I am sitting in a rapidly cooling car, backed by a couple of rapidly snoring toddlers. I am watching a sun so weak the Spartans would have given it a comfy bed dissolve into its December malaise. I am staring at B&Q in Stanley Green and Costa is too far away to leave the twins and snaffle a Gluten-free Mince Pie. I spend a sizeable number of weekends here.
The combination of TK Maxx and Next virtually within sight of John Lewis is a siren call to South Manchester and North Cheshire. The car park houses a considerable number of men trying not to wake sleeping babies, boddlers and toddlers whilst cranking up BBC 5Live just loud enough to hear the minutiae of what is happening at Orient and St. Johnstone.
There is a strange synergy for me. I have always loved radio and the Saturday afternoon football commentary dirge. From being small, in pre instant media, pre digital, pre Channel 4 and Orangina in the shops days I would spend Saturday afternoons away from the other Didsbury grandchildren. The melee of Saturday afternoon visiting and free sweets dismissed to clamber into our tank. I listened to the football, writing every score as it came in from place names that to 70s me seemed the epitome of exotic; aah Hull you romantic fool – beckon me with constant dampness and average football. I would hang on the florid descriptions of Peter Jones, Larry Canning and the now disgraced, then disgraceful Stuart Hall.
As an early adopter of OCD fan support, sitting in cars and learning how to wait patiently, these 70s Saturdays parked outside my Grandparents were a great training for fatherhood.
The lack of stranger danger and freedom to spend 3 hours in a car on my own aged 6 seem as alien now as my bonfire night memory of entertaining uncle using a lit cigarette to light the fireworks.
But I do have good handwriting and can spell Molyneux.
Coming Up: From Sew-In to Body Bar, From Gold Beach Holidays to closed and is there a non purple Estate Agent? It’s December in Didsbury