The meaning of life comes down to that magical, mystical feeling called love

Love is like fish n chips, it fills the spot

I bumped into a friend down at the shops in the car park. Not literally, of course, although it should be noted that some of those car parks are very squeezy.

Negotiating them is an exercise in civility. When feeling vexed it is good to remember that St Augustine said the reward of patience is patience (Does anyone else find that irritating? A tad sanctimonious?).

Anyhoo, my friend told me it was her 72 year wedding anniversary. Now there's an example of patience. That's more than the Queen and Prince Phillip and my friends didn't have staff or a royal allowance to take the edge off.

What does it take to have longevity in relationship? A lot of patience, overlooking, humour, and space?

Of course, academics have looked into it and the research tells us people who are married live longer than those divorced, widowed or separated.

Men benefit greatly from marriage. They eat better, have a more supportive lifestyle and are more likely to exercise.

The data on same sex marriage is still being collected, but it is likely that the benefits of stability and companionship are the same. Friendship networks and community are important but, research says, positive family connections have greater lasting health benefits than friends.

So be nice to your family, folks, even the family members you are not too keen on. It's good for you!

When it comes down to it, its love, innit? That magical, mystical, intensely significant feeling that gives meaning and depth to life.

Gravestones never have epitaphs about work achievement or amounts of stuff acquired, they are all about love. There is a strong, basic human instinct to look for love and the joy and comfort it brings.

The online dating sites are busy with people of all ages and inclinations looking for connection. Some are looking for sensation it is true, but it's love we seek. Someone who sees us. Loves us. Accepts us.

My friend said she was off to get her husband's favourite meal - fish and chips. He was well pleased.

I asked her how it was they managed.

She smiled and said, 'he's a nice man. He's kind. He helps me. I like his company. I always have.'

There we have it. Love and wisdom in a car park with a parcel of fish and chips.