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.
Metro metro men. I wanna join the Metro Men.