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 Jubilee”

Didsbury; the birds, the barbers, the ship canal

Melton Mowbray has its Pork Pies and Eccles its cakes. Swindon, roundabouts and Hull white telephone boxes. Think of London and Dick Whittington springs to mind. Edinburgh – and it’s Greyfriars’ Bobby yapping at you from the gates of the cemetery, a saucer of Irn Bru having been lapped.

But what about Didsbury?

This birthplace of the RSPB, final home of Manchester Ship Canal’s Daniel Adamson and residence of the current Poet Laureate. This leafy suburb was the birthplace of 70s footballer/cricketer Jim Cumbes; hosts the resting place of two of bonnie Prince Charlie’s men and incorporates Fletcher Moss; man, pub and meadow.

A river runs through it.

What are we synonymous with?

Didsbury Son’s self-created Scooby Sandwich? It features 5 essential hydrogenated e-numbers and several incompatible layers. It is good, but…

Didsbury still loves its birds. Rare birds by the river, well-hung ones in Evans and mesmerising rotisseried chickens at The Didsbury Village Farm Shop.

The ship canal spirit lives on in the Mersey Basin and there are professional, amateur and Tai Chi inspired poets giving our village rhyme and lyrical beauty; but they do not define us.

So beyond supermarkets, young professionals and an M20 postcode what is our USP?

I think we have two.
Not the abysmal cell-like flats that have replaced two of our iconic buildings (Capitol Theatre where The Avengers was shot, Withington Hospital where I had my first endoscopy).
Not the ignoring of private car spaces and general manners by the not so yummy mummies at our primary schools.
Not even Wilkinsons on Barlow Moor Road, the shop that defies progress in the most delicious fashion.

In Didsbury – beyond doctors, lawyers, teachers, media luvvies and music biz veterans we do Barbers and Coffee Shops like no other village, enclave, borough or suburb.

Muswell Hill LOOK and LEARN. Alderley Edge, tell the nanny to take notes.

The spirit of Sid the Barber lives on. From Chalkie White and Blade in the East of Didsbury, down past the barbers on School Lane that now outnumber residential houses 2-1. From John at Gentry Grooming and the achingly naff Edward Scissorhands to West Didsbury’s boho barbers of Burton Road. Say it loud Didsbury… We are hirsute and happy Didsbury Dads, Granddads, sons and nephews. Boys and men who need a regular trim and not necessarily anything for the weekend…
And…

We can distinguish between an arabica bean and a full-roast from any number of differently coloured coffee shops. This is no village for Mellow Birds, wherever the RSPB was founded.

Sent from my iPhone

The Sun, The Didsbury and The Blue Harbour

We’re having a heat wave, dah dah dah dah dah dah, a tropical heat wave, dah dah dah dah dah dah. It means June will be cloudy dah dah dah dah dah dah dah and slightly depressing…

A tree with yellow flowers soaks up the May sun

It is gorgeous. The kind of bright sunshine with balmy nights that make you forget who and what you are.

In my mind, as I strolled through Didsbury Park to the train station I was the suave looking and stylish young professional in the kind of outfit a Bermudan banker would wear to work. Topped off with my pristine Air Force 1s.

The reality of the wide berth granted me by dog walkers and early-to-school sun lovers was different. I am swerving dangerously close to BHS’s target market. An unintentionally close-fitted blue harbour collection with Asda socks and a three-day stubble that made me look like an extra in a Ken Loach film; who had stolen his teenage son’s shoes.

Didsbury Son doesn’t mind, yet. He is still on that cusp where brand recognition is not yet an issue and he thinks many Didsbury Dads see wearing long trousers to work as an affront to legs honed to near perfection on the occasionally working exercise bikes at The Galleon.

Everywhere looks good in this weather. But it has its domestic dangers. Yesterday I worked outside. Today I am the shade of red called “Fire” or “Salsa Roja” by car makers and “you should know better” by GPs and the woman in Boots who sneered in my direction. (not Didsbury Boots, where David in the pharmacy is a prince among men but an inferior outlet).

It is the sounds and smells of the city that really make this early summer sun so special. The sound in the park of teenage boys’ newly broken voices bragging, as they lope around looking achingly uneasy in their ill-fitting skins. They search for cross-gender communication skills unused in Sniper Elite.

The smell of barbecues mixes with people caught out by the hot weather. Personal hygiene malfunctions blend with the skinned up smell of summer spiffs that waft on the breeze across M20.

The hot spell has finally kicked off some sense of Jubilee anticipation. My cynicism at the general recycling of all the Kate and Wills merchandise without the photos is melting in the May sunshine. We are Mancs. An extra day off and hot weather gets United fans cheering City, Didsbury Son lurking by the washing up in the hope of more outside play and gives me the knowledge that this year Blue Harbour is the suburban Prada and I have a George Clooney vibe a la Descendents (2nd Half).

NEXT WEEK – THE BARBERS OF SCHOOL LANE V THE COFFEE SHOPS OF DIDSBURY VILLAGE – WHO WILL WIN?

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Work on the new Didsbury Deli continues

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