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 “champagne”

Didsbury Dad Guide to London

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep. Our journey of 200ish began with the low-level restraint only packing a car with three children, two adults and 20 bags the day after rich food, quality booze and general indulgence can bring. A real journey begins with a coffee. Bisou Bisou and Fusion let me down but thankfully Didsbury Village has around 20 outlets (excluding restaurants) with coffee and this Boxing Day morning the Costa machine at the Shell Garage did a mean White Americano.

Christmas Day was a huge success at Didsbury Dad Towers (more in the next blog). From the Mighty Headed Boy and The Pearly-Topped Girl’s lie-in, to Didsbury Son’s charm, through a smoothie breakfast, a turkey so moist we clapped, to presents well-received. So a Boxing Day Drive with a car full had all the ingredients for disaster.

We were an hour late leaving. Didsbury Son was having angst about the brand of the latest electronic device in his collection. The twins were not tired. A slight hangover combined with the effect of sprouts, cheese and champagne on a system fuelled by Oemeprozole could seriously test the air conditioning.

Four amazingly tension-free hours later we arrived in London. For those who don’t know it, London’s a big city in need of a wash, with a lot of people. The water doesn’t taste very nice, but it has a wide selection of Nando’s and its North West has enough ex-pat Mancunians to iron out some of its flaws.

So for Boxing Day and the rest of the Christmas holidays a guide from a world traveller to the 5 must dos on any trip to the home of David Cameron, Wormwood Scrubs and Jellied Eels. London has some magnificent attractions, make the most of any visit.
1. Lock your doors.
2. Whether it’s sterimar, olbas oil
Or a Vicks inhaler do not worry about the grime you will inhale – just be prepared.
3. Try the Underground. Not only is it impressively claustrophobic, but Euston, with trains to Manchester every 20 minutes is easily accessible.
4. Remember what a pain it is driving everywhere. It makes rush hour on Barlow Moor Road seem a breeze.
5. Speak to the locals. Even though they think Rosy Lea is a drink and you can climb apples and pears, it’s not an ism, it’s London Rhyming-Slang and is hilarious and unique.
6. Don’t be parochial.

Tomorrow: the first sentient Christmas Day with the twins – whoops, games and a guide to a happy day.

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The Mighty-Headed boy cruises the streets of London looking for snacks.

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To be honest, the Natural History Museum was a little disappointing.

Great but no Suntan or mosquito bites

We drive back from Scotland feeling smug that we did not go south to Devon where there were floods. I glance down whilst driving to see that my legs are paler than when I left home and I can no way pretend that my stubble has blonde flecks from the sun. The car is packed and the taste of haggis and vast landscapes are my abiding memories of Scotland.

It has been fun and provided us with new experiences that made me realise that I am still not very good at being a grown up dad talking to other grown up dads about life and work. I am just not programmed for a conversation revolving around companies, pensions, other people’s education dilemmas or the cars they drive.

But – when you can’t sunbathe you can quiz. We are victorious in the family quiz. An encyclopedic knowledge of The Simpsons and football trivia wins us the “Champagne” and dark threatening looks from the family at the next table (Southerners) who had expected a victory (5 kids, one must know something). My pleasure for the next two days is reacting nonchalantly to their insinuations of foul play and irritation at losing to Northerners.

You can fix the raffle but you cannot halt progress

Four days later we are at an SNP Fundraising quiz. This is a new one for me. Now I can now feel like not only Larry David in a room full of strangers, but also a representative of the old empire. There are plenty of questions about William Wallace and Mary but not enough anti-English rhetoric to keep me entertained. I speak to Didsbury Wife and we admit to feeling slightly disloyal to Wales; not sure why. We do not win the quiz. In fact we are the only group not to win a raffle prize and suddenly I am the southerner thinking of dark deeds.

As we cross the border into Cumbria and Haggis gives way to Black Pudding as the primary offal provider for the nation I find myself pining for the overpriced coffee, nation of charity shops and messy diversity that is Didsbury, Wilmslow Road here I come.

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