Easily swayed

Gently held

What am I?

Love or Illusion?


It’s either this is going to hurt you: see the tragic love saga in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, or this is going to heal you. Or at least that was our general sense whilst we re-visited the love commentary on the inside tracks of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 90s album.




Considering that my familiarity in these streets is with a particular brand of unwedded bliss that I have been familiar with all the days of my life until now. Why do I want something that I’ve even mildly protested in writing for the female empowered voice on The Girls Like Me?

I blame all my friends getting married.

I also blame myself, going off and falling in love.

seems marriage is the most normal, natural thing, right?

But how did they do it? This minority populace of tied to another human being have convinced all the rest of us all children, teenagers, mature and singles … basically everybody else, that they’ve got something we don’t. And the whole set-up isn’t even practical, I mean you have to mutually come to this conclusion of marriage with a whole other person with their own whole other plans and ambitions.

And so we dissect, with some help of-course: The National Geographic channel.

Apparently it is a natural construct of the animal world that a pack mentality ensures survival. The majority survives the predator. And so in the natural world, biological parents in male and female counterparts usually have a construct of protecting their offspring together: see male and female ostriches. Perhaps marriage is that construct for ourselves and our times, created to lure us into a sense of bliss towards protecting the familial unit, and ensuring the survival of the human race.

Marriage in Nigeria “gives unconventional women cover to be themselves”


But the eighties would suggest otherwise, as would my personal and specific niche upbringing in Judeo-Christian faith alongside British African influences.

It’s only as recently as the eighties when social trends saw wider shifts to those opting out for solo parenting or cohabitation over marriage, increasingly so in Scandinavian Europe.

Whereas I basically grew up with the constant reinforcing of the opposite of this, with my Nigerian upbringing bringing into focus the three most important life questions, “what grades did you get?”, ” did you go to church last week”, and lastly “when do you think you will get married?”. Which only distanced me from the very idea of it as I came to realise that frankly there were more things immediately relevant to a reader of books and receiver of fast facts.

Like, a beautiful and just world with little to no scarcity of any necessity.


Love Island, the people have spoken, and it will never end.

There is not a thing more unifying in modern Britain than this healthy bag of bizarrely fun and beautiful cast. Although someone at the ITVs’ brain child; in Britain the love lost are everyone’s children.

And the country rightly unites in their affection as the show progresses and on usually the most beset by misfortune child in the Casa D’amor.

Certainly gripping but maybe not quite the love we envisioned? Lots of sun, no clothes and lots of under the duvet action. We might be more partial to low-lit fires and snuggles for warmth.


Moving on, I met Anna Bell the Florist through a mutually known business owner over here in Leeds.

And from Anna’s planting, growing, herb-ing, flower-ing, in as much as this all caters to  the business side of things, there was so much to still be said for her love of the vibrant patch of land she grows all things. It gave me hope?

Anna takes us through some of this beautiful expanse of space that houses her gardens, her home and lovely cosy cottage that is her workshop space. The workshop space is complete with arty bohemian fixtures and practical fitted spot lights for just the right exposure to capture delicate floral images and designs.

I asked Anna a little lightheartedly on what she has come to love.

You can follow Anna Bell’s beautiful designs @annadbell_branchout on instagram.



Oh yes, back to the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill again.

Beautiful? To me yes. For me the link to marriage is one of hope and optimism within the narrative for love. Love says don’t give up on the lightness and fluff of humanity, and what surer sign is there: of not giving up, than making a life long commitment.

But perhaps that’s just me.

And closing with what we we’re reading for this issue;

The unexpected Joy of being single, Catherine Gray

The French Gardner, Santa Montefiore


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