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 “Didsbury Magazine”

Didsbury – a historical lesson

I have a friend who went to Nido the week it opened. His rationale being to try it before it closed. This front for something, 60-Minute makeover of a restaurant was a slow car crash of a failure, whilst we watched the manager occasionally pace around outside.

As the letters symbolically fell off the Laughing Buddha signage next door the lights went out on the restaurant customers forgot. If only Didsbury Magazine had done a feature, if only Wadden v Brimelow’s aubergine v purple Estate Agent war had taken place over lunch there… But if onlys are scattered across Didsbury Village’s failures. Remember the fake gangster Japanese place where now lies Zizzi and what was always The Old Grey Horse? No. Neither does anyone else.

Time for a little indulgence. Starting at the library end where Didsbury station was a get-on for London we finally say good riddance to O’Neill’s. I loathe Irish-themed bars. I’m not Irish but The Railway across the road seems a great pub with strong Irish connections and when I see an “Oirish” bar I think of people making Cream of Chicken Soup and passing it off as the real thing. We are getting The Strokers Arms. ( not a euphemism).

After many years Ashley Brown’s iconic locks are finally swapping with the sublime Wendy J Levy who leaves the cobbles of Warburton Street to trade online. We are promised a deli, we expect Costa Express. Ashley Brown took over Jim’ s a green grocers. In the. 70s the Evans-Axons-Hamlet axis of power was a square. Jim was their D”Artagnan.

Jaanum ( which translates as Nido without seats) is still boarded up and Urban Grille’s baffling menu still pulls those who shirk the call of the burgeoning Domino’s.

So back to Padmore Parade. Jo Padmore took over Thresher, which was begat by a serve your own Victoria Wine. Nido followed an average Turkish Restaurants with name changes to cover every City in Turkey, before that a wonderful small restaurant and take -away. To those of us of a certain age it is always Sykes, one of Didsbury’s best record shops where we rushed home from school to buy Lipps Inc. in the 90s it spent time as Namaste Village (before the definition of Namaste had filtered down from Chorlton). This meant that in the mid 90s every Didsbury Child ( then named Ella or George) had their own dream catcher and Peruvian Worry dolls.
Next door was Ho Wah. In the 70s this had been a KFC. My own Didsbury Mum took a moral stance and refused to take us there – the bags of chips were too small.

* No facts were researched during the writing of this blog. Other facts are available.

Top 10 Didsbury Tips for 2013

A busy week in our house. The British love affair with non-specific winter viruses always interests me. Whether its Noro Virus, Winter Colds, Avian vs Swine (surely the follow up to Alien v Predator) it’s all headlines. It seems each year that the fact we live in a damp region of an Island in the North Sea is forgotten by the time a disappointing summer has given way to a beautiful October and then overcast until a week in May.

Living in Manchester we don’t have the glamour of highland whiteouts or Coastal flash floods to brag about BUT if it’s a chest infection, bad stomach or general cold we are without peer. I believe in the power of multi-vitamins, flu jabs and positive thinking, so a weekend of spectacular emissions from both ends of all the Didsbury Dad trio has been an unwelcome intrusion into reality. Didsbury Wife and I also succumbed to … The virus and I was left to count new blessings this morning. Thank you grandparents for a few free hours to sleep, sleep and consider what I have encountered in prampushing around the haircut capital of the North…

1. The Didsbury Lounge: opening soon and a welcome addition to BarlowMoor Road. I checked records and it will be the first non hairdressers to open on the road since records began and the fit out looks promising. I look forward to leaving the twins at home and sneaking out for a crafty word or two with friends.

2. Elm Interiors Closing Down Sale: this is a Didsbury tradition, as established as an over-enthusiastic smoker flagging you down to talk City if you stop at the lights by The Nelson between 7pm and Midnight. One day it will shut and we will lose the slight whiff of bath bombes in the village but chances are it will be back with some name combination. Of Elm, House and Interiors.

3. The rise of Community Index. It’s a great read. A combination of local people, local adverts and useful info. It was nearly squashed by the gloss of Didsbury Magazine, a pointlessly Hale and Altrincham focused advert that takes less time to read than a takeaway menu. I read it and wonder if there is another Didsbury I’ve never heard of that still thinks its 1998 and chrome is the new black. Also disappointingly unabsorbant when Didsbury Son uses it to dry his Lacrosse boots.

4. Fletcher Moss: so much beauty on our doorstep. I had a brief recce to check the possibility of getting around with a double buggy. I can’t wait to introduce the mighty head and his smiley sister to the joy of the boardwalk, the river, the gardens and the Alpine Tea Rooms. It already has me wistful at the thought.

5. Festival season: As the Baftas herald the Oscars so Didsbury Arts Festival beckons Didsbury Festival, Cavfest, WestFest and Didsbury Barberfest when every one of Didsbury’s 6000 hairdressers marches hand in hand through the village singing “Who Will Buy This Wonderful Morning”.

6. The rise of The Reporter. I love The Reporter. Many years ago in baggier times I wrote a pop column for it which only promoted friends. The Reporter is still a heady mix of the good and bad, the campaigning and the minutiae. Personally, I like the minutiae and its classifieds are still a colourful crawl through the city’s underbelly.

7. U-turns and HS2 hassle. The antidote to the arrival of The Metrolink would seem to be the potential loss of Palatine Road to a train tunnel. Not got my head around it yet.

8. I’ve never actually seen anyone going up the stairs to either Karma Sutra Massage or Didsbury Conservative Club but somebody must do; I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know.

9. The Metrolink: the station in Didsbury was chosen especially to be next to AiryFairy CupCake Boutique. On Lapwing Lane they chose Fusion Deli and at Parrs Wood they just needed somewhere Tarantino could make the follow-up to Django Unchained.

10. Siemens building will turn out to be a conduit for alien contact similar to Men in Black 2. A long shot, but you never know.


The proposed imaginary badger cull in The Archers has forced many of them north. We found this one inside our TV.


Didsbury Wife spots a snowdrop

Didsbury Dad’s Milestones not Millstones

It’s a New Year and with intentions, aspirations and freshness come a range of stepping stones to measure your annus hopefulus.

With New Babies it is all about milestones. To begin with it’s first feed, change, bath and first family member to turn up uninvited and mention something insensitive / inappropriate / uncharitable (delete as appropriate). This golden period in the hospital is followed the scary “at home” firsts.

The first time you forget they can roll off the bed if you don’t wedge them in properly. The first time you get your baby sorted, relax – then remember there are two of them. The first guests who, having sat doing nothing whilst you ran around them for an eternity spend two joyful hours reminding you how awful it is when people outstay their welcome. There are also the old friends with whom sharing your happiness means more than you had ever thought it would. There are the touching and the funny rite of passage milestones. The first projectile vomit and wee to land on your head, in your mouth or on a pristine work outfit, The curl only a newborn can achieve when they feel as though they have folded into you and for me… the first donning of the football romper suit brought for me by Didsbury Wife when they first appeared on a scan. I put them on the twins and caused Didsbury Son to sag as I blubbed almost as much as at birth, fantastic.

Every day seems to bring a new milestone and at three months there is teething and weaning on the horizon. We already have a stack of memories as bright as a Bermuda sunrise to us and as dull as a foggy Grimsby morning to anyone else.

There has been the first smile, twice. Didsbury Son Junior took longer to come around to a smile that wasn’t pre-Expelair but his beam from a cot at 6am melts the previous 8 hours away in the most perfect manner. His cheeky little sister is already on the way to learning that a flirty well-timed grin can get her around her Didsbury Dad and Didsbury Son. We have enjoyed their first grip, their first kick and their first swim and this week we reached a poignant, and very 21st Century milestone.

This week the newborn clothes have been moved out of the nursery and onto eBay. The filtering that splits between keeps, family, friends, charity and sell is a new and necessary phenomenon. My income now splits equally between Boots, Mamas & Papas and Boots. Terry nappies are great and in the most Didsbury way we try, but there are still only 24 Hours a day and Huggies have this nailed.

New fathers have to learn many new skills. These include singing the clean versions of songs, physical multi-tasking, not moaning about pain, patience and most importantly – when and how to bid up in a VGC Rainforest Jumparoo available in Wigan. We must learn the value, the real value of a Hardly Worn Baby Gap Bundle from a pet and smoke free home. A new dad must now be at one with the language of BNWOT and why positive feedback’s omnipotence means lip-biting about people with whom a good virtual row would usually brighten a slow afternoon.

There will be many more milestones. I look forward to the day when Didsbury Son and I stride onto School Lane, a toddler in each hand for their first haircut. At the current exponential rate of growth there will be 35 barbers on School Lane, each with its own bakery and twinned Charity Shop. Then we will skip to Gourmet Burger King to enjoy the space and light an empty restaurant can create , stopping only to read Didsbury Magazine to find out what’s on 7 miles away in Hale and Altrincham.

So many milestones to look forward to as these two little treasures grow and expand. It’s only been 12 weeks but already my littlest Didsbury Son has ceased resembling Winston Churchill and Didsbury Daughter almost has hair. 2013 is shaping up nicely.



A baby with the first signs of hair. Chair has one careful lady driver and comes from a house with a big fat cat and a small one whose a bit sneaky

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