The more things change, the more they come back as Barbers, Charity Shops and Coffee Shops (Shskespeare).
As the Pixie fled Albert Hill Street to re-open with (thankfully) the same staff and 90% of the same stock as Linen, so it is Rumpus we shed a tear for as Louise bids farewell to staring at the front of the Post Office counting the illegally parked 4x4s. Bye bye Rumpus, hello Giddy Goat Toys. Same idea, different people and with twins on the way I have a feeling I’ll be there plenty. I liked Rumpus. With that at one end of the village and the brief but intense Razma Reads at the other we had the independent balance that Costa, Croatia and Caffe Nero’s Red Green Blue coffee colour chart has. brought to Wilmslow Road. Bear with me, by now even I have no idea where my mind has wandered to but there is reason.
This week is one that all parents anticipate and count down to with the enthusiasm of a teenage New Years’ Eve party; back to school day. Didsbury’s 107 Barbers from Chalky White on Fog Lane to Bohemian Rhapsody (made up name*) on Burton Road were full of sulky Didsburylings getting their short smart school haircuts. The cupcake emporiums were then full of mothers looking to appease their shorn offspring and MCS stores on Didsbury’s Eastern border was a picture of parental hell and soon-to-be-pupil unrest.
Anyone who sees buying school uniform as a pleasure is either stupid or role-playing. It is school shoe tiring, tie-teaching, grey sock searching misery that drains hearts and wallets with equal vigour. Didsbury Son is actually pretty easy; but by Tuesday we had still failed to track down gym shorts and our will to live was ebbing away.
I had been to John Lewis, M&S, Asda, Tesco and Decathlon chasing the elusive grail of stain-free suitable shorts. This depressing chainstore crawl had me praying to breakdown. At 4.59, leaving Didsbury Son head down in Pokemonland I stepped in to MCS School Outfitters. The queue stretched around the shop, the sunken cheeked queue ees mouthed hopeless pleas to me and the smell of sweat and fear engulfed me. It was as though Didsbury had been invaded and the refugees were making sure they had the right PE kit before they fled.
I turned around, mentally wrote a note for Didsbury Son’s teacher and counted down the hours to my first fantastically solo coffee since July.
Sometimes parenting means looking without your glasses on.