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 Didsbury”

Didsbury: I Have a Dream

I have a dream. I have many dreams. Beyond a harmonious world and an easy to assemble Kinder Egg Toy, I have dreams.          I remember when all of this was train track. 
I dream of reading a newspaper article (analogue or digital) whose research is not a celebrity twitter feed and in which fact checking does not mean a retweet. 

I dream of the time when the Pearly Princess can put on her own tights. Truly, as a man with the dexterity of the average baby this is a daily bind. Fifteen minutes spent struggling with a wriggly toddler to find they are on back to front and the heel is over one knee is soul destroying in a way that working out next to someone who keeps asking if you’re okay “…as you don’t get many people in your age” can only peck at gently.Burns, La Tasca, Cibo, Solita. Inhabitants and the back four of FC Nido in the 2004 Champions League qualifier. 

I dream of a time when each incarnation of the restaurant known as Y Fabrica (me neither, no idea) join forces. Whether it’s The Mud Crab Cafe, Felicinis or Didsbury Wine Bar, between them there is a decent menu lying in wait. 

I dream of people caring about each other. Of pushy mothers in 4x4s not double parking or taking residents’ spaces when dropping their Freyas and Archies at Primary School. Of the staff at Evans being knighted for services to middle class dinner parties in South Manchester. Of Unicorns singing Stone Roses tunes as you pass the “Welcome to Greater Manchester” sign on the M56 and of a time when my first action of the day is not deciding what to do with a pull-up. The names on the mug are in reverse order.

Alongside every act of lazy and institutionalised xenophobia we have witnessed over the last year I believe there is goodness. There are people who realise the contribution of all people whether British born or not. I thought about this as I sipped the most exquisite Sardinian-made Bloody Mary at Piccolino’s on Saturday. I remember it when it when I bump into people who remember me going for sweets on Lapwing Lane with my own Didsbury grandad. Rare picture of Fog Lane Park’s Pets’ Corner

I dream of a world where Coronation Street does not move so quickly that I miss a month and have no idea who Steve MacDonald has married/impregnated/saved.Kiwi, a rare Didsbury delicacy from when Evans first opened. 

I dream of a world where the city abruptly ends and the country takes over in seconds. Then I remember Stenner Lane, the perfect cut through between almost Gastropub The Didsbury and the haven of Fletcher Moss.

Ten minutes looking at the river and I don’t care who’s blocked my drive, which continent Felicini’s is pretending to be from or which toddler’s knee wakes me with a morning kidney jab. I just tap my heels together 3 times and I’m walking back from Flannagan’s with a smart haircut and a Fosters’ chippie tea in my hand. 

* thanks to @craftwords for keeping me up to date with developments and great one-liners whilst I’ve been too busy navel-gazing to write a regular blog. 

The Twelve Days of Didsbury Dad Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 hours sleep,
11. Peppa Pig toys
10. Zantac calming
9. Mince Pies mincing
8. Pets a puking
7. Sky Sports Channels
6. Hours driving in a car with screaming toddlers and bored teen
5 nappies honking
4. French patisseries
3. Minutes’ peace and quiet
2. Twins a bouncing
And a life based in Didsbury…..

Your Didsbury Top 12 (almost) free to do tips:
1. Walk along the side of the metro line boring your children senseless with “all this used to be fields.” Chat.

2. Bring a picnic and take the Metro tour of Manchester to Bury Market where you remember you’ve left your wallet at home and have to come back.

3. Talk about the true meaning of Christmas/Chanucah/Solstice/(insert own) and take them to one of our great churches, synagogues, mosques, cult bases. There is usually singing, getting up and down and catering afterwards.

4. Fletcher Moss – brilliant. (Especially with an Alpine Cafe stop)

5. The little park next to Fletcher Moss, great for the under 5’s and handy for The Didsbury, Ye Olde Cocke and Dimitri’s.

6. Play hide and seek on the old Manchester Poly site – hours of endless fun.

7. Take the Saturday morning samples trail from The Cheese Hamlet down to West Didsbury and back up to Parrs Wood.

8. Didsbury Library has a fantastic children’s section, a toilet AND you aren’t meant to eat in there; genius.

9. Gym offers. Lavid Ddoyd are currently offering 12 days for 12 pounds so long as you understand it’s also £12 for a coffee and £12 for a kid’s snack as well.

10. Visit friends and relatives. It is important to rotate.

11. Didsbury, Cavendish, Fog Lane – play, remember which one has swings, which one has a BMX track and ducks and which one has a bespoke Chocolatier next door.

12. Play the old Didsbury Gsme. “Uh Oh, Where’s Nido? What was Cibo?”

IMG_2823.JPG
The Snowman, slowly replacing Frozen as the thrice a day treat.

IMG_2926.PNG
Mighty head, busy hands

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.

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

M20 Top 10

This much I know… Spring is starting to breakthrough with green and blue starting to edge out the grey. It set me thinking about My 10 favourite places in Didsbury.

1. The little “beach” by the Mersey between Simon’s Bridge and the Parrs Wood flood plain. It’s a little haven awash with scrabbling Jack Russells and careful parents watching small children who think they are in Abersoch or Blackpool. You can see herons, can’t hear traffic or golfers and can walk for miles or pop back through Fletcher Moss; just gorgeous.

2. The garden next to The Olde Cock. This walled floral palace is a Fletcher Moss warm-up. Didsbury Son likes to climb the trees. I like the flowers and the space whilst slurping coffee from The Didsbury (pre Costa franchise).

3. The Old Railway Line / New Metrolink. Gone now to make way for the metro but the Didsbury section hosted my favourite Saturday mornings, walking a tiny Didsbury Son up and down a magic avenue full of bright graffiti, shopping trolleys and remnants of nights gone by. A thoroughfare of dogs to stroke, runners to avoid and shortcuts to the scout hut, the park and Tescos for Saturday morning breakfast. Also a sled run when it gets icy.

4. Fusion Deli: a haven of great coffee and a proper welcome from Pete and Tom. Nowhere else could a £2 bag of crisps seem like a good deal.

5. The Slug & Lettuce. Has hosted some memorable moments. None more than my first meeting with Didsbury Wife. She thought I looked like a bouncer, I thought she looked tasty. Been guarding the door since.

6. Burton Road. It’s constant evolution, boho sensibility and Co-Op are a perfect blend.

7. Withington Baths: always unnervingly warm with changing options from a bygone era. In the 80s you could smoke in the gym room.

8. My mum’s kitchen. Or as it is widely know, The Jewish Homeland.

9. Inman’s. Any day you see Josie has to be a good day. Football banter without malice and an Archersesque feeling of continuity.

10. My back garden on a summer’s night sitting back with Didsbury Wife whilst Didsbury Son is asleep listening to the sounds of the village wafting across and making big big plans.

Joint 11th: The Manor House, Fog Lane park when it had a zoo, walking up Parkfield Road when the trees all block the sun, the building formerly known as The Barleycorn, Mr Marvel and Withington Town Hall.

Next week… My top ten dogs in Didsbury Park, my top ten Independent cake shops in West Didsbury and Wilmslow Road’s greatest charity shops

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: