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 “MVITA”

Return of the Mooch

One of my greatest joys in life over the years has been my Saturday morning mooch with Didsbury Son. This meander down the old railway line in search of a Tesco sausage with my little blondini squeaking life’s joy next to me was a little slice of heaven.

Metrolink Mania, which is still sweeping Didsbury with rash tales of Breakfast in Rochdale has unwittingly returned this to me.

Didsbury Son has caught a large dose of Metro Fever – tempted by names such as Pomona and Exchange Quay. It is shiny, new and it offers the opportunity to eat a Subway in a bewildering range of locations. The carrot is that we will walk the twins until they are asleep, then get the Metro back to Didsbury. It is simple, not expensive and we all get some fresh air and exercise.

One half term morning we assembled – a buggy with two domes, one pearl, one massive. They now sit forward in the trolley scanning Didsbury like the google street car. My bold-headed boy a meerkat whilst his pearl-bonced sister smiles regally as the world rolls by slowly.

As we left Camp Didsbury Village a lovely change occurred. Although now without squeaky voice and that lovely lack of self-awareness that makes pre nine year olds so open – he was back.

Didsbury Son jabbered endlessly and actually took in my dad jokes and dull tales as we pushed our wide-eyed cargo through Manchester’s Olive Oil district. By Fog Lane, Didsbury Son had hold of my hand and as we pulled into Fusion Deli on Lapwing Lane for a bagel I had one hand-holding and two chirruping children and felt 10 feet tall.

The babies sang, so we walked to Burton Road and I told him all about The Metropolitan being The Midland and the legendary MVITA nights. I felt the joint aches diminish as we strolled.

We ventured even further west. When my boy asked what about the prison-like development at Didsbury Point (possibly the only part of M20 Estate Agents will not own up to) our bond was re-sealed and our mooching time back. It used to be Withington Hospital now its an eyesore.

I can’t wait to start doing this with both hands held.

This Much I know:
1. Money, fame, smaller clothes sizes – none of them are as big a motivation as a snooze when you have twins.

2. The last few months have increased my understanding of body issues exponentially, every joint hurts.

3. You can try. You can plan. But an eight-month old baby in a walker has a reach like a JCB digger.

4. When you have babies, for no real reason you sing everything. My full repertoire of football songs has been re-assembled without swear words for every act during the day.

5. At 7am in Didsbury Village, Cappucino in Didsbury Deli with froth to share is a little haven.

6. I love and hate Boots with a passion.

7. The Metrolink is best chain to open in Didsbury

Next week: Didsbury Festival is back…

20130601-093006.jpg

20130601-093059.jpg

Didsbury Dad’s Three Part Guide: 1. West Didsbury

Part 1: The West…

None of the research in this piece is specific, scientific or socially significant. Any misconception, misrepresentation or misanthropy is purely there for alliterative reasons and I blame the 80s.

Mooching M20 with Didsbury Son has always been a favourite pursuit and I have had to start thinking about routes that will take a double buggy with a coffee holder as we prepare to welcome twins into the family tradition of wandering aimlessly; all this wandering – it’s my cultural heritage.

Clyde Road. A three-storeyed gateway linking Barlow Moor Road’s former cutting edge with Lapwing Lane’s BoHo entry to Westworld. Barlow Moor Road used to host The Barleycorn and Mr Marvel’s Cafe. The Barleycorn, a former casino where my own Didsbury Dad and Mum lived as a young couple was the first pub I ever went into. At occasional stages I was almost cool enough to go downstairs. Mr Marvel, a now empty basement opposite Moor Allerton pre-dated Art of Tea and Costafication by several generations. Its lure for older kids and its promise of smokey naughtiness, pinball and … coffee was enticing and a little scary.

But Clyde Road. Now that was West Didsbury; a combination of dance school, studio flats and huge houses seemingly packed with dressing up boxes, tobacco and wannabees. Clyde Road leads to Lapwing Lane and Burton Road – the heart of West Didsbury. Once faded, now sought after and a go-to place for boys with big cars, girls with big heels and developers with an eye for renovation.

Lapwing Lane has always held a fascination for me since childhood. I always thought that Withington Town Hall would make a great nightclub. Lapwing Court’s flat roofs and balconies were chic beyond belief and the venue now known as The Metropolitan was a monolith in the heart of my world.

Piccolino’s was The Nose. The Nose was groundbreaking. When Liz owned it, Henry worked the kitchens and Sonia served it was the daytime Madchester office cum hangout. The Midland, first with Bilko’s and then MVITA brought the world to West Didsbury and a party to every weekend.

Duwe’s brilliant bakery is now Pete’s stylish Steranko and where I cycled with my Didsbury Dad for bagels from Somers is now a wooden furniture treasure trove. The impressive Withington Hospital may have been diminished and hawked for a development with the look of an open prison but Burton Road is a journey through Didsbury’s past through to its future. The Canadian Charcoal Pit has been there from a time when cup cakes being global currency was as improbable as Manchester being a destination city, but Folk fits seamlessly into Westworld and from the mosque to Withington Baths is a cultural journey with room for both of us, coffees and a pram with more gadgets than a James Bond Aston Martin DB7.

Didsbury Dad’s random recommendations in West Didsbury:

Folk: great vibe, great food, service so bad it’s entertaining.

Ghurka Grill: the extension gives more menu sampling opportunity.

Orchard Street: I like a mooch up and down.

Crazy Wendy’s: I like to walk past.

The Shop on the corner opposite Piccolino’s. always something beautiful.

The Metropolitan: I like to go there to watch the beautiful people and count my blessings I am married and Didsbury Son means I have to go home early.

I Think We’re in Didsbury – Didsbury Dad responds

Image

In Didsbury even the pencils go large

I THINK WE’RE IN DIDSBURY – A RESPONSE

Martin Wallace and Matthew Green’s “I think we’re in Didsbury” is a cheeky viral hit. The use of Tiffany’s “I think we’re alone now” is inspired and the song is very funny… in parts. There is a clever stills video of landmarks, ladies lunching, gratuitous scantily clad woman eating chocolate and the focacciability of Didsbury summed up.

The shot of the old Capitol Theatre had me wistful and some of the lines are razor sharp. But. It misses the point about why Didsbury is so popular and diverse; what makes us love our little piece of land that’s so handy for town, airport, M56 and the river. It is also more Wilmslow and Alderley Edge and the man in the crocheted jumper has Chorlton stamped all over him.

Didsbury is more than “knit your yoghurt” ((c) Alexei Sayle), cycle-helmet wearing yummy mummies, shouting across media types and once-known victims from the 70s to their Boden wearing Freyas and Archies to eat their houmous.

Didsbury is not just posh fairy cakes and braying relocated southerners who came here to study and then stayed.

Didsbury is a community at its centre, west and east. We are a suburb that still has heart. The streets shook on Sunday night as The Crown, The Nelson, The Station and The Dog hosted City’s impromptu celebration party. There was no trouble, just generations of repressed sky blues venting their joy in their local with quite a few of their red mates joining in anyway as it was a Didsbury Street party.

The Albert Club is a throwback and a way forward, like online community TV that could work. The independents, crafts and creatives rub shoulders with religions living in relative harmony and close proximity; whilst there is something for all tastes and pockets from Aldi to The Cheese Hamlet, Kansas Fried Chicken to Greens. If you have never had a trick done for you by the guy in Freshsave (Aladdin’s cave of pungent spices, cheap flowers and fresh fruit squashed between Cash for Gold and Tiger Properties on Wilmslow Rod) then you have not lived.

The Metropolitan is the latest incarnation of a venue which has served West Didsbury for generations. Now it is Lattecinno, Chardonnayesque, a pied-piper to the upwardly single, but this was also Bilko’s Nightclub at the back of The Midland in the early 80s and the dancefloor was a bouncebable likeness of Phil Silvers. The Mid. evolved into, arguably its finest moment –  MVITA (Manchester Vibe in the Area), Madchester’s legendary night where Didsbury DJs Madhatter and Spacecase and MC Alfonso once more brought the world to our village.

Fletcher Moss is stunning, that prison like estate they built off Cavendish Road left me stunned and The Metrolink goes across a track that generations of Mancunians have trodden, graffiti’d, snogged down and sledged in the snow.

Didsbury Son is the 4th generation to buy his sweets from Josie at Inman’s on Lapwing Lane and next door, Fusion Deli’s Pete and Tom represent much that is good about Didsbury. You always get a welcome, a good coffee, a sense of community and the best Olive Tofu this side of Chorlton.

So I herald our caffé culture, our handmade PinkyMinky and The Art of Tea. I note the lazy parents parking their 4x4s in 2x2s near our schools and the stereotypes that make us an easy target. But I love the hidden gems, wonky pavements, poets and poseurs that thrive on the not so mean streets of M20 and ShopCatLaura (http://shopcatlaura.wordpress.com0 in Harriet & Dee should be our Village Mascot.
 

I think We’re in Didsbury by Martin Wallace / Matthew Green http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fxID33Bh5f0

Image

The coffee in Didsbury is so special we take photos

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: