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 “Wimbledon”

Everything you need to know about holidaying in Spain with small children a

I know three things about Chris De Burgh.
1) he brought his wife a dress and made back the cost several times over with a song still played at every incontinent tea dance.
2) he had a monobrow before the Gallagher brothers made them fashionable in the 90s.
3) He is a liar and this lie has impacted directly on my summer holiday plans.
In his song Spanish Train (from the album “Does not include Lady in Red” recorded during his pre Lady in Red phase) De Burgh sings about a train transporting the souls to heaven that the devil tries to nab, there is no mention of a Lady in Red. It’s a “Devil Went Down to Georgia” without fiddle playing, charisma or specifically a tune. Within its cool for 11 year olds, naff by 12 conceit, a railwayman lay dying (with his family by his side) and for his soul they are crying for the train he has to drive. Anyway there is a lot of hand-wringing and in the end God wins by gambling at cards and the train (with the souls of the dead 10000 deep) goes up and everyone’s happy. Lovely. Obviously this is from memory as its a bit hot to Google the lyrics.
Except it isn’t true. I was planning on a trip to Spain with Didsbury Wife, Didsbury Son and The Toddler Collective. Didsbury Wife and I planned a trip to El Corte Iglesias (Juan Lewis), I promised the twins a Paella Ice Cream and Didsbury Son I promised to top any theme park by taking him on to see The Spanish Train as it transports souls between worlds. At least I thought we could get a t-shirt. It doesn’t exit and the name I was called by the Galician Tourist Society translates as something not only illegal, but difficult with my knees. 

So Chris De Burgh, the Irish crooner that is not Daniel O’Donnell I call you out as a two-bit toddler-trashing tenor. Now to go and get some olive oil as sunscreen and countdown to the new football season – still almost 6 weeks and Wimbledon to get through. 

  

 Fresh Jamon 
http://youtu.be/VXkhiIFCgAo.                  If the children have been naughty play them this. 

If they won’t practice their musical instruments play them this – The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Homer Simpson, Didier Drogba, The Archers and Me

This isĀ a gruelling time of year. School age children are all out of attention span and too far into the year to really care. The clear Manchester air often leaves baby chests clogged and the 4am dawn is a siren call to the under 5s.

In addition there are now up to 6 hours of live international football on TV each day that can run between 5pm and 4am. Oh and there’s work and family life.

This can stretch the strategic skills and slothful indiscipline of the most indifferent dad, let alone someone like me. Someone who hears Ivory Coast v Japan and sees it as a cultural duty to stay up and honour the culinary heritage of these great nations, whilst falling asleep on the couch, head lolling in a tribute to Homer Simpson.

So praise your deity (fate and other non-deity touchstones are available ) for Fathers Day the morning after England’s 1am finish. Whether it’s a goldfish or offspring of Amish proportions, claim that right and milk it as though you were auditioning for parlour maid’s role in The Archers.

I have mixed feelings about Fathers Day. When Didsbury Son was little his excitement was infectious and made me feel unworthy for all my little less than perfect thoughts. Now, I count my blessings that I receive and am able to give Fathers Day cards. Coming late to the party keeps me aware that for many people this is a difficult day for a variety of reasons and you can’t always have a World Cup to distract you.
Some years this awfulness isĀ compounded by Wimbledon being newsworthy and clogging up radio and TV in the two weeks it hogs the limelight. This year it’s all football and midnight toddler milk runs have the bonus of late night TV from South America.
I’m just perfecting my Capirahna and Aptamil.

My Father’s Day ticked so many boxes it qualified for Arts Council funding. I rolled over at 7am, 7am – that’s nearly lunchtime, to find an empty space where Didsbury Wife had gallantly taken the early shift as I luxuriated in more than four hours of continuos Zzzzzs.

After an aborted Metrolink journey ( I had forgotten they don’t work weekends), Didsbury Wife gave me one of the greatest gifts a man could receive – a family visit to The National Football Museum. I won’t describe the detail, save to say that The Mighty Headed Boy took on a whole group of Stoke fans and won and Didsbury Son is slowly embracing the beautiful game. Very slowly.
Now 2 parts rum, 1 part powdered milk and a squeeze of lime…

World Cup Tips

1. The pundits are terrible. Half time needs action – in 15 minutes you can do bottles, washing up, check homework and feed pets.
Read more…

Didsbury Son’s Summer of Sport

Euro fever is in the air as Didsbury Son and I cherish this magnificent summer of sport. Finally, after much work and tinkering with tactics I have managed to get the couch and its cushion configuration to co-ordinate with the TV and its remote controller in the kind of symbiotic congruence that the England midfield failed to meet.

The Olympic Flagbearer prepares for the Living Room Olympics by eyeing up a snack

I can now slouch in a spine-melting, double-chin enhancing, muscle untoning place for several hours and reach drink, snack and remote without moving. This tactical and creative acumen has allowed me to bond with Didsbury Son, whose take on TV sport races between boredom and indifference. Last night we recreated the greatest moments of The Euros by staring at each other for 2 hours before I went to kiss him goodnight on his forehead. I missed and hit an ear. Didsbury Son then superbly kissed me goodnight right between the eyebrows and won 1-0 on penalties.

For Wimbledon, we queue up for the bathroom for several hours squeezing out painful 60s singalonga tunes before calling “To me, To you” until one of us pauses or falls asleep. The Chuckle Brothers Wimbledon shield is now nearly as hotly contested as the post shower bathroom slide.

One of my favourite sporting contests is the breakfast pundits challenge. We take turns quoting the wisdom of Shearer and “Lawro” Lawrenson to inspire us; the morning silence is golden.

We have recreated the Rugby Union tours of the Southern Hemisphere by getting up early, putting pillows under our shorts and gurning, whilst pushing tissue up a nostril. We then go to see Australian friends who chase us for an hour before making us look stupid.

BUT- the big one is coming.It is almost time for Indoor Olympics . The games have finally come to Didsbury for the first time since 1948 when there were no charity shops or coffee stops in the village. New era, new challenge.

This sporting feast – adapted from the great Classroom Olympics of the 70s and 80s and not walking on the cracks in the pavement, is the ultimate sporting challenge. It’s goal of moving through the house without touching the floor pits son against dad and dad against gravity and lack of flexibility. Didsbury Son qualified early and passed the E numbers test by waiting to go to Zayn News for sweets. With Didsbury Fat Cat confirmed as flag bearer and Didsbury Wife shaking her head sadly it’s all to play for as we go for gold (a Caramac).

Drug testing is strenuous

 

Didsbury Dad’s Real resolution guide

Suddenly it’s June. This is always a shock. The year is only 5/12 done but the halfway stage is looming. That means the date when you have officially failed your new year resolutions and can consign the year to another finger-crossing, 6 ball watching, gym ignoring non-nominated mulch is 4 weeks away.

How you react depends on whether or not your glass is

A) half-full

B) unwashed and growing the kind of cultures that helped discover Penicillin

C) somewhere under the February “South Manchester Reporter”

Or
D) you’re preparing for the future by moving onto beakers that don’t break with lipped lips to sip through.

This means you are…

A) inspired by the challenge of getting the resolutions done in 6 months and already looking at the list positively. Lose ten pounds – Grand National. Cut down drinking – a good idea after 9pm to avoid getting up in the night. Decorate the house – Does re-piling the defunct paperwork count?

B) You are not bothered. The spurt of conscience or promise of pleasure that spurred your resolution left with the tree. There’s The European Championships, The Didsbury Festival and Wimbledon* to slouch through.
* tennis is not actually a proper sport as the action is too quick to heckle properly and they sit down for lemon and barley water every five minutes.

C) In for a shock. One bored midweek night you are going to tackle a stack for recycling, stumble upon your inadequacies and spend a maudlin night regretting everything from the school disco snog you didn’t clinch to the eureka moment that someone else developed to multi-award winning loveydom. Be warned, no amount of counting your blessings sleeping blissfully upstairs will counter this effectively.

D) Ready to repeat 2011’s indifference and shuffle one year nearer the inevitability of having a teenager in the house and getting to an age you can give up.

The problem with the cloud is you can’t just discretely lose pieces of paper. That vodka inspired, over-emotional annual bucket list you tapped gracelessly into your tablet at stupid AM on January 2nd is there in the corner of your screen summoning you like a permanent nagging conscience with a PDF tail.

So, in the spirit of Didsbury Dad-Dom I read mine on June 1st and was shocked. I had actually done some of them, in fact more than half. Others are work in progress and only a couple of the usual suspects lurk un-attended in the recesses of my psyche.

This felt like finding a 2 1/2 month old lottery ticket with 4 numbers. So my resolutions in January 2013 may include aiming for 5. Good luck when you find yours. I’m off to count blessings and do sit-ups before a Didsbury Village Farmshop treat.

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