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 “Bagel”

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.

AN AUTUMN GONE TOO QUICKLY AND ALREADY NEW YEAR

When I started this blog in September I made the resolution that it would be weekly, possibly fortnightly and at most monthly. I would share the joy of being Didsbury dad, a man able to differentiate a real bagel from those cinnamon doughnut type things you buy in supermarkets, whilst being politically sound, ethically aware, a good father and watching more football.
So three months on from summer musings and some of things I have learned are…
1. Do not make resolutions about the autumn whilst the tan of the Mediterranean is still colouring your thoughts as well as your outward appearance.

2. The period between September 1st and half-term primarily consists of letters home about bugs “going around the school” which only I have caught. (I became class rep for Didsbury son after some romantic notions about being proactive about education on a weekend without the hassle of being a governor).

3. The step up in any school year induces the kind of lame platitudes you hated hearing a child and you now pass on.
Me: (pants on head, trousers half down, gooning around the kitchen saying “It’s a great day for a spelling test”.
Didsbury Son booking counselling session for 21st Birthday, “It’s my dad – he thought he was the warm-up act for breakfast. At age 5 it was funny, by Year 5 it made me nervous.”

4. One of the benefits of being a year 5 parent is watching the other parents who have constantly told you that private education is apartheid and generally a bad bad thing now surreptitiously stalking potential tutors, past papers and tips about “The High School” and “the Grammar School” from a never before so popular Didsbury Wife who teaches.

5. From Half-term onwards it is a question of minor fleecings building to a crescendo in a Christmas so wrought with guilt and expectation I’m only glad my non-Christian upbringing made me a late developer.

At Harvest Festival my son’s book bag bulged with feed the poor letters nestling next to exorbitant charges for out of frame school pictures and a school trip that could pay for a sedan chair for each child. The removing of the disposable income built carefully through Halloween (costume and sweets), Bonfire Night (when did a small box go up to £25), Eid, Chanucah, Book Week (trying to sell him illustrated books at £11.99 each), Solstice, Panto Trips etc. Ad nauseum. Didsbury wife and I glare covetously at each other’s wallets with a “your turn” unspoken across the Special K.

6. I really dislike Halloween. Firstly, it is American and not ours. I fear being dragged kicking into Thanksgiving that would mean 2 months of enormous turkeys beckoning me night after night. I have invented a meal between breakfast and elevenses – turkey treats for me and the cats. Secondly, it’s crap.
British trick or treating consists of two possibilities round our way – either little Freyas or Archies in Tesco costumes with doting parents standing behind them taking pictures mercilessly as you strain knee and attention span to feign interest and give those M&S sweets with fair-trade sugar. This is like some bizarre “mini-pops” with paparazzi as small children slightly scared of their own costumes are cheered on to talk to strangers by sugar-coated parents. The flip side is surly teenagers who realise it’s a middle-class area and look slightly threatening as they scoop the remnants to scoff noisily or give out as Christmas presents.
The main reason I hate Halloween is that it is killing Bonfire Night. Not dissimilar to the way the Premier League is killing the FA Cup. November 5th and the 1st Saturday of the year are sacrosanct. One is toffee, Heinz Tomato Soup, scared pets and fireworks. The other is the best Match of the Day of the year, features a postman and a student playing an international and has the chance of embarrassment. Both are fantastic. Halloween comes over here giving chewing gum, tights and chocolates to the kids and lures them away with flashy costumes and the ability to jitterbug.
Like aluminium, ass, jello and a bag of chips when they mean crisps it is great for America but does not suit the British. If you love ghost and goblins go to Alderley Edge, on bonfire night.

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