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 “Virgin Active”

Just a simple country tale

Whilst Didsbury Son sloped off to … Chorlton (like Didsbury but with skinnier hips and less acceptable facial hair) where he could sit in the dark watching Anime with a similarly aged friend who understands his tortured genius, the rest of us headed for the country.  When Aspecto trainers meet the countryside. 
I am a huge fan of the countryside and firmly believe that all it needs is a roof, decent flooring, transport, Caffe Nero, Virgin Active, decent tapas, 4G and less cow poo to make it inhabitable. Oh and supermarkets would be a bonus.
The countryside is all about stress relief for city folk like me. There’s no chance of Wi-Fi, reception or Sky Sports so there’s no point worrying about football or the less vital news until you get near enough to a settlement to pick up 5Live. Then, after sometimes up to almost an hour with poor AM, the insistent, persistent minutiae is like a balm you love, but to which you are slightly allergic.  

 Country hens remain protective of their eggs after boiling. Many employ soldiers to help

Anyway – with only 4 bags, 2 nap sacks, a food suitcase, an armful of plastic toys and a Didsbury Dad Car Moose filled to the brim we set off for 24 hours out of M20. The event was a big party for children who are 3 in the next month. The twins have been asking if it was their birthday for weeks so this was a day without context, but with cake and a bouncy castle – somewhere in Warwickshire. 

I set the SatNav for “Middle of Nowhere” and off we set; to Caffe Nero. When he was small I drummed into Didsbury Son that a journey of 1000 Miles (or anything involving the M6) begins with a single coffee. This is when I realised that my babies are Didsbury through and through. As I returned to the car the wailing began. Two toddlers united in one grief. 

“Daddy, daddy. Where’s My Babyccino?”

To Be Continued: in the next episode we find a traffic jam on the M6, snacks run short, the toddlers fall asleep, we reach the party; night follows day. 

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The Peterborough Effect

Didsbury Son and I are going to Peterborough, no football is involved. This is so far east of Cineworld and Virgin Active that even Rightmove does not consider it to be M20 with great access to the airport, MediaCityUK and the thriving metropolis. We have to be there very early so it’s a school time start that has Didsbury Son in two minds. When he asked me what Peterborough was like the only three things I could think of were flat, many roundabouts, second division (or whatever it’s called now it’s the 2nd tier of … Oh don’t get me started)

A foot ready to trek east

He weighed up the options carefully. On the one hand, three hour drive with the promise of high salt, low nutritional value food, uninterrupted iPod/3DS and the chance of an adventure. On the other hand a dawn start, a grumpy Didsbury Dad trying to locate glasses, keys and wallet whilst Didsbury Fat cat mewls for an early breakfast followed by the potential for 3 hours about big school, trying hard and generally doing what I say, not what I do, did or have ever done – all in an enclosed space.
I searched for bonding and entertaining things we could do whilst we were there. The nearest attractions I found were Holland.
So it is our boys’ day out. It may not be white water rafting or a Futuramathon but I have promised there will be no talk about babies, he can have at least one hand down his trousers whenever we are not eating (which to be honest does not leave that much time) and he can have Capital FM on. This swung the deal. He has not realised that the signal will go within half an hour and I can get back to phone-ins, endless Assange and being angry about The Archers becoming so dull even I am hoping for some Eastenders-esque carnage.
I am really looking forward to our day out. Not the pick-up, not the early start, but more the hours of endless mooching, small talk, shared gags and pointless conversations with neither structure nor end. Since the Metrolink took out our favourite route we have been a little stuck for the kind of aimless timewasting that can be as developmentally important as a David Attenborough and shouting at live sport on television.

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