It’s just over a fortnight now until Valentine’s Day, The shops are all decked out with hearts and flowers, cute cuddly toys and balloons. This year I have even seen rose petals, and little heart-shaped cutters; presumably for giving that special someone their morning toast on a tray strewn with petals. Chance would be a fine thing!

When I was younger I used to get very excited about Valentine’s Day. I was always desperate for the post to arrive on that morning, bringing with it armfuls of cards from my many admirers. The problem was mine and my younger sister’s birthday is on the 16th, so any cards that were sent would be hidden by my Mum with the assumption that they were birthday cards (which they always were)! It didn’t stop me thinking on my birthday that there would be a few Valentines in amongst the other cards (There weren’t)!

When I was a teenager, things did improve a bit. I used to hang around with this boy who was a couple of years older than me. we went everywhere together, and were always around each other’s houses. We were just friends though. However, he always sent me a Valentine card, as well as a rose or a heart-shaped chocolate egg or something, and it was signed by ‘Mr X.’ It didn’t take me long to deduce who Mr X was, so from then on I sent him one signed by ‘Miss X!’ (I have never been graced with a wild sense of imagination!)

My family always teased me saying that he fancied me, but I took no notice, He had his girlfriends and I had boyfriends over the years, but we were still friends and the cards still came. I did get a shock one year though, when I had left home to join the Army. On Valentine’s morning I got the usual card sent to me by Mr X, which was sweet as we still kept in touch – but the day after I got another one. This was in the same handwriting but on the inside of the card this time he had just written ‘I love you’!

So he did fancy me! Problem was, I was just starting out on a new life, and I didn’t feel the same at that point so I never made any mention of it! Neither did he, but we kind of lost touch for a little while after that!

I did get other Valentine’s cards, and the odd bunch of flowers at later times in my life, but I soon realised that there is no set time or date to show someone you love how much you appreciate them and love them. Yes, it is nice to get chocolates or flowers, but when Mr Grump is in the right mood,(or in the doghouse) I will get those anyway!

In fact a couple of years ago we ended up buying a microwave for Valentine’s day! Ours had broken, and we saw this really nice one that we liked so we bought that as a mutual Valentines’s present to each other.

Who says that romance is dead?