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 “Harriet & Dee”

Forgotten Didsbury, A Trilogy. Part 1

** No actual research was disturbed during the writing of this blog**The Mighty Headed Boy squeezed my hand tightly and pushed himself further into the folds of my coat. “What happened Dear old Didsbury Dad? What caused this?” I picked him up in my arms, cradling him, forgetting he’s a lot heavier than he looks and I’m so far past my 30s it sends me reminders. “It’s Solita. They make burgers acceptable in an ironic way to hipsters with beards. They once made a burger so pretentious McDonalds had to think up the Grand Big Mac.NIMBY – Chorlton and Fallowfield are close enough. (We have transport)Before that it was Cibo, a bizarre amalgamation of PR gone wrong and too many aspirin in a Blue Sky Thinking Session.” Scallops from Piccolino. I couldn’t find anyone who had eaten at Cibo. “And?” He begged. The wind biting through the space between us and chapping our fingers.“Before that it was La Tasca. Magical and affordable when you wanted to get hammered and crawl home following the scent of garlic. La Tasca was A Spanish restaurant that thrived and buzzed before we even knew what a Padron Pepper looked like. And before that, a purpose built coffin of a fish restaurant called Burns that even the 70s rejected. Before that even I can’t remember. But I know that the original Harriet & Dee was a foundry for miniature products and the Didsbury Village Physio helped good, salt of the earth working people so they could go back to their Surveyors Offices and Solicitors before drinking and smoking at The Old Grey Horse, once it stopped being The Cavalcade.” Not Piementos de Padron.The Mighty Headed boy looked at me, bored beyond tears. “Can I have Kinder Egg daddy?” He cried.“Yes you can son, we can all have one.”

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Home is not just a cinema or the church cafe

. When Felicini’s became the Mudflap cafe I nearly cried. It’s glossy black sign and euphemistic name was a part of my history and stood proudly in the same giggling pointlessness of changing The Cheese Hamlet to Helmet. Now, with the stripped back wood still settling in to Gregg’s and an eviscerated Inman’s being re-imagined as Thai favourite The Chilli Banana I am almost out of my depth.
felicinsmud-crabfutureistic-pic evolution
At least it’s only 8 months until Didsbury Festival returns in its usual format – unchanged since Bonnie Prince Charlie led the procession, which featured the 88th Scouts.
This is Didsbury. A wheel turning and creating new identities – including cash converting, laser surgery, fifteen diet clubs and an ever growing coterie of Pet Grooming services. Only 86% of trading premises in Didsbury serve coffee, 71% cut hair (human or canine). Didsbury Library is a portal to 1973. I go there when I only have tuppence ha’penny and need a cup of tea (coffee not being invented until The Premier League started in 1992).
The other big news is that Didsbury Dad Towers is no longer in Didsbury. We are now a castle, a Didsbury Diaspora outpost.
In a year that has seen us cough up more in Stamp Duty than the national debt we have moved twice. First out of the village to near the river and now, out of town.
We have moved so far away that we are the cultural diversity. It’s a city, it’s semi-rural and it’s not Didsbury.
So I am part-time Didsbury Dad. I am still working in my capacity as Meeja Luvvie doing something non-specific in MediaCity – but only weekdays.
It is strange. All Didsbury Son has known is Didsbury. My life with Didsbury Wife has been played out to the backdrop of Piccolino and Barlowmoor Road. The Mighty Headed Boy and the Pearly Princess are Harriet & Dee. But. We have begun to sever the link for a period of time.
It’s only been a few weeks and it’s still a bit like being on holiday. It does make you realise how easy it can be living somewhere that is the edge of the metropolis, has travel options to envy and it’s all in walking distance.
It’s early days yet. I have had to develop a whole new rhythm to each day. I am a little lost without my morning fix of Pete, Tom and Claire at Fusion Deli after a cheery wave from Darren at Delia’s Florist. There is no Piccolino, Bisous Bisous, St. James & Emmanuel and I don’t know everyone.
This has great advantages. When I get my Fusion fix the coffee tastes great and I have stories to share. I now know just how good New Peking House is and sometimes the anonymity is liberating.
I think I will always be a Didsbury Dad wherever we live. My Gamma Male, liberal approach to life on the Focaccia line is settled. We may be away for a short time or for good, not decided yet. But Didsbury Wife, Son and I are M20 raised and made and know the difference between a good idea and some of the money pit no chances that we’ve seen trying to cash in on the perceived wealth in Didsbury.
The boddlers are still confused. On Saturday, as we perused the rolling hills and unfamiliar accents that surround us, they clamoured for the sweet shop on Dene Road. As we walked through the Metrolinkless roads they wondered where all the Magic Buses were.
Starting from scratch after a life in the subsidised suburban bliss of M20 is exciting. But I think we’ll be coming regularly. It’s not just home, a river runs through it.

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