I am prepared to admit that my favourite, and only, soap opera is The Archers on BBC Radio 4.

(The programme has been on air since January 1951 though I’ve only been a fan since the mid-seventies!)

Nearly 30 years ago Jill Archer, the matriarch of the family, was advising one of her troubled offspring on relationships and offered the insight:

‘Loving isn’t always because of. Sometimes it’s… in spite of!’

I found this comment so profound that I instantly made a note of it in my notebook (yes, it was one of those pen and paper devices!) so I know that Jill said this in the Friday evening episode of 5 January 1992!

Great advice

A great antidote to the implicit demand that ‘you must be perfect if I’m to continue loving you!”

We could wonder if we can love somebody enough to respect their right to do things their way and to make their own mistakes and, heaven forbid, to not be as perfect as we are.

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