learning from the man crèche


Waiting for a train, reading a notice board on the platform. It’s a real curiosity generator.

It seems, just within a mile or two of this platform, I can join a talk on the Inter City story hosted by the local Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Who knew such things existed, or that experts travelled to tell the story of the creation of this brand?

I can donate £5 to buy a brick to help extend the local primary school – perhaps a reflection of the slow decay of government as the inexorable demands for funding grow in all quarters and increasingly cannot be met?

I can get my bike serviced with options ranging from a ‘tune up’, through a ‘full monty’, to a ‘strip and rebuild’ – there was a time a full monty might have been all in, but now a strip costs more.

I can join a debate on Georgian Kitchens and Cookery, hosted by the Local History Society – is that a debating topic? I’m not sure I’d have much to argue?

But the notice that most intrigues me is the Man Crèche.

The term crèche might normally be equated with children and I love this notion that one exists for fully grown men. The poster asks, “Is he getting under your feet?” It goes on to suggest, “Leave him with us. We’ll look after him.” Apparently, “All he needs is his pocket money.”  There are poker nights, curry nights and, most intriguingly, a pie night which incorporates a gravy boat challenge. I’m hooked by the gravy boat challenge. Games for men. Opportunities for men to play with men. How fabulous.

Ideas that shake up norms. That challenge our thinking, question convention. These are useful. They generate new possibilities, new thinking, new learning for us.

Taking a word like crèche and juxtaposing it with another people group. Juxtapolicious!


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