AT THE end of next month I will have been married for 48 years. Not bad, eh?
Even better than not bad when you consider I only knew the bloke for a few weeks before I married him.
I am often asked the cliched question: "What is the secret to a long marriage?"
My answer, perhaps not so cliched, is: "I have absolutely no idea. No clue. Don't ask me."
I guess all the more traditional answers of patience, acceptance and tolerance could apply, but not to me.
I have no patience, nor tolerance or acceptance. On the other hand, my bloke does. In spades.
So we are perfectly balanced.
If I was to really give it attention, unlayer the complexities of the question, pay it some serious thought, I'd say it is just a matter of good fortune.
A case of being lucky enough to land the right person and have him/her put up with you for decades.
That is the essence, simplistic it may be, of the secret to my long marriage.
What I can say is though, the longer you are married the nicer it gets.
When you reach an age where you have put up with each other for so long, when you have become used to, and have accepted, each other's quirks, foibles, faults and snoring, you start to really appreciate what you have.
When so many around you of a similar age are either on their own or looking for new love, and will never know the calm decades of familiarity brings, you start to think yourself lucky indeed.
As you dodder into old age with the same person, you find yourself strangely wanting more connection. (I speak for myself, sorry if you disagree.)
Doing tiny things for each other - bringing a cup of tea to the snorer who has kept you awake all night and has now slept in himself; ensuring the fridge is continuously stocked with her favourite wine; making sure he goes to the doctor when his cold lingers because he's a man and won't do it unless you insist - is kinda ordinary, ridiculously simple, but wondrously comforting.
People like to hear about others who have long marriages.
Don't we all go a little gooey inside when we read a story of a couple who have been married for 70 years?
And even moisten up in the eye at a photo of a very old couple holding hands and looking at each other with warmth and tenderness.
How about oldies kissing?
On a recent whirlwind trip around much of Europe, my old bloke and I caused a mini sensation (in our own little world) on Facebook by having a pash in front of iconic stuff and taking a selfie.
It started in Venice in front of St. Mark's after a long lunch with too much wine and the purchase of a selfie stick from one of the hundreds of hawkers about the place.
"Let's kiss while I hold the selfie stick," I said (slurringly) as we stood in front of the great basilica surrounded by pigeons.
It continued from there.
Mostly it worked out OK: a kiss in Dubrovnik in front of the clock tower, one in Rome with the Colosseum in the background, another in St. Peter's Square (a bit sacrilegious but it was a fake kiss), and one in Florence on the Ponte Vecchio.
We came a bit unstuck when we kissed beneath the towering Statue of David in the Palazzo della Signoria.
We thought it looked OK with our lips lightly locked, but David's willy hovering on top of our heads kind of spoilt the whole 'old people still kissing, ain't that sweet' thing.
If you think you can stomach it, find me on Facebook and see all the kissing against gorgeous backdrops.