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 “David Beckham”

Westfest15, Bradley Folds and David Beckham 

The Didsburyest  – #Westfest15, Bradley Folds and David Beckham. 

 even the yellow lines look effortlessly cool. 

Westfest seemed a great success. From Former City star Michael Johnson’s new bar on the corner of Nell Lane (I must admit that this is on my route home and for months during renovation I thought that the portaloo by the front door was a bold new design feature) to Eve’s Retreat it rocked nonchalantly, coolly and was family and hipster friendly.
Last time I saw that many tureens and tables and chairs outside was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. We Mooched down on Saturday afternoon. The programme had not made it clear that essentials included beards, babies and specific dog breeds (French or English Bulldog, Daschund, anything under 12 inches high). Luckily, we came with two strollers and stubble but at one point there were so many ironic beards around a table I thought I was in Chorlton.
It hit the spot. Volta’s food, drink and bonhomie were faultless and Folk’s flags flew brightly. Chocolate Martinis, Kangaroo Burgers, a BBQ party to match an unforgettable family bash outside The Epicurean and a constant queue outside “And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon” that should see them gold plated. The whole place smelled fantastic as Namaste, Wendy and Mary & Archie blended and the perfect warm-up for The Bradley Folds Allotment Open Day. It felt independent, Didsbury and a great combination. Well done. It was the perfect warm up for the Bradley Folds Allotments’ Vegetable Sale.
Which I didn’t make. Instead Didsbury Wife and I teamed up with two other sets of toddler parents for a trip to… Lancashire / near Liverpool. More foreign travel. This time we went to Windmill Farm. I had forgotten how great a trip to the petting zoo is. As with all successful days out this started with good food. We arrived. We ate. 
I engaged. I took the Mighty Headed Boy down a zipwire and after I fell off (7-8 inches) he has already sworn off going with me again but I had a ball. Whilst all the under 6s were too scared to feed the goats and sheep, the barn was full of dads reducing their blood press to double figures with an hour stroking animals under the guise of childcare.
My Pearly Princess thought the Alpaca was a Giraffe and this has made her week. She didn’t want her ice cream, which Foghorn Leghorn ate and that made his. I cannot recommend this enough and it set me thinking that this would be the perfect use for Cafe Rouge or Inman’s. Never mind the usual calls for a Waitrose, a niche Sauna or Didsbury’s first day spa (sic). What we need in M20 is something missing since the last goat in Fog Lane was poisoned some time in the 80s – a Petting Zoo. 

Postcard from Murcia 1/4 – Sexy Beast

The great thing about family holidays with teenagers, tantrums and a pool are that by the time the tan fades, so does the memory of the arguments, meltdowns over sun cream, mosquito bites and that moment I just had when you squint down through sweat covered eyes and realise that although in your head you are a David Beckham 40, without the tattoos and with body hair, you are not in fact breathing out and it’s all you.   Not David Beckham

This is bliss. Actually in my head I am now Ray Winstone in the Opening scene of Sexy Beast. Didsbury Son has sloped off to his lair, Didsbury Wife and the Pearly Princess sleep coiled like beautiful cat and kitten under a fan in the bedroom and the Mighty Headed Boy has finally conked out on the couch. It is hot. 

  

 Acclaim for my Ray Winstone references 
I am alone. An hour of solitude, but for cicadas and the distant hum of the Mar Menor. My balcony is not overlooked and is split equally between 90 degree sun and cool shade. This is Didsbury Dad bliss. A tummy full of Navajos, a cool drink of water next to me and no Wi-Fi so I can’t stress about anything outside of my sweaty and happy bubble. I am Ray Winstone and I have had the privelige of doing something for the last 30 minutes that I have not done since before I became a Didsbury Dad; nothing.

IMG_0083What is going through my mind right now
I have not thought of anything constructive. I have not made plans, read emails, considered local or global conundrums. I have not tidied, folded the washing or read a book. I have spent the time staring and sweating happily. Now the blog’s written it’s back to the abyss. 

Sew-In: An Epitaph

Our cultural icons are changing – the old order is gone. It’s not just Didsbury Son’s teenage advancement with its shedding of childhood. David Beckham’s latest tattoo barely raised more than a dozen front covers, Last Friday night on the last Metro home no one sang an Oasis song with that adenoidal mispronunciation so loved of drunk 40 something’s and now, slipping away on the tide like Wayne Rooney’s hair pre-weave, Sew-In has gone.    Personal tributes across Didsbury
We can no longer boast that Didsbury has a Zizzi and. Knitting shop. 

Last night, as the Didsbury Dad family massed on our triumphant return to Didsbury after 24 Hours away we saw (or is it Sew’d) our reflection through the echoing chambers of emptiness. The big ” To Let” sign now seems to taunt us. Not even the new billboard showcasing Julian Wadden’s latest Tory cabinet look-a-like to join one of Didsbury’s top two purple Estate Agents lifted our mood. 
Didsbury Wife and Son have actually made things from material at Sew-In and when he was a little squeaking 5am riser we wrapped ourselves in Sew-In ribbons as a birthday present for Didsbury Wife.
But like Inmans, Woolworths and walking up the disused railway line the tradition stops here. I never really liked going in there – I think they could tell my dexterity did not extend beyond a handshake and my occasional visits were treated with the glee of a corner shop welcoming more than 2 schoolchildren at any one time. I had to read my order from a list and clearly had no idea what I was asking for.
  The window display often attracted people from yards away. 
So farewell to rainbow wool and the best ribbon in Manchester. As we stood silently to pay our respects to this fallen hero of an age when people are Snapchatting their knitting patterns and few remember Thora Hird I gripped Didsbury Wife, sniffed back a tear and said a silent thank you that none of us know any James Blunt songs. 

– please take a minute to listen to Neil Young’s tribute to knitting shops – The Needle and the Damage Done. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k0t0EW6z8a0

Apologies and Cortisone

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. Give me another week and I will be back with more nappy nights, pre- teen blights, all-new Co/op ( correctly renamed Copo by @ Craftwords) bites, cortisone in the elbow plights and trying to book before they are two free flights.

I’ve been to Japanese Festivals and 80s nights. I’ve been to two capital cities and failed to find a coffee better than Fusion Deli and a brownie to match And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon.

I have fallen asleep standing up dreamed of being Bill Murray’s pal in Lost In Translation Tokyo and discussed Hipp Organic v Home Cooked with a master chef.

Tonight proved a microcosm of my thwarted attempts to blog. As Carrie Matheson and Saul Berenson said goodnight I planned a couple of hours writing Homeland quality masterpieces in between work proposals.

First the mighty headed boy ( now a spit of 70s football icon Francis Lee) coughed himself awake. Armed with Benilyn and love I cooed him to sleep but the creaking of my knees awoke Princess Pearlyhead whose lungs are developing nicely. I eventually made it downstairs where I could swear I heard music. Didsbury Son ‘s alarm had gone off at midnight. He slept through, blissfully purring as some aimless quiffed British Bieber warbled on. He slept, but he managed to wake everyone else. Karma. – you owe me one.

Boldly Going Where Most People have Been Before

I am man hear me Roar.

Stop the Clocks, then ring the bells for daddom and call me Emperor. This week I have been in sole charge of the Earl of Round Heads and Queen Smiley of Didsbury. No disasters, no trips to casualty, I even remembered which one wears pink and wasn’t abusive to any of the pinheads in the park who mistake a walk with a double buggy for an invitation to invade my personal space and wrongly guess the sex of my children.

Striding forward for mankind

Striding forward for mankind

Following a guide more powerful than Gina Ford (i.e. a  list with times on it from Didsbury Wife), I completed my first serious stint as a Stay at Home Dad (well actually a sit in Café Nero as long as possible dad) I am now an expert and ready to host patronising Q&As with other nervous fathers. My tip is get a big sheet of paper. Now write four things in bold letters – FEED CHANGE PLAY SLEEP. Whatever the issue, the answer is usually one of these things.

Then set your alarm for planned feed and change times and bingo. It is like falling off a horse – painful, leaving you with sore limbs, dirty and smelling. The twins were filled, emptied, cooed to and got to sleep on time and it was only this morning I realised that I had not shaved, had only glanced at basic hygiene and my T-shirt looked like an advert for Persil (before).

After Day 1 I was knackered. After Day 2 I felt a rush of appreciation for anyone who spends all day with children (except PE teachers – they have their own ring in hell). On Day 3 it suddenly clicked (cue Little House on the Prairie theme tune).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LflpVIh43bs

I planned the day as though it was a show, working backwards from getting them down at night (curfew) to morning feed and change (load-in). Once I had this worked out it was easy and I even gave The Might Headed boy low-slung jeans so he looked like a roadie. With the mechanics sorted there came the revelation. I enjoy this. They are good company and Didsbury Wife has them so happy it isn’t that hard. I was transported back to a little Didsbury Son. The babies laughed as I gooned about and gave me the kind of instant approval as I entered their eyeline you can usually only get from an X Factor audience if you’re Olly Murs (insert this year’s Olly Murs).

Olly DD

Doppelganger for Didsbury Dad

In a few hours my plan changed from world domination at whatever it is I now do to being a combination of Anthea Turner, Nigel Slater, David Beckham and Timmy the Lamb. Obviously, all this is until the football season starts; then they need their mother.

It’s Metrolink week in Didsbury

The Metrolink is coming, not in some distant future with a Star Trek type date. “Captains Log 2.73 Donkey 48. Didsbury Son is now a grandfather and the metro will be here soon”, but on Thursday.

I am genuinely excited and we have planned a family trip on the bright yellow horse. We may go to Bury market to try boiled black pudding (my choice), we may go to Chorlton to see a Morison’s supermarket as we only have Tesco (3), Co-op, Aldi and M&S in Didsbury Heck, we may even go to Droylsden to get a flavour of Tameside.

Many years ago; pre Didsbury children, Didsbury wife, the millennium and even David Beckham I used to make a twice weekly trek to Droylsden. Before my dreams of a Bafta turned to dreams of a shed and a lock on the bathroom door, I dreamed of pop stardom. In those heady bouffant days Droylsden’s finest rehearsal rooms, with a panoramic view of the M67 was my Abbey Road. The rooms were dark, the place stank and we fitted in well. Now, a double decade on I can share this creative cul-de-sac with my loved ones without having to work out whether Belle Vue, then Hyde Road is quicker than the M60. This is the stuff that makes dreaming and scheming worthwhile.

The Metrolink has taken the finest father-son mooching territory in the city. The old railway track was a magical land of fallen trees and iffy graffiti. Here, a tiny Didsbury Son and I bonded, shared secrets and saw the world evolve on the way down to a Saturday morning sausage from Tesco whilst Didsbury Wife had a rare lie-in.

Whenever we head past the shiny new track I fill up thinking about my squeaky-voiced little boy and counting my blessings that I have two more goes.

We can now all slide down the slope by the scout hut to the platform. Didsbury Son can retreat behind his Beats and into his iPod, I can tell the twins the same stories and jokes I shared so conspiratorially with him, recycling them as we circumnavigate the city between feeds. This is the dad’s role.

By 2016 we will be able to go from Didsbury to the airport on the Metro (look at me using slang from Didsboire – the M20th Arrondisiment pour Le Metro). 2016? By then we will be living on Mars, eating capsules, Wall-E will be Prime Minister and I will be entertaining The Mighty-Headed boy with the pull my finger trick as we metro about.

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Metro metro men. I wanna join the Metro Men.

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The Y Chromosome, a success story

I used to dream of a BAFTA, now I dream of accepting my BAFTA and having a shed with a radio and a lock.
I used to stay up all night, now I am up most of the night. I realise that for most city-raised men – we are are always up all night. It’s a seamless procession from teen angst to all-night parties, to crying babies to the looming prostate. It has its bonuses; but the head full of ideas that used to keep me up scribbling, pacing and talking endlessly now competes with a bottle full of formula and a stare that draws you in to the cot for aimless hours of doting and cooing.

I am a dad.
Dad: (noun) one who is invisible to women whose husbands didn’t help much with their children (verb) to be not quite as important as Didsbury Wife or Didsbury Son. To make mistakes with the temperature of milk and what constitutes clean and sterilised.

If men were as rude about in public mixed company as women are,
“Is he needy [pointing at baby boy twin with enormous beautiful head]? … They all are, all boys are, all their lives.” People would think it was still the 1970s.

There’s no escaping your gender and the benefit of genes. On Thursday the twins both slept through the night for the first time. Didsbury Wife and I were giddy with continuous sleep. This morning I woke up and glanced at the clock, 6.09am – Bingo. I smiled, smug with rest, stretched and leaned over to stare beatifically at a rested Didsbury Wife. In turning I bumped into 2 wide-eyed babies and a 1000 yard staring Didsbury Wife. They hadn’t slept through the night but I had.

The male genes had tuned out efficiently. Didsbury Wife forcefully told me – I had slept through the 2, 4 and 5am wake up – snoring happily. i had been oblivious to the twins cries, the night feeds and the odd prod in the ribs from Didsbury Wife’s toe.

A dent in the ribs v a full night’s sleep. I think that is 1-0 to the Y chromosome.

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Not even a picture of a baby with red licquorice made Didsbury Wife smile

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