In a move to improve my lockdown exercise regime, along with subsequent imparting of stress therapy, GJ Strachan is contemplating purchasing a heavy duty punchbag. Preferably, around six foot in height, ground based footings and of robust constitution.

Blimey, while articulating the previous sentence, it felt like yours truly was penning a half-assed lonely hearts ad….. Although I do prefer my women to have their feet on the floor and display a strong constitution, height is most definitely arbitrary.

I’ve never sought a relationship through the more popular lonely hearts conduits. For example, I’ve never tried the newish fad of attracting a suitor via speed dating.

The nearest this author’s been to that questionable approach was during my teens. A time when relationships tended to nosedive after 15 minutes of questioning a girl about incidents in last weeks football TV show Match of the Day……. The irony of Match of the Day inquisitions being a catalyst to my match of that day losing heart wasn’t lost on me.

I was never comfortable in the company of girls/women until my 30’s. Instead of being the jocular fella which my persona exhibited in male company, yours truly’s lack of confidence in female company led to withdrawal. As you can imagine, not a trait that attracts a lady; certainly not one seeking a long term relationship.

This coyness not aided by the fact I was slim, sometimes wore specs and couldn’t say the word ‘circumstances’ without becoming a stammering wreck. The latter something I grew out of in my twenties……. My only speech impediment these days is an inability to speak the word ‘thistle’ without a whistling suffix soundscape. A tic that renders me boiling kettle-like for a few seconds post utterance.

The fact I received a very strict catholic upbringing also made waves when forming a relationship as a teenager. We weren’t a catholic family, but I was taught sex before marriage was evil, along with watching neighbours undress through binoculars.

My interest in girls tainted by information that their genitals bore teeth. On eventually witnessing a lady garden for the first time, the absence of teeth leading me to the conclusion I’d been lied to, or the girl in question followed very lax dental practises.

Consequently, boyhood relationships were fleeting and awkward. I did date a girl who’d been indoctrinated with similar strange ideologies on physical relationships. I’d been taught sex before marriage was wrong; she informed that sex before breakfast was immoral.

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As alluded to above, despite meeting my future wife at 19, I was never truly comfortable in female company until my 30s/40s. At that juncture I learned, although men are from Mars and women are from Venus, the two can cohabit on some level without constant recourse to tread on eggshells.

I met my spouse to be, Karen, when we were digging graves in a local church yard. The act wasn’t our occupation, we just shared the same macabre hobby. It was love at first dig, our eyes meeting timidly as she excavated the head of the grave, me the foot.

After an amicable few hours of removing soil and talking about last weeks Match of the Day, we swapped telephone numbers and went our separate ways. They weren’t our telephone numbers, but GJ Strachan deemed it a start.

I was so smitten with Karen her opinion that Leeds United’s Kevin Hird was offside when scoring last weeks goal against Brighton was shrugged aside without retaliatory comment. She escaping the defensive rant I’d usually afford a critic of my football team.

Anyhow, after a five year courtship, we married in 1988 (that’s Karen, not Kevin Hird) and had 30 years together through thick and thin…… Generally, thick!

.Me finally leaving my marital home in summer 2019 – The catalyst her appalling behaviour and antagonism following my father’s passing, along with post yours truly’s heart attack, in January that year.

I bear her no ill, apart from to tell her she was talking bollocks about Kevin Hird’s goal in 1982. After all, I’ve come out of the other side stronger, now knowing my true worth. Consequently, engaging with people of both sexes in the same manner.

I’m not, but if GJ Strachan was currently seeking a suitor, I’d avoid dating sites, preferring instead to get to know a person directly through social media or face to face. My moral compass parameters for a potential beau being that if they’ve not taken out a restraining order within three hours of meeting me, I’ve cracked it!