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 “alien”

Getting Over the Brexit Blues

Apologies for going quiet. I have written eight or nine blogs in the last two weeks. Topics have included the disappearance of the magnificent AiryFairyCupcake on School Lane – why? Was it something we didn’t say? Its replacement by a Babyscanner is genius. The nearest is in Old Trafford and if we know one accessory always popular in M20 it’s a baby. We were offered one so early in the Twins’ development they would have still liked like dust under the carpet and my advice is be careful, at 20 weeks they still look like an outtake from Alien. 

I also wrote about the Viz gonad sign coming down in the village, the replacement of summer with a repeating week from Autumn and the trials of coordinating family, work, health and the European Championships. Boris Johnson’s post Brexit strategy document was less than impressive.

None has made it past notes. Each has turned into a self-pitying rant and call to arms for the soul of the nation split by the ridiculous Etonian argument. Since we voted to leave Europe (when I say “we” I mean the whole herd, not our bit grazing happily on focaccia obviously) I have moped, railed, cried, feared and read a lot of clever articles that would have been brilliant a week earlier. Had these tremendous minds talked in advance rather than pointing and saying “Told you so” afterwards it may have been different. They remind me of the Donald Trump & Nigel F*rage memes that have filled social media over the last year. Whilst we’ve chuckled and “liked” their crassness and the ease of satirising them, they have both hoovered up votes and influence. They talked to people too easily dismissed.

I’m sure some people voted “no” with positive intentions and I hope I’m wrong. I’m fairly used to being in the minority. BUT for those thinking this will re-invigorate the job market and bring wages, standards and vitality up – you must be too young to remember 79-97 and why New Labour and their domestic policies were met with such gusto. I’m digging out my Redskins records and preparing to find happiness in different ways. 

Revised post-vote integrated transport system for Manchester

Have a look at his Jonathan Pye video – says it better than I ever could. 

So as a Didsbury Dad so far past 39 that when I first heard about “Thatcher the milk snatcher” I thought it was a new character on Scooby Doo, this much I know.

1. Democracy is vital and I believe in it and will know longer use terms like bellend or mispronounce Jeremy Hunt when talking to people who voted “Brexit”, even those who thought it was “Brisket” and they were voting for a decent meat sandwich.

2. Over a decade as a Didsbury Dad has taught me that 90% of what I say is ignored, 5% is misunderstood and 5% is disputed. But at least I can add up. 

3. I feel personally responsible for the demise of TheAiryFairy Cupcake shop. When we moved house I gave up cupcakes – but sadly took up the pistachio biscuits and pain au raisins from Bisou Bisou

 4. I miss Cafe Rouge. It was originally a pre-work tryst location when I first met Didsbury Wife and we evolved with it into toddler-haven in its latter days. Bring it back.


5. The bar menu at Chalk is so much better than you think it will be. 
6. Falling out over politics is a waste of time, we have to work together. However, if there’s someone you’ve been trying to ditch them this is the perfect moment to take offence at their “I’m not racist but…” Comment.
7. When I found out that the Tories had won in 92 I marched, angsted and made false promises. In 2015 when we found out it was over at 10.01pm I had an early night. On 24th June I swore loudly, was genuinely shocked and had to go and get milk. The world may be falling apart but my little enclave still has to have its routine. 

 Didsbury Son walks M20’s green and pleasant land – it is only that green because the weather’s been crap. 

Things I Have Learned as I sail past 37 weeks

Didsbury Dad (to be)
It’s Didsbury not Stoke Newington; so I haven’t joined a Male support group. A final 30-something week scan has given me the opportunity to assess, look sniffily at and occasionally bond with the other dads. This much I have learned…

1. Getting married first is a brilliant idea. Not for moral, religious or financial reasons – it is just the training your ego needs. You are down the pecking order below baked goods and although some men will see this as some kind of virility check, you are now surplus to requirements beyond fetch, carry and handy arguing tool. Nobody is looking at you.

2. The NHS is fantastic in an emergency; sadly this is not classed as an emergency. Whilst to me this is more terrifying than relegation in 1979 and Didsbury Son keeps expecting a delivery similar to John Hurt in Alien, apparently this is normal.
That said, The League of Friends do a classy cheese on toast, microwave cuisine at its finest.

3. The scans are coded for women only. I look at the swirling dust on the screen and see clouds. Didsbury Wife and the sonographer coo over heartbeats, feet and heads. One sonogropher began talking to us in baby talk, she honestly asked if we wanted to see the baby’s bot bot. As we have all sailed past our 30s this was nauseating and surprising in equal manner.

4. Women study, work through and monitor weight gain. With Bio Oil and vitamins they look after themselves and progeny seemingly seamlessly. 9 months of running to Co-Op, Didsbury Village Farm Shop, Fusion Deli and Aldi for a glittering array of high fat, sugar and carb cravings takes it toll.
The waiting room is littered with sweet wrappers and men whose sympathy pains have stretched beyond mood swings, backache and sleeplessness to having Haribo induced bumps of their (my) own.

5. This reminds me of my O’Levels (GCSEs for children with an attention span). My head is full of dilation, epidurals, electives and milking that will soon be redundant, yet is currently my greatest stress. I woke up in a sweat last night trying to remember if Braxton Hicks was bass player in The Fall or the prime minister during The Suez Crisis.

6. My Spending at Boots and on eBay has gone through the roof.

7 Having watched them grow and felt them kick the idea that they are actually real still seems bizarre. I was trying to talk Didsbury Son through the mechanics of the miracle of birth with the help of my finger puppets Colonel Snortly the SuperPig and The Cow Who Moo. After 3 minutes we gave up, switched on Futurama and decided that we should do what we always do; what we are told.

Three is a Magic Number

Three – it’s a magic number. De La Soul forewarned me last century and it has proved true. My family of me, Didsbury Son and Didsbury Wife has been a magical threesome and we have always had three pets up to the point that Didsbury Fat Cat mistook the hamster for a moving takeaway and tucked in. I waited three decades to see my team win a major trophy and  my first live review many years ago in a faraway city gave me 3 stars (out of 10). So, threes are all over me

A former baby look forward to the new arrivals

Now, I am going to be a Didsbury Dad three times over. We have twins coming in the autumn and my three is going to be one for each arm and Didsbury Son on my shoulders. I have sworn not to become a baby bore, but already failed and I swore not to make weak jokes and Alien comparisons at early scans and failed. I like a precedent.

My views have changed. In my 20s I eyed up the women as they strolled, in my 30s it was the dogs I got broody for and now – having sailed past 39 and with knees creaking, I eye up the double buggies for their manoeuvrability and deftness at getting through a coffee shop door.

Reactions have varied from the delighted, through the “are you mad” to the downright rude and I am lucky that I meet so many people who are experts on pregnancy, childbirth, twins and parenting and want to share their excruciating knowledge with me.

Whilst Didsbury Wife has been nesting, arranging and being practical I have concentrated on all the important aspects with Didsbury Son. We have decided to share the teaching them to whistle, burp on demand and pop their cheeks. I have my football team romper suits ready for them for photos. So I’m now ready and waiting for my go on the Gas and Air. We’ve practiced nappies on the cuddly toys, become intimately acquainted with Mamas & Papas, Jo Jo Maman Bebe and the saving grace of the South Manchester Twins Club in Didsbury Park.

Now Didsbury Wife is clearly pregnant there are set questions that we are always asked. I want to print cards with

1. They’re Not

2. Not finding out

3. Mind your own business.

With my binoculars in Costa looking for double buggies to assess. In a race at Baby Gap is a Bugaboo Donkey a match for the Mountain Buggy Duet?

I did wonder how it would change my time with Didsbury Son. No longer will we have the peerless 1 to 1 time where we can wander aimlessly and bond over knock knock jokes and red liquorice. But now we can lope around with a pram, pass our repertoire of jokes onto his siblings and just mooch happily as a bigger group – can’t wait.

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