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Posts Tagged ‘Castlefield’

Mum and dad are thinking of moving to Manchester.

I say thinking, what I actually mean is: Mum and Dad have endured months of me bleating on about how great their lives would be if they moved up north and have clearly decided that the only way to shut me up is to, well, do something about it. They know me so well.

So Mum and Dad have put their house on the market and the only thing I have left to do now is to persuade them that the weather in Manchester ain’t that bad. The only problem: it is. Or, at least, it is every time they visit.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve got stats to prove it rains more in Barcelona. (‘Yes, but the sun does actually shine in between the rain there,’ Mum pointed out when I told her.)

It doesn’t matter that the rain here is usually more of a light drizzle. They’re convinced it pisses it down all day, every day. And my Dad was born at the cottage hospital in Urmston, so you’d think he’d know.

Anyway, this blog entry is a vain attempt to prove that we did have some sunshine this summer. Milo and I went to Castlefield one afternoon, not so much to sample the Roman ruins or to stumble over the remnants of Manchester’s industrial past, but to meet Simon, eat pizza and have a pint. Obviously, Milo didn’t partake of the pint but he did munch the pizza crust (after first having spat out the home-cooked food I’d carefully packed into a Tupperware box).

As it always is on a sunny day, the beer garden at Dukes 92 was packed with after work drinkers, families, local residents and the odd gaggle of short-skirted girls on their way to Deansgate Locks. We sat feeling the sun on our faces while Milo regurgitated his lentil bake. We tried not to stare at the couple on the adjacent table who were clearly (and awkwardly) on a first date. We ate and drank and talked and mucked about like we’d always done.

Sitting there in the sun, meeting Simon after work for a drink: it was like normal life had flooded back in after the chaos wrought by our newborn son. And the oddest thing was that I didn’t really want life to go back to normal because that would mean that those crazy, sleep deprived and strangely wonderful early months of Milo’s life were already over. It would mean that he’d stopped being a baby and was on his way to becoming a boy. A proper little lad.

I tipped my head back and felt the heat of the sun on my face. And then a shadow passed over; I squinted up at the sky.

‘Is that a cloud up there?’ I asked.

‘Yup,’ said Simon. ‘Looks like rain.’

Ratings (Dukes 92). Babychanging facilities: Yes. Cafe: Yes, with highchairs. Buggy-friendly? Yes. Cost: Free Worth it? Yes.

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