Love and marriage, according to the old song, go together like a horse and carriage – which isn’t at all romantic, if you take time to pause and think about it.

Mind you, romance and marriage aren’t necessarily joined inextricably at the hip either.

It’s a complicated and perilous thing, the business of wedlock. You don’t have to look too far from here to find either – and both.

One of the world’s most famously renowned wedding venues is at Gretna Green. For centuries The Blacksmith’s Shop has been the venue of choice for countless couples, all misty-eyed with a determined conviction that love conquers all… which must have always seemed like a good idea at the time.

Don’t bother calling me a cynic, I already know that I am.

But love and marriage, proposals and associated matters of tying marital knots have been in the news lately. And that’s bound to make a jaded divorcee think.

Anne Pickles Gretna’s romance-hub has hit the TV schedules. Those who facilitate Gretna Green weddings, along with those who are the main players in such loved-up performances, are airing on Channel Four. Which is, you know…nice.

I had friends who disappeared years ago to Gretna Green to be married. It was a surprise to everyone – most of all to the bride.

For a start, they were both past the first flush… know what I mean? More significantly, Pat had wanted her wedding to be in Greece, which is where Bob disappeared to when he left her. Is that ironic, or what?

But that’s the cynic talking.

Anyway, at the time he’d been convinced he was making the grand romantic gesture. With the wedding, I mean. Not the desertion.

She enjoyed her day and all seemed well for a while – until it wasn’t.

It was years before she discovered he’d gone to sell sponges on a Greek island. Had he talked quietly to her about that plan, she might have liked the idea and gone with him. Ah well…

Romance is such a risky thing, don’t you think? A kind of madness. Delicious while it lasts but then, when the balloon goes up or the bomb drops – deliberately mixing metaphors, sorry – whichever way you choose to look at it, it’s still a bit mad.

No proposal of marriage could ever have been more publicly undertaken than those seen at the Olympics. You don’t need to picture the scene – you saw it.

The world’s media is watching, she’s just won a medal and is enjoying the highest point of her career-centred life and there he is. On one knee, asking her to be his wife.

Imagine the quandary. Is the poor girl in any position to say: “Actually, nice of you to ask, but I’d rather wait a couple of years. There’s more I want to do.”? Not really.

The madness of romance has us all hooked. We all want to witness a happy ever after.

And there’s nothing like an acceptance to hint at the possibility of one of those. That’s real pressure.

Those guys who proposed marriage at the Rio Olympics have been accused by some of muscling in on the success of their partners for their own selfish purposes. A bit harsh, I’d say.

The great thing about love’s insanity is that it can produce magical consequences.

Sometimes. If, as a fellow cynic, you really thought about the value of romance you might go all the way back to Cinderella who wanted nothing more than a night out in a posh frock, some new shoes, a couple of drinks and merciful escape from housework’s drudgery for a few hours.

What she got was a draughty castle to run, a hungry prince to feed and a staff to organise.

Poor Cinders. If only she’d kept her foot in that shoe, she’d have escaped the grand romantic gesture of a public proposal.

I’ll be watching Gretna Green’s televised story with enormous interest. Cynic I may be but I’m still – and will always be – a glutton for romance’s insanity. Because, well, you never know…