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 “Chiswick”

Why I Support Didsbury Free School

Why I Support Didsbury Free School.

Sweating is an essential part of parenthood. From the nervous first 20 weeks of pregnancy when the slightest twinge implies disaster to the nervous last twenty weeks and the nerves around delivery. It is temple-tricklingly leaky.

Then it gets more sweaty. Primarily when lying between two little radiators on a hot night and wondering if its wrong to try and create space by gently rolling them. So many nervous and sweaty moments and then the worst, the sweatiest moment of them all – choosing a school.

This is terrible for men for many reasons. You have to research, feign interest and then genuinely care about something you never enjoyed (school in the 70s and 80s had more in common with Gladiator than today’s sharing and caring edufest), it is an utter minefield.

At Didsbury Son’s first parents evening in reception class Didsbury Wife urged me to ask pertinent questions. The searing pain in my knees from trying to sit on a 4 year-old’s seat pushed me into three pointless posers; Does he have friends? Does he wet himself? Is A Level Mandarin a possibility?

But it’s vital. Didsbury is short of primary school places. We are a burgeoning community and a vibrant set of micro-communities. From Broad Oak and Parrs Wood to Cavendish and WestFest via the sublime outputs of St Cath’s, Beaver Road and Didsbury C of E this is a good place to raise and educate children.

The over-subscription for places is laughable. The rise in Didsbury’s population has been fantastic in widening diversity of available snacks, coffee quality and opportunity. We are lucky to have the shops, services and links we have.
Didsbury people don’t actually take themselves too seriously and we are neither flattered not fooled by our reputation. I Think We’re in Didsbury? There is a heart that is evident in the notices outside the police station and the volunteers in the area.

We are not the Mancunian Chiswick or Notting Hill, we are M20 and our children deserve enough school places as much as any children in any ward in the city.

The rationale behind it all is sound, the partners are good people who know how to run a school. The lack of decent post service catering at St. James and Emmanuel is forgivable and if we need extra classroom space Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nido have empty tables and chairs to spare. We should not be defensive; we need this.

It is not just because I have baby twins, it is not just because living here does not guarantee a school place 500 yards away. It is these points and the thought of four years sweating over the tactical bun fight to walk to school with our futures.

This is why I and you should support Didsbury Free School.

Www.didsburyfreeschool.org
Facebook. DidsburyCEFreeschool

Now I’m off to imagine a soundproofed shed and a four-layered sandwich

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This mighty head needs a local school

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This tree near Parrs Wood threw itself on a spiked fence to highlight the lack of primary places in Didsbury.

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Plain speaking wins the day

Frank Sinatra “I did it my way”
Stevie Wonder “I just called to say I love you”

Rumours of Wonder looking to open a shop in Didsbury have been dismissed. Picture www.biography.com)

Rumours of Wonder looking to open a shop in Didsbury have been dismissed. Picture http://www.biography.com)

Ronseal 5 year varnish “It does what it says on the tin”
All clear, successful and obvious. There is a lesson to be learned here. Many lives ago, pre Didsbury Dad, I promoted live bands. I shied away from trumpeting them as a cross between The Doors and Elvis invade people thought it was a band with food and intimacy issues that should not be left alone in the bath.
Does this crystal clear lesson get through to the not so mean streets of M20? Is this plain speaking Muswell Hill with less Moolah and Alderley with edge paying attention? No.
The Didsbury Village Farm Shop (RIP – the thought of your club sandwich fills me with… Well filled me with bread and meat) is a perfect example. It’s butchers may have been inspired by Smithfields, it’s sandwiches influenced by The Mighty Gregg’s and its cheese based on a book about cheese in the 80s but it was neither Axons (a butchers), The Cheese Hamlet (God’s Cheese Shop) or Fresh Save (a green grocers) . Now it is empty. The sign on the weighing machine saying “We will serve you shortly” a cruel reminder that this shop has been empty, or worse, was once the least well-run Carphone Warehouse ever.

Cafe Rouge is French (in a Whitbread way), Costa do coffee and Jo Padmore is an optician. She is not a lens-influenced, near nasal dresser who does shoe repairs if you are not keen on glasses. She also has a lovely window display. Effective and very obvious what it is there to sell.
So we come to Cibo. I really hope it works, that it is a great restaurant that is a huge success and brings people flocking to Didsbury. Well done to the Cioboans for taking the plunge. This space was previously a La Tasca which held a special place in the hearts of many of us. Before that it was Burns, a suburban fish restaurant way before there was a market for one outside of coastal resorts.
Cibo, in language that smacks of Mud Crab Cafe’s New York Australian food bakery coffee shop and hairdressers is going to be Venetian-influenced. This does not actually mean anything. As I pushed the double buggy past this morning my heart sank like an old Gondola.

Griffins, an Italian staple, are hard to farm.

Griffins, an Italian staple, are hard to farm.

Venetian -influenced? I am lucky enough to have spent time in Venice. The Mozarella Rice balls and espressos you get at the street stalls are delicious (they sell them at Piccolino’s on Lapwing Lane), but are they influential? Does Venetian influenced mean that the Ciboans are going to recreate St. Mark’s Square in the School Lame Car Park, pay homage to Paolo Lucio Anafesto, first Doge of the Venetian Republic or charge 10 euros for a coffee to the English? I once went to see Venezia play my team at football and our fans had coins and bricks thrown at us most of the game. If they are going to take their influence from Venezia’s Ultras then I think I won’t be the only one darting past anxiously straight to No. 4 on Warburton Street.
Venice, like Manchester has a canal, an airport and a strong sense of identity.
Cibo is an Italian noun meaning grub. Let us hope it is as vibrant as St. Marks, as beautiful as Florence, as tasty as the street food in Sicily and the staff don’t throw sharp objects at you if you are not local.

Paolo Luci Anafesto, tipped to be the maitre d' of Didsbury's new Venetian-infuenced restaurant.

Paolo Luci Anafesto, tipped to be the maitre d’ of Didsbury’s new Venetian-infuenced restaurant.

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