So today is Valentine’s Day. I remember being very excited about The Day of Love once upon a time. I think it was when I was 16 at boarding school and the boys at our brother school used to send us roses. They’d call our names out at breakfast while we were seated in the massive dining hall and the prettiest girls hardly got to eat their cereal, because they were running up to the stage all the time to fetch their roses (I got to eat more than enough cereal thanks).
Most of them were anonymous and the messages were cryptic and it was such fun trying to work out who sent what. There was such anticipation also and such surprise. It was the same the first year my husband and I met and he pitched up at my office at Penguin Books in London with the biggest bunch of pink and white flowers in a huge glass vase. It was a surprise and so romantic and it knocked me off my feet.
That surprise has gone now from Valentine’s Day, but if anything my day is filled with even more love than it ever was before. I don’t really buy into the forced retail expenditure but I’m perfectly willing to celebrate love, even though it should be celebrated on more days than just one.
This is how the Mountains are celebrating:
- Rachel is dressing in red and white for school and making a heart shaped card all stuck with pink tissue paper. She’s been telling us about it all week and I can’t wait to see it.
- I bought a tiny package of artisan Turkish Delight for my husband. He is obsessed with Turkish Delight, which is weird because I thought only Grannies ate these pink jellyish squares all covered in white powder.
- On a whim, I bought two very exotic coloured cactuses in red pots for our office – but on closer inspection it turns out that Builders Express have simply spray-painted these green cactuses red for Valentine’s Day(?!). Hope my work partner doesn’t mind that I’ve bought her a spray-painted plant.
- We aren’t going out for dinner. We tried it once when we lived in England and the sight of those tables all set for two, with a long-stemmed rose in the middle and terrible red heart confetti sprinkled on the table cloth has put me off. It was stupidly overpriced and it just felt forced.
- Instead, we’re going away for the night to stay with good friends of ours at a lovely house they’ve hired by the water. We’ll put a fillet on the braai, drink too much wine and probably talk a lot of rubbish. My favourite kinds of evenings.
Ultimately, I just want to celebrate the day loving the people I love and telling them so. How will you be spending your Valentine’s Day?
Photo: Robyn Rose Photography