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 Village farm Shop”

Hello Didsbury, I’m Home – Postcard from the edge of town

Contrary to rumours I have heard I have not moved to Chorlton (as if), grown a beard or started working for Didsbury Magazine** and now spend my life checking out Altrincham and Hale. I am excited that it’s Didsbury Festival day and I have been working away, beavering at home and generally been to busy to even watch football.

Doig something media-ish and almost high falutin’ I have been to the Far East. These are the excerpts from Didsbury Dad’s Diary.

Postcard from Outer Didsbury 1:

38000 feet and several hundred miles above Didsbury.

I have a 13 hour flight to where I am tasked with delivering something media to media people in a media building so far from Fusion Deli that my breakfast coffee is your late night snack. 

I’m halfway through The Martian. This is the first thing I have watched for months that isn’t Paw Patrol, Blaze or Gnomeo & Juliet. The swearing may be bleeped out but just to see anything with jeopardy feels like a rare treat. I am on the way to somewhere allegedly, that sees the phrase “Paw Patrol, on a roll” with different connotations.

paw patrol I see more of these guays than any of my friends and family.

Sitting here with a Gin & Tonic in a skiff, an empty pretzel bag and Matt Damon on Mars makes me realise how out of practice I am after 3 1/2 years of nurturing blobs to toddlers and Didsbury Son from squeaky solo to hear honcho of the Krispy 3. Twice now I have wondered if The Martian is a true story. I think I need to go abroad more.  

IMG_2918 When this seems luxurious and watching a film on a 6 inch screen framed by the back of someone’s head a treat – you need to get out more.

So… Not much blogging recently. Didsbury Village is storming forward with the kind of independent vigour usually reserved for Burton Road.

Casa Italia is now worthy of the term bustling. Somewhere between the beardy hipsters and the independent artisans, the Makers Market and the cycle shop on the cobbles, Saints & Scholars still thrives on a 90s menu and service throwback.

As if the Didsbury Village Farm Shop had never existed comes Three Little Pigs. A butcher so achingly trendy it may just work. Axons have seen off pretenders before. But this is no Victoria Highfield mistaking Didsbury’s residents for the wastelands of Bramhall. This is not a Wedding Dress shop. This is meat so trendy it gets the tram to the Northern Quarter for a night of Benelux Lager. 

The space formerly known as Royal Bank of Scotland has a sexy looking symbol, Bosu Body Bar is spreading low-carb love and even the old Global News space sees movement. 

gonadWhatever this is meant to be, to readers of Viz this is Buster Gonad’s testicle

With house prices currently increasing at a rate that defies logic but means new adjectives need inventing, these are vibrant times in the land of the Fletcher Moss. 

An hour later.

I cried at the end. I don’t know whether it was the Chicken Penang or the cramp creeping up my thigh but I cried with joy for Matt the Martian and realised with joy that as a 40 something with dodgy knees and claustrophobia – I think it’s a good journey if I don’t have to shut the windows.

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The view from the hotel inspires with the majesty of the East.

** In an early version of this blog I accidentally referred to Didsbury Magazine as Didsbury Life. Apologies to Didsbury Life, promoting M20 in all the best ways.

Didsbury, spring and full of frolicing

My footsteps took me down to the seedy side of town. This being Didsbury it was the caraway and pumpkin seedy side of town. It’s spring. 5am dawns and much chirruping from the baby boy with the big round head and his pearly-crowned sister with the open mouth smile. 8.30 sunsets herald the thankful end of this house’s Cartoon Network viewing and Didsbury has its spring coat on.

The Mighty-Headed twin baby boy looks across his empire

The Mighty-Headed twin baby boy looks across his empire

One thing I love about walking a pram around is watching the year and shops change. Whilst I am still coming to terms with Bath Bombs surviving the demise of Elm Interiors to limp malodorously over to the magnificent Delia’s there is hope.

Let's be honest - it may not actually say "we stocked bath bombs it's our fault" but...

Let’s be honest – it may not actually say “we stocked bath bombs it’s our fault” but…

Gourmet Burger King has something to smile about. There is still a 1:1 ratio between the staff and diners most days, but in addition to saving on cleaning costs they are no longer the emptiest chain in the village. Come on down Holland Barratt. Healthy Spirit has slayed you (in a crystal healing, hands-off, organic and spiritual way). The staff of H&B (look at me using slang) look forlornly out from their empty shop like the last table at a car boot sale. I have been past a dozen times and the only person I have ever seen inside was Didsbury Wife, when I had arranged to meet there to see once and for all what the ginger wine tastes like; people must be buying their pre-packed healthy high salt snacks elsewhere.
When we walked past this morning H& was deluged with a customer who had mistakenly popped in for a haircut

When we walked past this morning H&B was deluged with a customer who had mistakenly popped in for a haircut

There is news. News as surprising as waking up to find day has once again followed night. A new hairdresser is opening up in the village. The carcass of The Didsbury Village Farm Shop is being transformed into Toni & Guy. A hairdresser. In Didsbury. This is brilliant. We haven’t had a new hairdresser open in M20 for weeks. If they’ll do eyebrows wholesale I’m in.
Around the corner Nest has taken the Pixie/Linen space and put the chic next to the awesome toy choice of Giddy Goat. If you could just get a pram into the Giddy it would be bang on.
Nest is a lovely, classy, drape strewn, comfy front room of a shop. I have no idea what, if anything Nest sells but it looks and is a haven in the village where lack of pram access is a bonus.
It could be exciting. A new bar with a working title of Loungers is bidding for a licence in the centre of the village and with a triple-dip recession coming some time this year the Aldi extension cannot come quickly enough for the sell-by sticker savvy Didsbury locals.
Finally in the village, the People’s Republic of Cibo taking shape. Venice in the Village is a St. Marks Square away from finishing and when it opens I expect Cibo to invade Gourmet Burger King, who will have room for everyone.
With a specially-built canal around the outside, the Venetian influence in Didsbury is stronger than ever...

With a specially-built canal around the outside, the Venetian influence in Didsbury is stronger than ever…

Men’s Hour – Marking territory, staking a claim and avoiding textspeak

Men – It’s not easy being a modern city man. Finding a clearly defined role that maintains your innate hunter instincts whilst being sensitive to the nuances of your family’s needs and modern expectations demands creativity. There is a tipping point somewhere between the joy of baking with Didsbury Son and agreeing to watch Jennifer Aniston instead of Match of the Day. I tipped many years ago and am now having to redefine masculinity whilst making sure the nappies go on a boil wash but I’m not mixing colours.

A baby gives her reaction to the notion of gender stereotyping in changing and feeding

A baby gives her reaction to the notion of gender stereotyping in changing and feeding

 But men,  understand this. There are dozens of free channels to be watched, hours of tweets to be shared and LOL’d and the cats must be fed – it’s duty. * NB: if you use the term LOL (are you listening David Cameron?) over the age of 20 it is as unacceptable as leather trousers and as inappropriate as a middle-aged ponytail. 
 
There has been much debate about the evolving role of men. When Didsbury Wife was Didsbury Girlfriend I flooded her kitchen whilst attempting to fix a tap. This was a time so long ago there were barely gambling apps. I realised my role and her expectations had changed. As I wrung out, well everything, she reminded me of an old adage
“Either marry  someone who can fix a shelf or can pay someone else to fix a shelf for you.” Then it hit me, a Eureka moment; I finally understood what Tony Blair had meant when he talked about a third way. 
 
I couldn’t fix a shelf – it’s culturally genetic. When Moses gave the 10 commandments to the Jewish people he never told them how to fix them to a wall, he just told them what to eat whilst they were discussing the contents. Paying for it is the intermittent joy of the media freelance something or other so there had to be a third way; I wrote her a story about a set of shelves and a new tap and Didsbury Wife fixed everything herself.
 
There are other roles around childcare that never concerned my  own Didsbury Dad. He worked hard, my own Didsbury Mum did 99% of the childcare and he would do science homework and be patient whilst we jumped all over him and jabbered away inanely, punctuated by his nodding.
 
I am a modern dad. One night each week I do the night shift; emerging triumphantly like the Lion King to theatrically deliver my huge headed baby boy and delicate baby girl for their 6.45 feed. As I stalk the savannah back to the nursery, mane shaking and all but roaring my new masculinity before bagging a freshly changed nappy, I know I am king of all I survey (less than you would imagine without glasses). I am assured of my masculinity, male-modernness and massive contribution to the next generation.
 
A baby boy, keen to retain his anonymity camoflauges his ead with a strawberry lace in sympathy with the loss of freedom to watch endless football highlights.

A baby boy, keen to retain his anonymity camoflages his head with a strawberry lace in sympathy with the loss of freedom to watch endless football highlights.

There is only the tiniest voice in my head reminding me that the other 6 nights a week and 18 hours of most days Didsbury Wife sees to the happiness of the babies, coos and cleans them and more importantly… Teaches Didsbury Son DIY skills so I can write stories and make tea whilst they work. 

Nobvember 2011 and Didsbury Village Farm Shop opened with high hopes, high prices and excellent high fat content pies. Farewell, January 2012

November 2011 and Didsbury Village Farm Shop opened with high hopes, high prices and excellent high fat content pies. Farewell, January 2013

A Didsbury State of Mind

If not exactly cracking the flags, the sunshine this weekend is welcome. Whether it is an Indian summer, a dead cat bounce or the  beginning of the Mayan predicted Armageddon it is a bonus.

A combination of new school, new routine and new shoes has thrown Didsbury Son’s clock and he woke me up at 6 this morning full of angst and energy. After failing to fob him off and feign sleep I gave in and we headed out for a long-overdue mooch around the not so mean streets of M20 to see what was going on.

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The demands on schoolchildren get harder. Didsbury Son’s pencil case is an installation

It is sometimes only in the early morning quiet when I have time to look at the nooks, buildings, shapes and shrubberies of Didsbury that I realise how lucky we are to live here. From the back-to-back gentrification behind the village, through the quirky individualism of West Didsbury and the barber-strewn Lane that links East to Central it is a good place to live. Didsbury evolves – not just the burgeoning influence of the Metrolink or Whitbread’s thankfully thwarted Costafication, but some creative building and extending on Lapwing Lane and the re-invention of West Didsbury. Didsbury Son decided on reasons why he loved living here and what he didn’t like.

The only gripes we could really find were traffic, bus lanes with cameras and Kansas Fried Chicken sample boxes that litter the streets on a weekend morning.

Didsbury Son loves Subway, The Knitting Shop, The Albert Club Didsbury Park and going into shops and bars where people have known him from being Didsbury bump, baby, toddler, infant, junior and now his own boy. He enthused about the Metrolink building, Fusion Deli and Burton Road. I like the wide open spaces of Gourmet Burger King and the festivals throughout the year. I am also partial to Art of Tea, Didsbury Village Farm Shop and the river.

Simonsbridge and its pathways, flowers and opportunities are a rite of passage for any Didsbury Son.  The fun as a child, potential joy as a teenager and the satisfaction as a grown-up offered by Fletcher Moss are essential. On Jewish New Year we cast our sins (masquerading as bread) over the bridge to the welcoming ducks in a symbolic cleansing and actual duck-fattening and the flood gates in Parrs Wood are a tourist attraction worth a trip.

Other cities may call it a chance to case people’s houses – we call it Open Gardens. Didsbury Arts Festival has once again announced a line-up that’s a combination of international class and local eccentric and I can sit on my step and watch the world and tuck Didsbury Son in to the sound of the village going on late…

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This shot of the riverbank has now been overused mercilessly; maybe it is time for some new photos

It must be the weather. On days like this even the week’s accumulated mess seems to wink up at me cheekily from its last resting place on the floor.

Didsbury Dad’s Real resolution guide

Suddenly it’s June. This is always a shock. The year is only 5/12 done but the halfway stage is looming. That means the date when you have officially failed your new year resolutions and can consign the year to another finger-crossing, 6 ball watching, gym ignoring non-nominated mulch is 4 weeks away.

How you react depends on whether or not your glass is

A) half-full

B) unwashed and growing the kind of cultures that helped discover Penicillin

C) somewhere under the February “South Manchester Reporter”

Or
D) you’re preparing for the future by moving onto beakers that don’t break with lipped lips to sip through.

This means you are…

A) inspired by the challenge of getting the resolutions done in 6 months and already looking at the list positively. Lose ten pounds – Grand National. Cut down drinking – a good idea after 9pm to avoid getting up in the night. Decorate the house – Does re-piling the defunct paperwork count?

B) You are not bothered. The spurt of conscience or promise of pleasure that spurred your resolution left with the tree. There’s The European Championships, The Didsbury Festival and Wimbledon* to slouch through.
* tennis is not actually a proper sport as the action is too quick to heckle properly and they sit down for lemon and barley water every five minutes.

C) In for a shock. One bored midweek night you are going to tackle a stack for recycling, stumble upon your inadequacies and spend a maudlin night regretting everything from the school disco snog you didn’t clinch to the eureka moment that someone else developed to multi-award winning loveydom. Be warned, no amount of counting your blessings sleeping blissfully upstairs will counter this effectively.

D) Ready to repeat 2011’s indifference and shuffle one year nearer the inevitability of having a teenager in the house and getting to an age you can give up.

The problem with the cloud is you can’t just discretely lose pieces of paper. That vodka inspired, over-emotional annual bucket list you tapped gracelessly into your tablet at stupid AM on January 2nd is there in the corner of your screen summoning you like a permanent nagging conscience with a PDF tail.

So, in the spirit of Didsbury Dad-Dom I read mine on June 1st and was shocked. I had actually done some of them, in fact more than half. Others are work in progress and only a couple of the usual suspects lurk un-attended in the recesses of my psyche.

This felt like finding a 2 1/2 month old lottery ticket with 4 numbers. So my resolutions in January 2013 may include aiming for 5. Good luck when you find yours. I’m off to count blessings and do sit-ups before a Didsbury Village Farmshop treat.

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Movember and the Golden Fleece(ing)

It’s been a month since my last post, Mea Culpas all around. Unless that involves buying a Mea culpa souvenir cup, wristband, t-shirt, fancy dress outfit or themed Mea culpa sweets with special gooey filling.

Please donate to keep these people off the TV

October/November is now weeks of a thousand tiny cuts to my Didsbury Dad wallet and of a stocking up on pre-Christmas tat for a delighted snd sugar overloaded Didsbury Son.

We have celebrated the rise of evil American influenced Halloween spirits against my better liberal morals. The  outfit, bucket of sweets etc. and my payback was to make up ghost stories for a roomful of 20 neighbours without being convincing enough to be ostracised or need a CRB check.

Hot off the back of Halloween we went to the Toc H rugby club firework display. I have always been slightly nervous of Rugby clubs since school. Too much forced bonhomie and unacknowledged homoeroticism. No worries or head dunking down a toilet on the night. The fireworks were good, the bratwurst was excellent and like all good 10 year olds Didsbury Son ran around aimlessly in a gang whose parameters stretched from the mean streets of Parkfield Road to the badlands off Victoria Avenue.
Via various charity boxes around school and Eid contributions we have Movember. Grow a moustache for men’s health. I’m partial to facial hair when allowed and have been through the goattee and the Adidas stripe phase. I didn’t get to start until the 11th and anything that researches an easing of prostate examination seems more appealing once you tip the scales past 38. BUT, even this requires a contribution. I barely have enough left to gorge myself on tidbits at our new Didsbury Village Farm Shop (more to follow in a couple of days).

Who doesn't look good with a 'tache?

Finally and with the full backing of the country, the piece de resistance, Children in Need. I love the idea and am happy to contribute to endless “Name the Olive Oil”, guess which side of the mountain the Focaccia flour was harvested from and a myriad of Didsbury inspired fundraising challenges but I hate the TV programme-a-thon.

I went to bed in disgrace with Didsbury Wife and Son for being bah humbug a month early. It’s not the crying celebs or the wonderful small charities; they are worthy and inspiring. It’s the newsreaders, actors and general BBC staff moonlighting as karaoke bores that makes it unwatchable. Elbow and Coldplay on Thursday night at the MEN, fantastic. Gok Wan doing Chicago, Eastenders committing regicide beyond awful. Want to double the takings? Get these abysmal show ponies back in their comfort zone and out of sight.

Too much sugar on halloween gets to Didsbury Son

Hey, only 5 weeks to Christmas.

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