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  • Writer's pictureAmelia

Hearts and Flowers Day

You'd think I could manage some sort of "Valentine's Day on the Island" or "Dora's Valentine's Day" post, wouldn't you? Unfortunately my Islanders aren't Christian, don't know about Saint Valentine, and don't have any drive to take part in a festival that won't have become a massive, over-commercialised romantic behemoth for an unspecified number of years. And most of them can't afford to buy chocolates anyway.

Dora, admittedly, has a few more opportunities to learn about the holiday. The problem there, though, isn't one of not knowing or not being able to afford to celebrate. It isn't even, child of the Island that she is, that the idea of celebrating the horrible bludgeoning to death of a rather obstreperous cleric by buying people flowers and chocolates might seem a little off-kilter.

It's just that, on the inaccurate, sea monster spattered, Mercator-projected map of her soul, Dora's romantic and passionate inclinations are drawn several degrees south of the equator and falling fast.

So Dora's Valentine's Day would look something like this.

  1. Wake up.

  2. Buy chocolates.

  3. Bar the door.

  4. Eat chocolates.

And after that she'd have largely run out of steam. Which strikes me as an excellent way to spend any day, but doesn't exactly make for thrilling, or even mildly amusing reading.

So instead, I thought I'd give you a small glimpse of my Valentine's Day. Or ours, I suppose. It's that sort of day I'm afraid.

  1. Wake up. Mutually fail to notice the carefully arrayed Valentine offerings set out by our respective loved ones (i.e him and me).

  2. Subtly point these out to one another by dint of saying "You haven't noticed, have you?" until we both get the message. My flowers are real, but his card has chocolates. Valentine's Day is not a competition, but if it was we would both have won.

  3. Put on glasses*, the better to stare soppily at one another. This lasts for about five minutes, whereupon we revert to the swingeingly awful cost of GCSE exams these days, and the spell is broken.

  4. Get up. Feeling less than brilliant, so attempt to make up for cosy, comfortable yoga clothes with Valentine's Day makeup. Cannot find my foundation but never mind.

  5. I look as though I have pink-eye. Maybe I shouldn't have used that Halloween palette? Also, pink glitter lip gloss tastes terrible.

  6. Go out on thrilling quest to get new Jasper Fforde book, signed by the author. Do we know how to do romance or what?**

  7. Drive home. Do not open new book even though it is right there on my lap.

  8. Get home. Resist opening book by messing around creating a Valentine's Day diorama with nendoroids***

  9. Run out of nendoroids.

  10. Give in. Open book. Look at it this way: the sooner I finish, the sooner he can read it.

  11. Stop reading book to make a blog post. Wonder if the resentment will be noticeable by my readers.

  12. I don't know. Probably have wine with dinner, or something clichéd like that. I don't have time to think about that now: I have a book to read.

All of which makes a pretty perfect Valentine's Day to me. Yours may be different, and may indeed involve eating chocolates with the door locked to all comers, or just spending an ordinary day doing ordinary things, without a cardboard heart in sight. Whatever shape your day takes, I hope it involves a good book. Romance or no romance, those are the best kind of days.

*I wear contact lenses, but this was in the morning, for which I am never well prepared, even when over-priced roses are in the offing. Frankly, even finding my glasses was pushing it. **Yes. We do. We both love books, which makes this the perfect romantic gesture. For us. If we shared a mutual love of American Football, we'd probably be up to the hips in mud by now. Be thankful for small mercies, I suppose. ***If you don't know what these are then see the footnote above re: small mercies. Or go and look them up, but risk spending a fortune on small plastic toys you didn't know you wanted. (Personally, I want the set from The Apothecary Diaries)

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