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 “M&S”

Evans, Delia and There’s No Place Like Home

 Look – not one pointless apostrophe or errant comma.

I am to blame. Me and others like me. “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Show a man Eddie at Evans and he will joss half his wages on a Royal Dorade and Samphire.” Until… the cost of twins at Boots, the inability to walk more than 50 yards without a Costa and the come hither ease of M&S fish porn mean that a wallet-emptying, life-enhancing trip to Evans becomes less regular. 

My grandmother first took me to Evans. After my pram was pushed to Inman’s, I held my Didsbury Grandmother’s hand as we went to the “new fish shop” to buy Hake which then became the greatest Gefilte Fish (chopped and boiled or fried) each week.   Exotic seafood

I have wooed on the back of their langoustines but recently, laziness and children have reduced me to roll mops and kippers. As Hamlet said, “oh that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a Fish Stew (ish). 

If the staff takeover works I’ll be back next week with a Halibut hop and the jauntiness of a cheeky bream. 

And so to Delia’s. It’s not all Hispi Chic and Botanist beauty in M20 (although I have offered to trade a child for their Salt’n’Pepper Onion). Delia’s Gone. I remember original Delia. I was an impressionsble teen, she was a bit vibrant and scary and I think I had a crush on her between Banaramama and Clare Grogan. The flowers were a treat I learned went down well. Delia sadly died but her name has gone on for several decades with brilliant Darren most recently running the shop and the delivery from Holland. The wall full of bath bombs looked like an admission of failure and smelled awful but we need a Delia’s in the village and should hang our heads at the ease with which we slipped into the garage or Tescos. I told him to get a Costa Machine in to bring in the punters.     When Delia’s closure was announce people movingly rushed to put flowers outside as a tribute.

What next? Will Karma Sutra move downstairs? Is there room for a new Waitrose? How can these shut when Bourbon & Black stays open? 

With Felicini’s / Mud Crab / Y Fabrica changing its name every week and Manor Service Station becoming an Off Licence these are strange days. The village centre is starting to feel a bit empty and the rents are proving prohibitive. This is not strong and stable. However it does mean that traditional Didsbury is now probably epitomised by one of our oldest residents, Kansas Fried Chicken.

I’m still working away a lot at the moment but I know now. Whenever I’m homesick I click my red Nike Air Force Ones and say “There’s No Place Like Home, can I have Chicken gravy?”  

 The new official colours of Didsbury – Melchester Rovers. 

Advertisements

It’s Metrolink week in Didsbury

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.

20130519-123623.jpg

Metro metro men. I wanna join the Metro Men.

20130520-203816.jpg

Scans, scams and taxis

I had a terrible flash forward at the weekend. I have seen the future and it’s expensive, slow and not good for the knees.
Now newly ensconced in big school, Didsbury Son had a Saturday morning something or other to get to for 9am. Didsbury Wife, now 35 weeks pregnant and moving like an England central defender needed John Lewis nursery department and a school outfitters with which to argue. Didsbury Son had then concocted an arrangement including walking around with a friend, computers and a park. Didsbury Wife spends most nights trawling the Internet with other nocturnal and insomniac mothers-to-be and Didsbury Fat Cat had his eye on the M&S chicken I had been marinading.

Like a seemingly innocuous introduction to Casualty when you know the cutest of kittens will set off a chain of events that leaves several people limbless in a shopping centre in Holby, I walked blindly into this domestic version of daddom diabolic.

Preparing Didsbury Wife to leave the house now has more similarities with turning a tanker than popping out for a coffee. Didsbury Son’s ability to lose objects he owns is consistent, impressive and one great trait he inherited from me. If I actually leave our road without at least 2 trips back for phone, keys, glasses, wallet, pass It means I have to spend a day without them.

My planned Saturday, 5Live, David Pluck, SkySports and The Guardian were soon to disintegrate.

After 6 hours of school, John Lewis, Monkhouses, school, Didsbury Son friend, Didsbury wife hair appointment, picking up a lost Didsbury Son and getting everyone home I realised two things
1: with twins on the way my role as driver and roving cashpoint were now established until at least the 22/23 season.
2: My own Didsbury Dad’s ability to disappear into a quiet room at every opportunity is a skill to master.

I also found out that betting on your phone in a school car park on the 2.20 at Chester is the self-esteem equivalent of changing for games next to the biggest kid in the class.

Welcome Giddy Goat, goodbye Summer Holiday

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.

20120907-004831.jpg

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: