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 “BBC 5Live”

View from the Car Park

I am sitting in a rapidly cooling car, backed by a couple of rapidly snoring toddlers. I am watching a sun so weak the Spartans would have given it a comfy bed dissolve into its December malaise. I am staring at B&Q in Stanley Green and Costa is too far away to leave the twins and snaffle a Gluten-free Mince Pie. I spend a sizeable number of weekends here. 

The combination of TK Maxx and Next virtually within sight of John Lewis is a siren call to South Manchester and North Cheshire. The car park houses a considerable number of men trying not to wake sleeping babies, boddlers and toddlers whilst cranking up BBC 5Live just loud enough to hear the minutiae of what is happening at Orient and St. Johnstone. 

 1970s Mobile DAB Unit 

There is a strange synergy for me. I have always loved radio and the Saturday afternoon football commentary dirge. From being small, in pre instant media, pre digital, pre Channel 4 and Orangina in the shops days I would spend Saturday afternoons away from the other Didsbury grandchildren. The melee of Saturday afternoon visiting and free sweets dismissed to clamber into our tank. I listened to the football, writing every score as it came in from place names that to 70s me seemed the epitome of exotic; aah Hull you romantic fool – beckon me with constant dampness and average football. I would hang on the florid descriptions of Peter Jones, Larry Canning and the now disgraced, then disgraceful Stuart Hall.  

 Peter Jones. A genius. 

As an early adopter of OCD fan support, sitting in cars and learning how to wait patiently, these 70s Saturdays parked outside my Grandparents were a great training for fatherhood.

The lack of stranger danger and freedom to spend 3 hours in a car on my own aged 6 seem as alien now as my bonfire night memory of entertaining uncle using a lit cigarette to light the fireworks.  

 We are inside waiting for TK Maxx to open 

But I do have good handwriting and can spell Molyneux. 

Coming Up: From Sew-In to Body Bar, From Gold Beach Holidays to closed and is there a non purple Estate Agent? It’s December in Didsbury

How Didsbury Can Save The World (ish)

Paul McCartney duped Stevie Wonder into singing Ebony and Ivory. One of the world’s greatest songwriters let his English mate talk him into making music for frisky pensioners to hum salaciously into each others’ hearing aids? Muzak to change the world? It was a lovely message; piano keys as metaphor for race relations. It was so bland it could have been served to newborn babies without fear of reflux.

ImageStevie Wonder smiling at being infallible – before Paul

Tolerance, understanding and cultural diversity are the positive roots of a society. I even have friends and family who openly choose to live in North Manchester and I once shopped at Lidl.

I was thinking about this as I listened to the morning news on the radio whilst changing and feeding the Mighty-Headed boy and his pearl topped sister. There was a slurry of manipulation, mal-intent and bigotry followed by the sports news containing cricket and tennis. Both depressed me.

Image Not playing tennis

Summer sports bring out the worst, we are not cut out for them in Britain – the Olympics was the exception, not the rule. Cricket only works if you drink heavily and after once seeing The Chuckle Brothers spend two hours saying “To Me”, “To You” it struck me; this is tennis without grunting. I looked sadly down at my little gifts. Not only is there strife and war globally, but the football season’s nearly over and weekends without the droning blah of 5Live stretch out before me with only Didsbury Festival to interrupt the countdown to pre-season friendlies.

My own Didsbury Grandfather, a tree-hugging, teetotal, animal loving pragmatist taught me his key tenets of life. Be good to your family, don’t drink black coffee, look after the animals and… deep down everybody is Jewish. This eclectic mix of pre-Californian hippy, businessman and family man was heady. It probably underpins my view that all Obama, Annan, Putin et al need to solve the crises in The Middle East, The West and the England central defence is to sit down with Chicken Soup, lockshen and alkies (with maybe a little chopped liver and pickled cucumber for the late night sessions). They should think what their mothers would say and if Paul McCartney can earn millions from Ebony and Ivory and believe its a driver for world peace then there is hope for all of us.

Image The key to world peace. The bigger the kneidlch the better the chance of peace.

If it doesn’t work I can at least retreat to my bubble where, for the immediate future, no matter the state of my hair, there are two gummy mouths smiling and four arms flapping with uncoordinated joy as I walk in with their morning bottle and sleeping next door, there is one Didsbury Son who will still laugh at my old jokes.

Scans, scams and taxis

I had a terrible flash forward at the weekend. I have seen the future and it’s expensive, slow and not good for the knees.
Now newly ensconced in big school, Didsbury Son had a Saturday morning something or other to get to for 9am. Didsbury Wife, now 35 weeks pregnant and moving like an England central defender needed John Lewis nursery department and a school outfitters with which to argue. Didsbury Son had then concocted an arrangement including walking around with a friend, computers and a park. Didsbury Wife spends most nights trawling the Internet with other nocturnal and insomniac mothers-to-be and Didsbury Fat Cat had his eye on the M&S chicken I had been marinading.

Like a seemingly innocuous introduction to Casualty when you know the cutest of kittens will set off a chain of events that leaves several people limbless in a shopping centre in Holby, I walked blindly into this domestic version of daddom diabolic.

Preparing Didsbury Wife to leave the house now has more similarities with turning a tanker than popping out for a coffee. Didsbury Son’s ability to lose objects he owns is consistent, impressive and one great trait he inherited from me. If I actually leave our road without at least 2 trips back for phone, keys, glasses, wallet, pass It means I have to spend a day without them.

My planned Saturday, 5Live, David Pluck, SkySports and The Guardian were soon to disintegrate.

After 6 hours of school, John Lewis, Monkhouses, school, Didsbury Son friend, Didsbury wife hair appointment, picking up a lost Didsbury Son and getting everyone home I realised two things
1: with twins on the way my role as driver and roving cashpoint were now established until at least the 22/23 season.
2: My own Didsbury Dad’s ability to disappear into a quiet room at every opportunity is a skill to master.

I also found out that betting on your phone in a school car park on the 2.20 at Chester is the self-esteem equivalent of changing for games next to the biggest kid in the class.

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