury Son is now a grandfather and the metro will be here soon”, but on Thursday.

I am genuinely excited and we have planned a family trip on the bright yellow horse. We may go to Bury market to try boiled black pudding (my choice), we may go to Chorlton to see a Morison’s supermarket as we only have Tesco (3), Co-op, Aldi and M&S in Didsbury Heck, we may even go to Droylsden to get a flavour of Tameside.

Many years ago; pre Didsbury children, Didsbury wife, the millennium and even David Beckham I used to make a twice weekly trek to Droylsden. Before my dreams of a Bafta turned to dreams of a shed and a lock on the bathroom door, I dreamed of pop stardom. In those heady bouffant days Droylsden’s finest rehearsal rooms, with a panoramic view of the M67 was my Abbey Road. The rooms were dark, the place stank and we fitted in well. Now, a double decade on I can share this creative cul-de-sac with my loved ones without having to work out whether Belle Vue, then Hyde Road is quicker than the M60. This is the stuff that makes dreaming and scheming worthwhile.

The Metrolink has taken the finest father-son mooching territory in the city. The old railway track was a magical land of fallen trees and iffy graffiti. Here, a tiny Didsbury Son and I bonded, shared secrets and saw the world evolve on the way down to a Saturday morning sausage from Tesco whilst Didsbury Wife had a rare lie-in.

Whenever we head past the shiny new track I fill up thinking about my squeaky-voiced little boy and counting my blessings that I have two more goes.

We can now all slide down the slope by the scout hut to the platform. Didsbury Son can retreat behind his Beats and into his iPod, I can tell the twins the same stories and jokes I shared so conspiratorially with him, recycling them as we circumnavigate the city between feeds. This is the dad’s role.

By 2016 we will be able to go from Didsbury to the airport on the Metro (look at me using slang from Didsboire – the M20th Arrondisiment pour Le Metro). 2016? By then we will be living on Mars, eating capsules, Wall-E will be Prime Minister and I will be entertaining The Mighty-Headed boy with the pull my finger trick as we metro about.

20130519-123623.jpg

Metro metro men. I wanna join the Metro Men.

20130520-203816.jpg

Didsbury puckers up for the spring

Bright crispy mornings with frost on the car and blue in the sky. Long beautiful nights. The week’s full moon has had a yellow/orange lamppost tinge, a smattering of cloud cover and has hovered hopefully over Didsbury village as if it could re-open the lamented closed shops or put a barber’s chair and scissors in every premises from Withington Baths to Parrs Wood.

The moon can throw some interesting shadows. Carrington's and Domino's look different in this light.

The moon can throw some interesting shadows. Carrington’s and Domino’s look different in this light.

It’s Spring and getting warmer. The sun that had seemed as rare as a queue at Gourmet Burger King or a three-piece suit in Elvis’s Kitchen is squinting sheepishly at us at last. There are snowdrops, scaffolds and For Sale signs springing up everywhere as Didsbury gets dressed for the new season.

This is prime mooching time. Didsbury  buzzes with the sound of pram wheel on pavement. On Wednesday I was in Caffe Nero when South Manchester twins group finished and the convoy  of double buggies measured on the Richter scale.

At home, there are changes afoot. To my initial shock and continual sense of nagging disappointment Didsbury Son is slowly backing out of our mooching mornings. My little 4-year-old blondini who would squeeze hands, talk unaware loveliness and look in awe at the detritus we would spot as we walked on what is now the Metrolink is busy with team sports, distracted by Cartoon Network and generally losing impetus. He is still my lovely boy, but adolescence is creeping in and walking around aimlessly with a Tesco sausage at the end of it is no longer the pull it once was.

I have new partners. They are still in their pram and if I get it right they are primarily asleep, but, still strangely good company. Walking the not so mean streets of M20 with babies allows me time to see developments.

IMG_2181

It is nice to see everyone out and about without a coat on after a long winter.

The village is rife with change and this year’s Didsbury Festival will march down a very different high street. Elm Interiors really is shutting (room for a small Waitrose?), with rising rents blamed, but pointless stock not helping. La Tasca (my eagle-eyed spy tells me) is coming back as a Venetian Restaurant which opens up many possibilities. A moat, the scent of warm sewage, exorbitant pricing  and large Americans OR… Superb food, small coffees and a chance of drowning if you get too drunk. The Mud Flat Crabicinis is being pimped. The scaffolding is up, the building is being lowered and expect to see alloys.
We have an open air cafe coming to Didsbury Park, Giddy Goat Toys has some genuinely exciting stuff in it and one day Pixie / Linen will re-open, Sheilaless but hopefully a little slice of glamour on the road to the Fletch.
There is building behind Aldi (Guessing it’ s not a Waitrose) and the pace of 30s house renovation for profit on Spath Road and its surroundings is reaching a crescendo; with the village’s estate agents salivating at the easy commissions coming their way.

This is a longer blog than usual so I thought I would put in more pictures

On Barlow Moor Road and the Old Lansdowne gateway to the West the gentrification is almost complete and done “in keeping” with the original build (just different) and my new favourite, School Lane gets better as it warms up.

This is the new  Indie Didsbury. As you come out of the park and over the Metro to School Lane; past the bizarre white block of flats that should have been built in seafront San Fran and jar hopelessly with all of their surroundings there is a real community. The road to Airy Fairy Cupcake Nirvana is not just paved with barbers (although there are 28). Before Hazeldress’ cavern of costume and the musical instrument shop that must be a front for something. Before the munificence of Peking House and the barbers who all used to work together and now snip separately. Before the gym next to the chippy there is gold.
The School Lane Cafe does a Full English for a fiver and knows Latte is late spelled wrong AND next to Didsbury Perk’s art and Hot Chocolate is a pop up hands on gallery; brilliant.

We shall be mooching Parrs Wood way more this spring.

The School Lane Heritage Trail.A boy, a pencil and white flats in the background

The School Lane Heritage Trail.A boy, a pencil and white flats in the background

I Think We’re in Didsbury – Didsbury Dad responds

Image

In Didsbury even the pencils go large

I THINK WE’RE IN DIDSBURY – A RESPONSE

Martin Wallace and Matthew Green’s “I think we’re in Didsbury” is a cheeky viral hit. The use of Tiffany’s “I think we’re alone now” is inspired and the song is very funny… in parts. There is a clever stills video of landmarks, ladies lunching, gratuitous scantily clad woman eating chocolate and the focacciability of Didsbury summed up.

The shot of the old Capitol Theatre had me wistful and some of the lines are razor sharp. But. It misses the point about why Didsbury is so popular and diverse; what makes us love our little piece of land that’s so handy for town, airport, M56 and the river. It is also more Wilmslow and Alderley Edge and the man in the crocheted jumper has Chorlton stamped all over him.

Didsbury is more than “knit your yoghurt” ((c) Alexei Sayle), cycle-helmet wearing yummy mummies, shouting across media types and once-known victims from the 70s to their Boden wearing Freyas and Archies to eat their houmous.

Didsbury is not just posh fairy cakes and braying relocated southerners who came here to study and then stayed.

Didsbury is a community at its centre, west and east. We are a suburb that still has heart. The streets shook on Sunday night as The Crown, The Nelson, The Station and The Dog hosted City’s impromptu celebration party. There was no trouble, just generations of repressed sky blues venting their joy in their local with quite a few of their red mates joining in anyway as it was a Didsbury Street party.

The Albert Club is a throwback and a way forward, like online community TV that could work. The independents, crafts and creatives rub shoulders with religions living in relative harmony and close proximity; whilst there is something for all tastes and pockets from Aldi to The Cheese Hamlet, Kansas Fried Chicken to Greens. If you have never had a trick done for you by the guy in Freshsave (Aladdin’s cave of pungent spices, cheap flowers and fresh fruit squashed between Cash for Gold and Tiger Properties on Wilmslow Rod) then you have not lived.

The Metropolitan is the latest incarnation of a venue which has served West Didsbury for generations. Now it is Lattecinno, Chardonnayesque, a pied-piper to the upwardly single, but this was also Bilko’s Nightclub at the back of The Midland in the early 80s and the dancefloor was a bouncebable likeness of Phil Silvers. The Mid. evolved into, arguably its finest moment –  MVITA (Manchester Vibe in the Area), Madchester’s legendary night where Didsbury DJs Madhatter and Spacecase and MC Alfonso once more brought the world to our village.

Fletcher Moss is stunning, that prison like estate they built off Cavendish Road left me stunned and The Metrolink goes across a track that generations of Mancunians have trodden, graffiti’d, snogged down and sledged in the snow.

Didsbury Son is the 4th generation to buy his sweets from Josie at Inman’s on Lapwing Lane and next door, Fusion Deli’s Pete and Tom represent much that is good about Didsbury. You always get a welcome, a good coffee, a sense of community and the best Olive Tofu this side of Chorlton.

So I herald our caffé culture, our handmade PinkyMinky and The Art of Tea. I note the lazy parents parking their 4x4s in 2x2s near our schools and the stereotypes that make us an easy target. But I love the hidden gems, wonky pavements, poets and poseurs that thrive on the not so mean streets of M20 and ShopCatLaura (http://shopcatlaura.wordpress.com0 in Harriet & Dee should be our Village Mascot.
 

I think We’re in Didsbury by Martin Wallace / Matthew Green http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fxID33Bh5f0

Image

The coffee in Didsbury is so special we take photos

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: