Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Marathon Training- 10 things

This week marks the half way point of my 500 mile running challenge to raise money and awareness for the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. My fellow dressmakers.

You can read more about it here:

Today I wrote a list of 10 things I've experienced and observed during marathon training. 
Here it is:

Marathon Training- 10 things

1. Be grateful

Last year I ran for cancer research. When I was heading out for a 3 hour run on a Sunday when my mates were in the pub I wrote the names of friends who’d died from cancer on my hand in biro. When I felt pissed off or questioned why I was doing this I just glanced at my hand and instantly thought how dare I not cherish every step, every breath, every heartbeat. This is my choice and my privilege.
This year I am running for War on want, specifically for the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.
When I finish a long day at work and have to go back out in the cold to run, I think of the people who lost limbs, or family members when the factory collapsed. I think of people still working in horrific conditions, sleeping under sewing machines, surviving poverty and malnutrition everyday and I think how dare I not cherish my choice and my privilege every single moment of it. 
Some people would give anything to be able to go out in the rain and run.

2. Race no one but your self.

Everyone is different in ability, experience and physiology.

Jay and Theodore know.....

“When I do the best I can with what I have, then I have won my race”- Jay Foonberg. 72 year old runner

“Comparison is the thief of joy”- Theodore Roosevelt.

3. Anyone can complete a marathon if they want to.

Anyone can. Seriously, I truly believe that with out exception. Anyone. Can.

4. There are moments of pure joy in long runs.

Like being in that perfect stage of gleeful drunkenness with your very best mates or that gorgeous comfy best lie-in in the world feeling you get (usually only just before you have to get up and go to work).  Like being in love, when you physically can’t get the smile off your face.
Proper euphoria!
That exact feeling sometimes washes over you when you run, and every fibre of your being buzzes with contentment.…Honestly!

5. You are capable of more than you think.

I thought it would be the hardest thing I’d ever done. I thought it would be my most difficult mental fight. It was no walk in the park, but in reality it wasn’t that hard. I’ve run harder half marathons. The training was the key.
You can train for anything in life you just need patience, determination, flexibility, desire and a good work ethic.

6. It can make your life easier.

Marathon training makes you fitter, stronger, more capable, more organised, more focused and more accepting of things outside of your control. 
All that stuff makes life easier.

7. People either massively under estimate or over estimate the distance and your ability.

People who have never run a marathon (me previously included) commonly think either; it’s an impossible distance, which you need to be super human to run or that it’s not really that far…neither of these is true.

8. There are probably more efficient ways to raise money for charity…

But, challenging yourself physically and mentally over a period of time helps you relate to the struggles of others on some level, it develops empathy. It also builds self-esteem, inspires people and can have a domino effect. It is worthwhile.

9. Exercising outdoors in winter stops you getting sick.

I’ve had 2 colds in 3 years.  I used to get loads more! It’s really very good for your immune system…Honestly!

10. Running will not necessarily make you loose weight. 

I weigh the same, perhaps I’m a little leaner, but I weigh exactly the same.

Many of life’s lessons are in that training.

It’s a rollercoaster…
Triumphs, disappointments, setbacks, achievements, overcoming adversity, learning when to stop and when to push through, joy, sorrow, elation, devastation, strength, weakness, empathy, introversion, horror, happiness, pain, euphoria, transcendence, humility and pride. You will likely feel it all.

There will be many times when your body and mind will tell you that you can’t run a marathon but there will be a lifetime knowing that you have. 

Photo taken at mile 25 Brighton Marathon 2014

Monday, 10 March 2014

Weight On Your Mind?

For some unfathomable reason most people assume that all brides lose weight before their wedding days.

They don’t.

Everyone knows how hard it is to lose weight, right?

Even if you have no personal experience of trying to lose a few pounds yourself, you must be aware of the struggles of people around you. In fact, it seems how fat or thin people are is the only thing certain (terribly dull) TV channels and magazines ever report about!

We can be absolutely certain that losing weight is hard to do if you are overweight to begin with. We can be equally certain that if you begin with a healthy BMI it is even harder.

I’m no clinician. I don’t have any training in nutrition or exercise or biology. But I do have extensive experience of dealing with women. Women of every conceivable shape, size, age and attitude who are all thinking about looking their very best for their imminent wedding days and special occasions. 
A lot of them are trying to lose weight regardless of whether they need to for heath reasons or not. 

Most of them do not succeed.

Over the last 20 weeks I have been training for a marathon. This has involved consistently running 100 miles a month and expending an extra 5000 calories a week exercising. On the advice of my coach I have also been writing down everything I eat and drink.
During the course of my training plan my calorie expenditure has gone up dramatically and my intake has stayed roughly the same, as has my weight.


This is a perfect illustration of how brilliant our amazing bodies are!
My body has adapted perfectly to my increased training regime and held on to all the energy it needs to keep me fit and healthy throughout it.

Brides have brilliant, amazing bodies too. 
When a bride is a healthy weight to begin with but decides to eat less or exercise more in order to become smaller for her wedding day, (which baffles me for many reasons but not least because presumably her fiance didn’t require her to be smaller before he proposed, did he?), her body will behave in the same way as mine has. It will work its little socks off to keep her safe and healthy and hold on to every little calorie it can for dear life!

A healthy body is a perfect body.

Your body is amazing! If you are lucky, it is moving you around, enabling you to see, hear, smell, touch, taste and do fabulous things!

Please be grateful for it, please try to love it and look after it, and if you really can’t bring yourself to love your brilliant body just yet, then keep trying to focus on all its wonderful positive attributes and at the very, very least, PLEASE! don’t EVER actively or verbally hate your brilliant body in front of your daughters.

All of womankind will thank you for it.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Buy Less and Value More


I just watched Panorama’s ‘Dying For A Bargain’ on BBC iPlayer.
Like everyone, I was utterly appalled and devastated by the dreadful images in the newspapers after the catastrophic factory collapse in Bangladesh on April 24th, where over a thousand workers died.
This is the real cost, the human cost of cheap clothing.
I first started to really think about the people who make the clothes for our western high streets when I saw Stacey Dooley in ‘Blood, Sweat and T-shirts’ on BBC 3 in 2008.
It was a year after I launched my bespoke clothing label and I was sewing for up to 80 hours a week.
It was hard work! I was tired, my back hurt, I was seeing a chiropractor twice a week and alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen every 2 hours just to meet deadlines. Despite how hard I was working, I was barely making my rent and having to work lunch times at my local pub to make ends meet.
While working like that in a cramped box room with a sewing machine found in a skip, I was planning my empire. The plan was: Build a brand by making couture quality garments for bespoke clients, hone my skills as a designer by working with all kinds of body shapes, learn about flattering silhouettes, perfect my patterns, and then launch a ready to wear range, get my clothes made in a factory (no more back ache!) and make my fortune!
It honestly never occurred to me that someone else’s back would take the brunt when I was no longer making my own clothes. Of course I knew sweatshops and slave labour existed but, even though I sew myself, I never really thought about the factory made garments I saw in high street shops as being made in the same way as I would make them in my workshop.
My old boss at Special Sauce once told me that a pair of Levi jeans takes 8 minutes to get from denim on a roll to finished garment; pressed, labeled, tagged and packed into a shipping container.
I had images of fantastical machines like laser cutters and automatic sewing machines with robot arms churning out thousands of pairs of jeans a day while smiling factory workers stood around and happily pressed buttons. One day they would be able to make my designs and I could slash my prices and still make a profit and we’d all live happily ever after.
After all, laser cutters do exist. I saw once one on a school trip to a bra factory in Kingswood. Incidentally, soon after my visit, the factory and the laser moved to China where, I assumed, Chinese people would be working in the same conditions as the people in Kingswood. Only they’d be paid less, which was fine because their cost of living was less, so we got cheaper bras and Chinese people got jobs and earned a good living. Winner! Right?
The reality is that there are no magic machines making your cheap clothes!
There are people. 
People whose skilled labour and human rights are grossly undervalued.
It is only our warped perception that makes us think that a lawyer, plumber or builder’s skilled time is worth more than a dressmaker's.
We as a nation have completely lost touch with the reality of the man hours involved in producing almost everything we consume. My whole career I have had my time undervalued because people see cheap garments in shops and make ridiculous assumptions about what is involved in producing them.
I went to an exhibition of 17th Century fashion at the Queen’s Gallery recently and was initially disappointed to discover that it was mostly paintings and only a handful of original garments. Seventeenth century garments are incredibly rare, mostly because they were so, so expensive that they would be used and used and used until they literally disintegrated.
An embroidered jacket in the 1600’s would have been worth as much as a house! And do you know what? Such an intricate garment would probably be worth as much today in terms of man hours.
My Dad buys his jeans for £9 in Asda. So when I told him a jacket I made for a client recently cost £2000 he shouted “HOW MUCH?! I’d plaster a house for that!”
I asked him how long it would take to plaster a house. The answer was about the same time as it took me to make the jacket.
We compared hands, we both have calluses, mine from scissors, his from plastering. We both have backache and wrinkles around our eyes from squinting and laughing. We both worked hard for a fair but modest wage our whole lives and aren’t we the lucky ones!
Make no mistake, that jacket you’re wearing was made by a person, not a machine and it wasn’t an easy job. So if you paid very little for it then you can be sure that the person who made it for you is at best not having a very nice time right now and at worst is in mortal danger.
With this is mind, the very concept of ‘throw away fashion’ is abhorrent.
Do you remember when we all began to realise the implications of our eggs being produced in battery farms? Now we all check the labels and buy free range, don’t we? Don’t most of us buy fair trade coffee now that we understand how terribly the coffee growers were being robbed?
It’s about time we all realise that people are being exploited so we can buy clothes for impossibly low prices.
It’s about time we understand the real cost of cheap fashion.
In the words of a clothing factory manager, “For western buyers, price comes first, quality second and human rights are at the bottom of the pile.”
The closing statement form a Bangladeshi woman on the Panorama programme was, “You need to figure out a crazy way to find cheap clothing which is not killing people.”
I’ve got a better idea. How about we start to rediscover out relationship with how things are actually made, re-evaluate our perception of what things are worth, recognise the human cost of producing cheap things for us to consume and begin to buy less and value more.

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Woman I Always Wanted To Be:

I was running on the downs yesterday and I had this feeling flash over me:

I am the woman I always wanted to be.

I’m not her everyday, I’m sometimes not her for weeks or even months on end. If I'm honest there have been periods of time that have lasted years when she has eluded me completely.
But this is not the first time I have become her, I have been her in the past and right in that moment, yesterday on the downs, I felt like I was her again and I was happy.

The woman I always wanted to be is a changeable aspiration, I have had her in my mind for almost as long as I remember, from about the age of six I would say.
She has been a graceful ballet dancer, an ambulance driver, a perfectly groomed business executive, a blond, a competent fearless explorer, a fashion editor, a well read intellectual, a mother and more recently; a calm, centred island, unaffected by trivialities, non judgemental and confident in her opinions, healthy in body and mind.

Please don’t miss understand me, I am not professing to be a calm, centred island, unaffected by trivialities, non judgemental and confident in my opinions, healthy in body and mind. But yesterday there was a moment when I felt that I was all of those things, just for a moment.

It is interesting how the woman I always wanted to be has developed and evolved. I used to be able to see her clearly; what she looked like, the clothes she wore how she wore her hair, where she lived…Right now she only has traits I aspire to, she doesn’t have a physical appearance or a particular career or home just an inner calm and a happy self confidence.

I’m sure as eggs are eggs that just as she has changed her form several times already she will go through many more metamorphosis in my life time.

In order to feel content I think our job is to accept that the woman we always wanted to be is changeable. accept that we will never be her all of the time. Keep chasing those moments when we become her and try to and make them as frequent as possible.
Work at it, be disciplined, admit and learn from mistakes, don't feel defeated when she eludes you for a while and always welcome her in to your life.

Do this and there is a jolly good chance that on occasion, the woman you always wanted to be will be you :-)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Reluctant Fashionista

Never let it be said that I am a fashion expert. I am not.
I am concerned with style.
Style is only occasionally, and not inextricably related to fashion. I am not now, nor have I ever been a ‘fashion type’
I have absolutely no interest what so ever in what is ‘in fashion’.
I place great importance on confidence, self-esteem, self worth, happiness and health.
What concern me in sartorial terms are workmanship, cut, proportion, comfort, quality, individuality and flattering silhouettes.
(And glamour and glitter...But mostly only on a weekend and not at the expense of all of the above ;-)

I know it’s been a really long time since I have posted anything here but I haven’t stopped writing. I have simply stopped publishing.
I suppose I had a crisis of confidence over what I am actually doing here.

As I have said before, the fashion industry is a bitch. It tells you what to wear and then slags you off for looking crap in it. It gives you unachievable goals and makes you feel inadequate. It suggests that you compare yourself to ethereal, other worldly, oddly tall teenagers with impossibly perfect skin and obscene salaries.
I don’t want to tell you what to wear or what size to be or how high your heels should be or how to wear your hair, I want you to be free from thinking that any of these things matter in the least tiny bit as long as you are healthy and happy.
But. I don’t want the fashion houses to stop using astonishingly beautiful girls in their campaigns either. I don’t want them to stop showing us high, high-end luxury that none of us will ever be able to afford. It is their job to give us beautiful things to be in awe of and to be inspired by. They are the peddlers of grown up fairy tales, storybook nonsense which is delightful and pretty and gay, the stuff of day dreams and misty eyed wistfulness.

If only people could just see it for what it is. A fairy tale, a silly nonsense which has little relevance to real life but which, if we are lucky, we can dip into occasionally and have fun with.

If we place the blame for our poor body image and low self esteem at the door of the fashion media then I'm afraid that Hans Christian Anderson will have to answer for the fact that we compare our boyfriends to prince charming.

I want people to accept, and make the very best of, the life they have instead of mourning for one they don’t. 
I want people, individuals, (not the fashion industry) to stop placing so much emphasis on how they look or what brand of handbag they carry or what generation their iphone is.
It’s appalling that the most revered men and women in our society are models and pop stars and footballers. Why are our sons and daughters not aspiring to scientists and surgeons? writers and philosophers? Or even aspiring to just do well at something they care about?

The message is if you are not beautiful you are worthless and I want no part of that. 

In reality, the only person who can make you feel inadequate is yourself.

If you know that you are making the very best of yourself in your own image then it doesn’t matter how many airbrushed photos of 14 year old waifs or perfectly groomed celebrities you see…your armour will be impenetrable and you will feel genuinely fabulous at least some of the time.

I don't pretend to be a glamour puss. I am one. 
But then, I am a lot of things....
I love dressing up, and sequins, and lipstick and big hair inherently. Obviously I do, but not all of the time.
I don't wear makeup to work half the time let alone to the gym! I hardly ever style my hair before 7pm and I love my sheepskin slippers (I don't even own a pair of fluffy mules!)

I am not defined by the way I look. There are more important things in life than fashion and make up, glitter even, (though probably not many)
I frequently run into my ex boyfriend whilst wearing a three year old comfy jumper and without a scrap of make up on and it honestly doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I remember not so long ago I bumped into an acquaintance at a cocktail party, “Gilly, darling! You look gorgeous as always.” She said as she kissed my cheek “how ever do you manage to look so glamorous ALL the time?”
Before I could answer…(“Because ALL the times you’ve seen me I’ve been at a cocktail party…”) Jase chimed in.
“There’s no in between with ‘er luv, she either looks like a movie star or a bag lady.”

He’s right of course. I never do things by halves.

Monday, 25 October 2010

How Luxury Lost It's Lustre:

"Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury--to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for every one, best for both the body and the mind.” - Albert Einstein

A diamond: The ultimate luxury item, an age old symbol of wealth, beauty,
perfection, love...The traditional engagement gift, excepted as a token of a promise to spend eternity with someone.

A diamond takes over a billion years to form, they are impossibly rare and difficult to obtain These qualities mirror the enormity of the commitment of marriage, the rarity of true love.

What makes one diamond better than another? the clarity? the cut? the number of carats?

All of these things, but actually I would argue that it goes much deeper than that...Where did it come from?
You can now buy man made diamonds that are manufactured in laboratories and all over Africa diamonds are being illegally traded to fund conflict in war torn areas.
Is a diamond still a symbol of wealth, beauty, perfection, love... if it has been synthetically produced in a matter of days instead of naturally evolving over billions of years? Can you still wear it with pride knowing that it’s sale has funded weapons which have killed innocent people?

To me a diamond the size of agrain of sand which is a naturally formed conflict free miracle of nature would be of far more value than a huge rock of a blood diamond or a man made impostor stone.

I believe that the defining features of a true luxury product are all about where it has come from and how it was made.

In Edwardian times hand made lace was valued as much as rare and expensive gem stones and precious metals. It can take a skilled worker up to a day to make a daisy the size of a postage stamp.
On a recent visit to a lace museum I was lucky enough to hold in my hands a piece of lace that would have taken a collective of several workers many years to make.
This particular piece of lace was produced some time in the late 1800‘s, a wealthy merchant had offered to pay £500 for it and was turned down. At the time £500 would have bought 10 houses.
I studied the stitch work carefully and remember remarking that, to me, the creation of that lace flounce, (about a meter wide and maybe ten meters long) was as much a feat of human achievement as building a beautiful cathedral.

The very idea that a team of women would sit and painstakingly weave hundreds of bobbins into minute knots for years and years to produce a flounce for a skirt is almost as ridiculous as it is awe inspiring, but there it is. Luxury is rarely practical.
In the 1920’s when a Couture house wanted a perfume designed they would arrange to meet a ‘nose’ for a decadent lunch often accompanied by fine wine. During this meeting the house would discuss the mood of the perfume with the
‘nose’ as well as what the scent should evoke, who it should represent and how it should relate to their brand.
Sometimes design and packaging may also be discussed.
A few weeks later The parties would arrange a second meeting and the house would hand pick a scent to represent their brand. The scent would be made up of flowers, spices and a base of orange water or rose water.
Chanel No 5 was the 5th scent presented to Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel by her ‘nose’

Most luxury brands today do not own, create, manufacture or distribute their perfumes,
Now a days laboratories make generic chemical bases infused with mostly synthetic scents and keep them in storage until a designer picks one, there is no longer the tailor made process to achieve just the right scent and essence. It’s now just a matter of choosing something that hasn’t already been chosen by someone else.

I agree that these processes by todays standards seem almost ludicrously labour intensive but that is the very essence of what makes them luxury.
We have so much available to us now that we forget how little it is really worth, and more importantly, what the real cost in terms of humanity is.

Our clothes are made in sweat shops our food is farmed and unethical, we waste unthinkable amounts of everything every day when the people working in appalling conditions to produce it all for us have nothing.

The truth is, few of us understand quality artisan craftsmanship nowadays because few of us ever experience it. How can we see an eau du toilet as substandard to an eau du parfume if eau du toilet is all we have ever smelt, how can we appreciate the skill and hours it takes to french seam bias cut silk chiffon by hand when we have bought a vaguely similar looking garment from Primark for less than £30?
It takes just 8 minutes to make a pair of Levis 501’s from cloth on a roll to garment labeled and ready to ship. By contrast it takes me around 18 hours to make a bespoke pair of jeans, I can not even argue that mine will last longer or be better finished, they wont, I don’t have industrial machines that ensure perfect lock stitching and super strong rivets, I make by hand and my product is fragile but it is also unique and that is what makes it valuable.

Luxury products are not practical, or necessary, or utility.

They are fragile, rare treasures, little pieces of history, pieces that have an extraordinary back ground, that only exist because someone cared enough to produce them for the sheer joy of making something beautiful.

True luxury items have no real use other than to seduce, but they can inspire absolute joy.

Boutique businesses are kept alive by those who understand, appreciate and can afford the best that money can buy.

Our high street is saturated with fake luxury products that are designed to kid us into thinking we are living the high life but buying home made bread from a bakery where you can see the flour on the apron of the person who baked it, where
you can feel the heat from the oven it came from, where you can hear tales of secret family recipes handed down through generations. That is far more satisfying than buying a ‘luxury’ loaf from Tesco’s finest or Sainsbury’s taste the difference range.

If it’s not artisan produced, it’s not true lux, if it is available in abundance, it’s not artisan produced, it stands to reason. You can’t buy luxury from a chain store.
Why is there a waiting list for Hermes and no other handbag maker?
Because Hemes still use artisan workmanship exclusively. Without exception every Hermes bag is made to individual customer spec by one person by hand, the only thing machine stitched is the inside pocket and sometimes the zip.
The top stitching on an Hermes bag is done by hand, using a traditional saddle stitch and two extra long pieces of thread so that there are never any knots or joins visible in the stitching.
Hermes is such a famous brand name that they could buy a factory in China begin mass production and increase sales (and profits) phenomenally over night. But they don't, because Hermes understands the value of what it is to be a true Luxury brand producing true Luxury products.

Status should always be a by product of quality and not the other way around.
A companies success should always be down to product initially, not marketing.

I realise that this post is romantic and perhaps a little nostalgic, please don't misunderstand it.
Our modern high street offers affordability, choice and convenience in abundance and that's great, I embrace it, but it is harder to find the really special things nowadays and perhaps, harder still, to appreciate them.

Next time you treat your self something special just have a think about where it may have come from first. You never know, that 'special treat' may just lose it's lustre right before your eyes.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Last Single Girl?:

"Once upon a time a man asked a girl to marry her. She said “No!” and she lived happily ever after in a lovely tidy house where she never cooked and always looked fabulous.”
After complimenting me on my achievements as a young business women a married man recently said to me:

“Gill, can I ask you a personal question?”
“Of course” I replied a little nervously.
“What about babies?” he said looking worried as if he was frightened for me.

My response? A raised eyebrow and look of utter confusion.

There are two answers to that question if you are single and in your 30’s, one is, “I don’t want kids.” the other is, “I hope I will have kids one day”. Neither ever seems quite satisfactory.

It’s not like I have this perfect man who is waiting for me to be ready to start a family and I’m just ‘choosing’ not to be with him for the sake of my career. Though the amount of times I get asked that question (or similar questions such as “Don’t you want to get married?”) you’d think that that was the case.
Is it really still considered that at my age, if I want a baby I should just take what I can get and marry the first man who’s willing?

I’m not making a conscious choice not to ever have babies and I’m aware of the fact that time is ticking, but short of marrying a man I’m not in love with or running screaming to the sperm bank (before which I would probably have to rob an actual bank) what on earth choice do I have?

Then there is the sympathetic cock of the head accompanied by “awww, you’ll find someone honey” (usually in a baby voice) *puke*. Talk about patronizing!

What about the fact that I am a well rounded confident and self sufficient human being who feels perfectly complete just as she is. What about a “well done for not choosing the wrong guy” or “congratulations on avoiding a divorce.”?

It’s not as if I haven’t tried, I go on dates, I’ve done the internet thing and I’ve had a great time, I’ve had long term relationships and short term relationships and I’ve worked at them. and (with an inevitable couple of exceptions) we are all still friends. It just hasn’t worked out.

What if I don’t find ‘him’, what if I am all there is in my future? Is that so terrible? Is that a reason to feel sorry for me? I don’t feel sorry, I feel fabulous!

And why shouldn’t I?

I have a career that I love, amazing friends who I adore and a tight family unit. I feel secure and loved and lucky every day. What more could anyone ask for?

A while ago I read a wonderful piece of research by an American genealogist which suggested that our genetics could pre-dispose our relationship patterns. She claimed to have found a gene that could be linked to commitment phobia. She went on to explain that in ancient caveman tribes not everyone would have paired up. There would have been monogamous couples who bought up Children in a family unit and there would have been others who may have remained single to play other roles in the community.
Instead of spending time raising infants the singles could be, for example, inventing things and perfecting skills for the good of the tribe.

The research suggests that with out the dictations of our modern society there might be many more bachelors and bachelorettes knocking around happily leading perfectly fulfilled lives without a spouse or children.

Maybe that is my destiny, maybe not, but I’m happy to go with the flow on this one. I won’t have a baby because society suggests that I must to fulfill my role as a woman.

Earlier this year Venue magazine published a piece in their Valentines issue profiling happy successful South West singles...I was one of them...The head line was: “Sartorially Sassy Gill Cockwell - Single Fashion designer from Bristol.”

A local radio station saw the article and asked to interview me live on air. During the interview they suggested that I could not be truly happy on my own and that I must feel a little sad about not having a partner to spend Valentines day with. I argued that whilst I love being part of a couple and I am in no way dismissing the benefits of being in a loving relationship I also genuinely relish my time being single, I don’t feel that I’m missing out and there are many wonderful benefits to being on your own too.
You have to agree that it is perfectly possible to be happy without a significant other in your life, the alternative is utterly destructive.
My lifestyle suits me. I’m more productive, more flexible and more available to my friends and my work, I find it bizarre to have to justify being happy without a boyfriend.

It should come as no surprise to those who know me when I write that there are many crystals in my life... crystal encrusted ball gowns, crystal encrusted jewelry a drag queen named Crystal...and, (before I accidentally smashed them) I did own a couple of crystal champagne flutes once...But. I don’t own (or have access to) a crystal ball. Therefore, I am afraid I am unable to tell you weather or not I will ever marry or have children.

But. I can tell you this: I am, genuinely happy, just as I am.
Now, can someone tell me; Why is that so hard to believe?