Friday, 12 February 2016
WHEN I was a young bachelor Valentine's Day didn't interest me greatly. If I was fortunate enough to have a girlfriend then the social stress of Christmas and New Year usually meant we'd split up by February.
That all changed, of course, when I began courting She Who Knows. Observance of Valentine's Day on the 14th, with suitable offerings, became as important as gifts on her birthday.
Even today, I'm pleased to say, my dear wife remains a romantic and keeps me the same.
I'd arrived for a romantic meal at her family home, knowing we were to be alone over a candle-lit dinner.
As her charming mother showed me into the best front sitting room to await She Who's arrival downstairs, my eye checked the mantelpiece over the fireplace to see if my anonymous Valentine's card was on display. It was . . . along with at least a dozen others!
My shock was profound. As the rest of her family prepared to go out for the evening, I checked over romantic messages from other anonymous suitors.
So it was, when She Who Knows finally descended and led the way to our romantic meal, my admiration had been further quickened by so much competition.
Only much later did I learn those cards had been saved from previous years. Still, they had the desired effect - of wiping a smug smile off my face and keeping me on my romantic toes.
Times change and this Valentine's Day it will be me cooking steaks and putting champagne on ice. However, some things remain the same.
On Sunday our cards (and only our cards) will be lying on our doormat, in accordance with tradition. What is more, we shall both treasure them.
Romance, mystery and humour also figure in my latest novel, A Cut Above. This is presently being throroughly proof read but should be published around the end of the month (watch this space). The first few chapters appear on our Story/Chapter page (see near top of right column).
Romance also inspired our best poets, of course, and there's a 400-year-old example to Marvell at (please excuse the pun) on our Poem page.
All the emotions are also engaged in our past publications, on Kindle and in paperback sponsored by the British Arts Council. Further details are on the Books page, where excerpts can be read and books ordered to help pay for this uplifting but non-profit-making literary website.
Finally, an exotic taste of far-off places can be found on our Memoir page, including a light-hearted look at dining out Down Under from my humorous autobiography, Only The Good News.
May love smile upon you, too.