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 “Caffe Rouge”

Didsbury – The Story As it Stands

Say hello, wave goodbye. The
places to stretch your legs, sit back and get stuck in this Autumn in Didsbury are a changing and Halloween is in the air.  The meter is starting to tick down on 2015.

These are mysterious times. Somebody thought opening a Victoria Highfield in Didsbury Village would be a good idea. Geese have been flying backwards across Didsbury Park. In the next block the North Wales cruise specialists Gold Beach Holidays may have lasted less time than it takes to say “All You Can Eat Buffet”, but they didn’t stint on the paintjob when they arrived for their two weeks in Didsbury Village and it still looks as shiny, new and forlorn as when they arrived.
Loft, about as West Didsbury as a hipster without his irony shuts next weekend. For affordable non-chic, the Buy-to-Let chattering classes will now either have to go upmarket across Burton Road to Frog, or follow the 4x4s down the bypass to Stanley Green – where hope goes to die and they built a Costa as a man-crèche. 

 Loft don’t sell spiders for your house. I found a great websit to help you grow your own indoors. 

There are retail vacancies to be filled across M20 and some weighty spaces to fill. We have passed the point where there is now a 1:4 ratio of barista:resident and new hairdressers are banned until at least four shut down. The battle of the purple estate agent supremacists has created a vacuum in the village as roaming Brimelow and Wadden militia re-draw the M20 boundary – Cheadle is getting annexed.
Still no word of a Waitrose, a day spa, another clothes shop or a properly kiddie friendly hangout in this borough of babies but…

Inmans, Caffe Rouge and Sew-In are still empty shells. There is talk of Sew-In becoming Bosu, a Chorltonite healthy deli. News of John Lewis, Waitrose and an Apple outlet store in Didsbury remain fictitious rumours I have started and failed to get viral.
I have my spies and in true Mystic Meg fashion I predict that 

1. In Didsbury Village either an Estate Agent, Charity Shop, Hairdresser, coffee shop or Northern Quarter started restaurant will open up before Christmas.
2. In West Didsbury’s booming heart the next phase is a Middle-Eastern inspired new tapas with its own beer in shoe boxes served by skinny-hipped, tattooed-up fashionistas.
3. Even with the fabulous Boulevard Deli, driving for any reason through Didsbury Point will always make you glad you didn’t buy there.   The view of the recreation square at The Boulevard – residents, often locked in their cells for 23 hours per day.”

I’m off to kick leaves and see if Bisou Bisou has a Reduced counter and as they say in Italy, “Qualunque cosa ti chiamano, sarete sempre Felicinis” a me.*
*Whatever they call you, you will always be Felicinis to me.”

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Domino’s Dancing and Step Back in Time

I had to go to Wilmslow on Monday. I am not showing off or trying to gain sympathy but Didsbury Son and I had an appointment in the cheekbone-friendly, WAG filled Cheshirery of the Wilm. As with most visits to areas of Manchester where the Trafford Centre and the A34 have killed the local shops, it made be even more aware of the diversity and independence we have nestling between M&S, the approaching Domino’s and our blue and red coffee chains.

Domino’s in Didsbury. Its slot between Earle & Ginger and Carrington’s sums up the village nicely – a thorn between two roses. It has a great view through to the back wall of Gourmet Burger King unhindered by there being anyone in there. I like GBK, there are so few open spaces left in Manchester.

I like to slowdown Didsbury Son’s enthusiastic stories and dull his senses a little by talking him through what shops used to be when I was his age. Realising that this is even less interesting than when my dad did the same to me as at least he was running around in the Blitz when shops closed down more dramatically, I carry on.

The Aldi was a bus garage. It had a bit of mystique to it as I could not see over the wall and had to guess what went on inside. When it was announced that a German cut-price supermarket was landing on the site there was NIMBY led outrage, but nothing like a credit crunch to give 29p courgettes an extra bite.

The new houses behind the village were Healds Dairy and all the houses have milk deposits in the foundations. The Fletcher Moss was the pub for the Dairy. It was The Albert then and the nearest I ever got to feeling rural. I used to find it sad that the Fletcher Moss had a sign up saying no work clothes as it seems to be unnecessarily wiping the past. But they do have a good selection of snacks so are forgiven. O’Neill’s spent years as a Save The Children Fund shop; Didsbury’s only charity shop for decades (honestly) and next to it, Caffe Rouge and whatever the pub between the closed shop and the GBK is called, was a lovely cobblestone parking and mooching bay that had been the entrance to the station where you got the train to London.

I am on the Train to London now. Two hours only and there’s a Caffe Rouge, Subway and M&S Simply Food at Euston in case I get homesick. If Evans, Folk, Fusion Deli and Blade opened up here this place could do well. Next year I can pop on the metro and be at the new media capital of Britain in 10 minutes. Next they’ll be inventing Xbox Kinect.

Now fetch me Pomfret Cake and back to the reminiscing. When I give Didsbury Son this meander through the not mean streets that we tread, he looks at me like a gentle carer with a slightly confused patient. He puts his arm around me, smiles up with big grey eyes and ignoring it all, goes straight back into some technical breakdown of Legend of Zelda that takes the same time as your average shop re-fit.

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The Boden Supremacy and The South Manchester Reporter

Dateline 1/10/11… Didsbury son and I were up early today. The battle for pinch and punch on the first of the month; slip slap can’t hit back has become competitive. There is finally an advantage to being past 37 and needing to get up early through force of nature. 1-0 to Didsbury Dad and a good start to the weekend. We decided to do the great dad/son sitting on the dorstep not saying much and doing less – sun coming up slowly over the new Metrolink, bottles clinking into bins in the village’s pubs and cats, squirrels and early risers mooching about with a hint of a smile. A rare and lovely Manchester morning.

Anyway 30 seconds of bliss before Didsbury Son began talking to me about cartoons and asking questions, generally interrupting my stupor. I decided it was time for some proactive, interactive, inventive and patient parenting. I got him the iPad, a glass of juice and brought myself 15 minutes of silence. Aah back to the bliss.

The South Manchester Reporter was delivreminiscent was my turn to bother Didsbury Son by reminiscing about a time when Didsbury Dad thought he was a media darling. The Withington Reporter had it’s office on School Lane and held the pulse of M20. From The Midland (now The Metropolitan), to the dole office (Withington Community Hospital). From The Old Grey Horse (now Zizzi’s) to The Dog and Partridge (still The Dog) we would wait for Trelawney’s Sound of the Suburbs – where wannabe Indie moppers, Madchesterians and DJs would wait for their first publicity and we would find out which band was hot and whether we went to school with them.

I even had a brief reign as Trelawney and begin to waffle at the poor boy, sharing my 20s with an increasingly bored Didsbury Son. My “Do you know what we used to do where Cafe Rouge and O’Neill’s are now?” was a final straw. Didsbury Son decided it was time for my pacifier, the sports section of the paper and a cup of coffee. We went back to comfortable silence.

But this day had more in store for us. The scourge of modern man, the true love of modern family woman, Boden and this time it was in town. Didsbury Wife had a flyer through the door for one of the most excruciating yet car crashingly entertaining mornings fo the year – The Boden surplus sale. For one morning every year or so Boden take over the George Carnell Leisure Centre in Urmston; one of the finest culture clashes of the season. 4X4’s, Freyas and Archies and lots of middle aged women in matching umbrellas descend on an unsuspecting gym near The Trafford Centre to fight over remnants of the Boden Catalogue. At any one time there are 4 Henrys and 3 Jemimas being squeezed into colour coordinated two pieces. Didsbury Son and I make a half hearted attempt to join the melee, find something and then retreat into a corner to watch the tears, tantrums and purple satin lining. This is a precision operation for both shoppers and sales staff. Do not be fooled by a sea of stripes and deep pastels, this is like running with bulls in Pamplona, hesitate and you are lost.

 

As the temperature and the pitch rises I am transported back to my front step and morning sun that welcomed October. It may only have lasted the first few days but when this week’s South Manchester comes through the door with rain and cold accompaniments, I will be recreating the Sound of the Suburbs and boring Didsbury Son with why a Guy Called Gerald beats Olly Murs, hands down.

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