Gaynor's Lifestyle Chat - February 2016

This month I wanted to touch on romance and relationships as, yes, it is the month of love. Regardless of my opinion on love and the dreaded Valentine's Day that comes and goes, in my case I was inside a Swiss glacier in Saas Fee, 4k meters above sea level, freezing this thing out, as I'm a singleton.

For the February 2016 Lifestyle Chat, I had the pleasure of interviewing a remarkable lady who had a relationship story about arranged marriages. Gita, originally from India, entered into an arranged marriage at the of age 20. I spoke with her - and what an incredible journey she has been on. Sadly, she is now divorced, but fit, well- and highly-educated, and able to tell her story in this short interview.

Here are some links for help and advice on arranged marriage. The UK also has many websites and helplines; just google 'help for arranged marriages'.

Relationships…hmmm… So what is a nuclear family? Traditionally, it was a husband, 2.2 kids and a cat down the road. Nowadays it's not just 2.2 kids, it's also a mortgage, ski lessons for the sprogs, iPads, iPhones, iEverything, sneakers in every colour and subscriptions to YouTube - which, I agree, is free.

Relationships come in many forms and even Queen Elizabeth of England has something fascinating to say on this: read here. I found this story so refreshing - if you didn't click on that link, her quote is 'same sex marriage is wonderful'. You may not know this, but the dear old Queen had to 'wet ink' her signature on the Royal Assent Law of her country, legalizing same sex marriage in 2015. 'Hurraaah' is all I can say (in an very posh voice). Rock on Queenie!

The next inspiring thing this month: this TED talk, which brought me to tears. Harvard always gets it right.

So if we believe in surrounding ourselves with people and being part of a community, why are so many people in relationship hell? I see this circle of reality TV Z-listers constantly having sex with each other - is life really only about being with somebody? What about taking time for yourself? I'm one of those annoying people who love themselves and are happy alone. So there.

Now that that's cleared up, remember one of the big scandals of the 90s?

It was the story of Monica Lewinsky, the 22-year-old who fell for her boss - hint for the younger crowd: he was the President of the USA, good old Bill Clinton. This scandal went viral before viral ever existed. Listen to the now 41-year-old Monika on TED telling her story. 20 years on, Monika still seems to suffer despite this fantastic speech. What I love about her is that she survived. Bravo, girl!

And to wrap it all up -

Inspirational quote of the month:

If you find good friends who swear like troopers, drink like sailors and have the same mental condition as you, don't ever let them go as they are your tribe.

Basel region tip for February 2016:

Body Shop opens on 25 February 2016 just over the borders in Lörrach, Germany. Bucketloads of tax-free treats!

Best person on You Tube February 2016:

Casey Neistat: funky, fun and fast. Subscribe here - I did.

Health tip for February 2016:

Has to be eating vegan. If you are not vegan, this bad-ass blondie will slaughter you. I'm secretly addicted to Freelee the Banana Girl. Some of her graphic content makes a serious point, but she does swear like a sailor, so be warned.

I hope this post has helped some of you understand that relationships can be unconventional and you do your own thing in the end. Always love yourself and take care about who you are sleeping with tonight. Now where is my cat down the road?

- Gaynor xxx