I remember my first experiences of Valentine's Day at my primary school (Happy Valley) in Mount Isa, Queensland, when receiving a flower attached to a troll doll or little bear holding a love heart saying ‘I love you’, would literally be the most exciting (and romantic) thing… ever. Who knew what love was all about back then, but it felt oh so special to be thought of.
Whether the whole idea of Valentine's Day makes you cringe from a cheese overdose with all the stereotyped, naff, marketing gimmicks, or makes you melt with old fashioned romance, why not embrace it with the gusto of Casanova and see what warm, fuzzy feelings can be conjured up, if only for a day.
But what happens to those who are partnerless or (heaven forbid) heartbroken when that fateful day comes around? Seems rather a cruel celebration?! Why not hit it head on and channel all that hibernating (their loss), romantic energy into a friend, family member or even yourself; it’s always nice to make someone feel appreciated and it’s never too late to start ‘trying to love yourself’ just that little bit more.
Give plants instead of cut fresh flowers … a plant’s love can keep on blooming
With spring around the corner, why not give a plant to nurture and hopefully see bloom instead of the rather useless and expensive (albeit VERRY pretty) customary bouquet of flowers.
I have bought my boyfriend a few orchids over the years and he has become quite the guru! They do keep on blooming (thanks to him he says, and I believe him), and when they do, they are absolutely magnificent.
One even more practical step further (not wanting to entirely eliminate any romance!)– a veggie or fruit plant. If you’re a little like me, and keeping plants alive isn’t your natural forte (and you rather hope it’s sturdy enough to battle it out in nature self-sufficiently), then a lovely rosemary or thyme herb, lavender, money tree or, dare I say it, cactus are always good options! Though I have been known to kill a cactus or two in my time... Hey ho, I look forward to embracing my need for gardening improvement and push myself to care for tomatoes, aubergines, zucchini, rocket, basil, and any other veggies, fruits and herbs I can grow myself this summer – all on my balcony. Look at me go :) There is nothing more satisfying than seeing nature at its most glorious (& useful), and the biggest bonus of all, benefiting from picking your own home grown to eat.
My amazing friend Louise takes this concept to a fully functioning, and truly exciting level with her blog ‘Poppy and Bees' showcasing her outstanding homegrown delights from her enviously large patch, with ideas and recipes in all their inspirational glory.
Who doesn’t love a romantic getaway?
If you are the adventurous type and love any excuse to get away, then why not try a weekend break in a little log cabin in the New Forest equipped with the all-important (and let's face it, blooming marvelous) hot tub for some instant feel-good wellness, relaxation and romance. Or perhaps a quaint B&B in ‘chocolate box’ Keswick, in the stunning Lake District or the characterful cobbled Cotswolds would make your heart flutter with old fashioned charm. If you want something a little closer to London, beautiful Surrey, Kent or Suffolk are all wonderful options, and if you are a seafood lover, you can’t possibly pass up a visit to The Company Shed just outside Colchester (1 hour from London). Literally a shack on the beach, no frills, where you can bring your own drinks and enjoy the most superb, freshest of fresh catch to make your mouth water. A day trip worth taking.
And if all that sounds like far too much hassle and fuss, romantic encounters fail and frankly you want to sod the lot, then you can’t go wrong with a hot bath, a candle (go on, light one, you’ll appreciate the result), glass of wine, your favourite dressing gown to slip into, and a wonderful movie you haven’t seen in forever… always works for me to ignite some instant warm fuzzy feelings and loving vibes.
Whatever you do this Valentine's Day, make it meaningful and memorable, even if, just for you.