Out of all the jokes I crack about being a shit girlfriend but an amazing wife, there’s certainly some truth to it.

Early in my writing career, I had a very brilliant mentor – a lovely Australian man around 70 years old back then. When he introduced me to people, he would say “Meet Gretchen, she’s hard and fast.”

Some people would give me dirty looks when he said this, others would stare at me blankly with a crooked nod. But he was right, I am hard and fast. Life it too short to waste time.

My first husband and I married after ten weeks and it lasted ten years. The only reason it didn’t work was fate. It took me about three years of torturing myself to get that.

Then there was the time I married a stranger for three weeks, just because I could. I don’t really count that as anything though – other than unnecessary stress. Maybe a few decent poems came from it.

I’ve had a swirl of love affairs since, similar to matches. Quick to strike and fast to blow out. There’s a certain chemistry to love, I believe. You can’t force it, you can’t make anyone feel it for you and if it isn’t instant on both sides, in my opinion – it’s just a matter of time.

I fell in love with the Italian luthier at first sight. Hands down. And all of the others just fell to the side. I spent this morning deleting and blocking numbers in my phone. There’s only one person I want to communicate with.

Nothing beats the clarity of a much needed holiday.

I knew in my bones, since I was a little girl, my life would be spent with someone; and that when we met, it would take off like a shot. I also knew I wasn’t going to end up with an American man. While these beliefs may have knocked me around a bit with the wrong people – I finally found the right one.