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 “porridge”

Love, Hate and The Festive Season

The Festive Season is nearly upon us. Nearly as in the nauseating adverts have been launched and there is a slight sense of panic surrounding everyone I know. I don’t even have to worry about accessorising my little black dress; but from the taint of the wrong toy to a misunderstanding about the origins, ethos and expectations it can be stressful. There are certain aspects of Daddom that make even the most benign aspects of the season something to dread.
Here are my top ten…

1. Jools Holland’s Hootenanny: In my murky media lifetime I spent many New Years’ Eves throwing the party. There are late September, early October teens and early twenty somethings whose existence is down to these parties. They leave a legacy of slightly crumpled thirty plus ten somethings. However eclectic and enthralling the musicians are – watching a bunch of Z listers pretend it’s New Years’ Eve just doesn’t cut it.

2. The 5am pain of Christmas Day: Didsbury Son was a beautiful bouncing Blondini bed banger at 5am on 25th December. Finally, the Christmas before the twins were born he ambled in at 8 ish and then made a cup of tea. We lolled and had the most laid back and groovy day. I now have another decade of door slamming and early early footsteps to manage. My head, back and knees have lodged a formal complaint.

3. Mince Pies: these sweet and juicy, sticky, crumbly heralds of baby Jesus and a Christmas Market. These hand-sized waist tormentors and palate coverers. I love you, but in the cause of waistline not wasteland I must ignore you and treat you like someone who not only thrived on Movember, but decided to keep it because it “suits me”.

4. False Bonhomie: Hey, how are you. We’ve had no contact but you’re Jewish, I’m an Atheist let’s have a Christmas drink? The human equivalent of a casual Facebook like.

5. The 7am Xmas Eve queue at Evans and Axons. It looks as though civil war has broken out, middle-aged, middle class men from across the southern suburbs have been forced to get from their beds to queue for supplies and hand over wads of cash for a Copper Bronze Turkey. It’s when men know their place and the taste can be worth it.

6. 28th December – knockdown.
You spend £15.99 on some plastic tat. You cut two fingers on the unwrapping, spend £8 for a battery that lasts 6 minutes at the only shop open Christmas Day afternoon and three days later – having stubbed your toe tripping over its unused, unloved cadaver on the stairs, it’s 2.99 in Tesco.
This venting is working, I already feel more festive.

7. The Queen’s Speech
I am sure she’s a lovely woman. Bringing up four kids in the spotlight must be difficult, although Victoria and David are doing okay so far. BUT. If I want to hear old people talk about their lives, whilst talking on behalf of the nation I can listen to a phone in on BBC Local Radio.

8. The Stove Room.
Lovely shop. Great to have it in West Didsbury. The cost of a bag of wood. It’s enough to make you go Aga.

9. Wine at £6.50 a glass
My time on the other side of the bar learning the rudiments of wet sales and profit margins on them has ruined me as a date. Didsbury Wife has to put up with a cost breakdown to ruin each round. Only out hated by paying for sparkling water. No need, no point.

10. Christmas Specials
I love watching TV. Couch slouching whilst watching aimlessly with Didsbury Son, hands on snacks is one of life’s pleasures. But (with the exception of Porridge, Dad’s Army and On The Buses) I am struggling to find a Christmas Special less sour than a lime. It’s the screen equivalent of bonhomie.

With that out of the way there is much to enjoy – The Snowman is slowly edging out Frozen, Atuls is always open and time off work means a quick stroll to Bisou Bisou and The AiryFairyCupCake Boutique. There’s the Xmas Light Switch on (and talk of it being plural this year), there are Blagg’s Christmas Trees and the chance of a day without email. Yet more, even more than this is wide berth people offer a family with more than one toddler. I’m looking forward to it already.

The queues for Axons and Evans Warm up.

The Mighty Headed Boy awaits a Mince Pie

No More Mr Rock n Roll

A week is a long time in the life of a butterfly; but the last week away from Didsbury and the milky-stained bosom of my expanded family has seemed like an age.
On the face of it all I should have been in Didsbury Dad heaven. A week away from all night soother chasing, school holidays and sciatica in a gilded city with a hotel and expenses. (I have been away on a creative media promotional multi-platform content driven job. Or whatever it is I  do for a living.) It went well and bonds, collaborations and possibly a few grudges were formed. But  as the end of the last day drew near I could feel the impatience to be home becoming unbearable.

My hotel rider no longer asks for Jack Daniels and Vodka. I never actually drank Jack Daniels but I felt I should ask for it.

My hotel rider no longer asks for Jack Daniels and Vodka. I never actually drank Jack Daniels but I felt I should ask for it.

I was the mirrored reverse of Didsbury Son’s back-to-school blues. I could feel it in the back of my knees; that aching push that seems to make you want to run or buckle – 21st Century fight or flight. That desire to run home tempered by contractual obligations.
Seven days without Burton Road, counting new barber shops and chewing the fat at Fusion Deli is a long tack but then it hit me. I am a changed person. The opportunity to stay out late, eat out of cardboard and talk rubbish to strangers has diminished to an atom sized nothing.

I missed Didsbury Son’s endless re-telling of American cartoons and playground mis-information; the cusped enthusiasm / indifference of my pre-teen babe. I missed the dream-interrupting nudges from Didsbury Wife  indicating my turn to attempt night-time serenity in the nursery. The morning Skype calls with four smiley faces reminded me who I could be having breakfast with in a last question wrong on a quiz show type of cruelty.

Back home this morning after my stint of changing, bottle-feed and play with the largest 6 month old head and his smiley sister I realised what I missed most; breakfast. This all-you-can-wear  porridge and chopped banana fiesta is better than any custard pie fight I have witnessed. It’s combination of surreal, physical and whimsical comedy is the perfect start to any day.

It all became clear to me - a representation

It all became clear to me – a representation

I  am back off for another short stint soon; this time in a bigger city with better room service. Let’s see if this trip has anything to match the Tiswas-esque breakfast experience that hands-down beats a king size, room-service and a peaceful night.



Tiswas “The Bucket of Water Song” a blueprint for family living

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