One for the girls - I've noticed recently that there is a distinct difference between going to the shops and going shopping. The first implies a quick trip with the express purpose of buying something - toiletries, perhaps? But something specific. The second is more general - a browse around clothes shops or looking for Christmas presents.
For the first, you may take a man along; for the latter, you go alone or with girlfriends.
Now I'm not sexist, really I'm not, but if I go into town with my husband in tow, he'll trail around behind me looking like a bored toddler. I can't browse clothes, weigh up the merits of leggings or jeans or try on underwear in M&S. After ten minutes I feel guilty and I'm trying to persuade him to go and look in man-shops. But he's not interested in clothes and B&Q isn't within walking distance.
There are dozens (and I'm not exaggerating) of empty shops in our town centre - possibly due to the fact that they keep knocking things down and "redeveloping". Which in planning-speak means: yes, we're going to give you another supermarket. We have Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Sainsburys, a large co-op that used to be Somerfields and a brand new Waitrose. And they've just promised us an Asda. In a small market town. Can you tell how excited I am?
But I digress. Why doesn't some bright spark open up one of these empty shops as a man-creche? Think how useful it'd be with Christmas coming up. You'd need a few comfy sofas and a tea machine (a bar with beer for the ones who aren't driving). Food of sorts - cheese and onion pasties and bacon sandwiches would probably be fine. Chuck some lads mags and Maplin catalogues on a coffee table. Add a large television with Sky Sports and playstation or two in the corner. Maybe some flat-pack furniture for them to play with.
They'd be happy. We'd be happy. And everybody wins!