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Men get a creche course in shopping

All men should be locked up. For at least a couple of hours a week, anyway. Preferably on a Saturday afternoon when their women are trying to do the essential shopping.

When I read about a Manchester shopping centre offering creche services for men, I thought it was a marvellous idea. My boyfriend is mad about trains and suddenly I imagined him whizzing around on Thomas the Tank Engine with a balloon in one hand and a big sticky lollipop in the other.

Then I realised that this creche wasn't full of teddies and ball crawls, but more of a place where long-suffering partners of shopaholics can retreat to and play electronic games or enjoy a neck massage.

Well, isn't it about time somebody thought of something for the men to do while the women shopped? It's not enough to put 'boyfriend' chairs outside changing cubicles any more. Men look silly sitting in them, their legs and arms crossed and a look of boredom etched on their faces.

Believe me, I know a thing or two about these partners who are dragged around stores on Saturday afternoons as I used to work as a manager in the ladieswear section of a big department store.

Men would wait outside the changing rooms in a coma-like state.

I used to redirect them over to the homeware section to check out the duvets instead! And as for the men who would spend hours in the ladies underwear department, sheepishly looking through rails of bras? Well, I never could understand it.

I hope the creche is a success and that the men are happy there. I wonder, do they accept more mature men, too? My dad is in his 60s and I would gladly lock him up rather than take him shopping with me. The one time we did go shopping he told me everything was a 'holy show' on me and said that nearly everything made me look fat. The shop assistant was so shocked I'm sure she, too, would have gladly bundled my dad into the nearest creche and thrown away the key!

I do think creches are wonderful. My son, Gary, uses them. They are very strict, though, on insisting that the person who signs him in is the same person signing him out again. I wonder, will this rule apply to the men, too?

If I don't fancy taking mine back, can I sign out somebody else's man instead? And what about the women? I think the Aviva Stadium should build an adjoining creche for wives and girlfriends. It would do well during the rugby.

I'd love it. Just give me Vogue, a pair of fluffy slippers, rom coms, lots of sweeties and I promise to be as good as gold.