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 “The Crown”

Twenty First Century Pub Crawl, with children

Every place has its pub crawl and M20 is no exception. Back in the ’80s when hair and collars reached for the skies and there was no such as thing as too much make-up, it was a full night out that started with The Olde Cock and The Didsbury ( Now both gastros with differing successes)  and via Crown, Dog, Albert, Nelson, The Old Grey (now Zizzi’s) and The Railway – it would be chips at Sweaty Betty’s now a poster site but rumoured to be Didsbury Lounge 2) before the Three Lions. The Golden, The Red and The White. The White Lion had bands downstairs, could be a bit lairy and a cab home afterwards from Tripps cost £2.

 

Courtesy of pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com  I used to stare at this after a long night drinking and think "One Day I could swipe a Nectar card here".

Courtesy of pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.com I used to stare at this after a long night drinking and think “One Day I could swipe a Nectar card here”.

It was pints (although not for me, always the shorts and being really honest – I was really more interested in the snacks than the drinking. The advent of Scampi Fries in 1986 opened up a whole new world), Malibu if you felt lucky, Silk Cut and the latent threat of violence – heady times. A really good night could stretch to Mulberry’s or Severe/ Murder in Fallowfield. You could make a complete show of yourself without a single text, picture, Vine, Facebook, Pinterest, What’s App or truth getting out – marvellous days with less comeback. 

You never knew who you would meet on a night out

You never knew who you would meet on a night out


Last week, to celebrate Easter and Didsbury Son being out for the day, Didsbury Wife and I decided to recreate it for the twins. The Golden Lion is now a car park, The White Lion a Sainsbury’s and The Olde Cock is now crap – but we were not daunted. 

However, the thought of pushing the pram and downing drinks between nappy changes no longer enthralls; Didsbury Wife and I created the 40 something, small children Didsbury crawl.

1. Late breakfast at Caffe Nero with Pain au Raisins to share.

2. Then in the car for an adventure which took us to Alderley Edge for a toddler sized walk and lunch at The Wizard. Lunch out with toddlers and no high chairs does mean you need to be able to down in one. – bit it’s the parfait not the Pernod and Black.

3. Back via John Lewis where the Mighty Headed Boy lay down and staged a protest in the toy department. We coaxed him back with afternoon tea in the cafe; where at 18 months old they are SO last year. The number of floppy necked baldie babes not only made me pine for the days when they were toothless and inert but they looked huge; it was brilliant. With the sugar rush from a JL Battenberg calming down we left, satiated.

We got home feeling as we had done 25 years ago – not sure how we had spent so much, a little ashamed of our indulgence, with a stomach ache. We also had stories to tell and lots of laughs and the only time anyone had tried to hit me they used Iggle Piggle and shouted “Mummyo”; result.

A Melancholic Meander through M20

There has been so much going on that I have had barely enough free time to make sure I avoid The Winter Olympics, Katie Hopkins and her male doppelgänger Nigel Farage. So as we welcome April, here is March in a moment.

1. A joke for people who watch CBeebies (cheaper than a nanny) in the morning. “My wife came downstairs and told me about a terrible nightmare she had. There was a mute called Claude, a weird grinning ageless woman who smiled but seemed sinister, the least convincing doctor in the world and a woman in a pink taxi who’s an advert for carjacking.” I looked at her stunned “Oh my word that’s uncanny” I said “Me Too”
This and a Jewish cartoon about a working farmyard called Schlepper Pig are what fills my head early morning.

2. The vivid green on The Crown has to have gone through a committee with the decision shouted down a bad line to a decorator with hearing impairment – doesn’t it?

3. The Turkish- Nido refit is impressive. We so want it work I was considering chanting outside. The Laughing Budda; now au in da is losing letters faster than a crime wave on Sesame Street – sort it out.

4. Didsbury welcomes Golden Beach Holidays and good luck. Replacing Co-Po travel means you have small shoes and average service to live up to. I used to enjoy going in to check exchange rates on days when I had not been tutted at enough. If business gets tough buy a coffee machine and a chair and mirror – it’s the default fallback in Didsbury.

5. When will The Strokers Arms re- open? Or is it a supermarket by stealth?

Does anyone else giggle at Brimelow’s insistence he is the original purple one. I think suntanned Oompah Loompah when I see that.

This is a bittersweet week. My inert little blobs are now bouncing, noisy, cat-grabbing, Didsbury Son loving, snack-snaffling people. This week they officially become toddlers – not babies. My only saving thought was that my Didsbury Mum still tells me I’m her baby.

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I Think We’re in Didsbury – Didsbury Dad responds

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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

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The coffee in Didsbury is so special we take photos

Gimmee Shelter

The impossible has happened, the balance of power has shifted; the supermarkets and banks are outflanked. Prepare for a turf war there’s a new charity shop in the village.

Shelter, with a neon sign proclaiming their residence have set-up next to Oxfam in the spot vacated by David Pluck. I had a friend who would use the two Plucks as staging posts. Place a bet at one end, stroll the length of the village slowly enjoying a smoke and check how he had done at the other end, with the option of a celebratory Costa or Subway; symmetry.

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Now the new Shelter has surprised me for two reasons. First, there surely can’t be an attic, granny flat or kid’s toy box in South Manchester with anything left for eBay or passing on through the generations. Between 15 charity shops, Christian Aid, Domestic and foreign collections and the effect of the weather there are bare spare rooms and empty dressing up boxes across the village.

Secondly, this stops the natural expansion of uber charity shop, laureate endorsed hypermarket, Oxfam. Would Macy’s open next to Bloomingdales? Pepsi next to Coke? Costa next to Nero, let’s move on.

Whereas Pluck’s had only been somewhere that Didsbury Son was made to wait outside whilst Didsbury Dad and Uncle re-invested his sweet money, Shelter offers the opportunity to search for glitchless games and unscratched CDs.

Oxfam, with it’s impeccable credentials, lovely peanut butter and vastly over-priced books. I always imagined them spreading north until The Crown became the Oxfam Bar and Grill.

Aah well. At least the new Shelter will offer somewhere for their inappropriately dressed, over-zealous street hawkers to retire to when the pace gets too frantic outside Boots and they feel the glare of Barnados and Mind staff burning through their red tabards.

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Geese have flown in from as far as Canada to be ready for Friday's planned opening

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Not West Didsbury

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