Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day Fun and A Fallen Hero

I know that many people do not enjoy participating in Valentine's Day.  However, all the arguments about the commercialism and resenting being told to be romantic on a specific day don't cut it with me at all. My relationship with Ian doesn't need to be prompted into romance.  We are pretty lovey-dovey 365 days a year anyway.  He is an attentive, caring and demonstrative man.  He believes in love and romance and soul mates.  He believes in sharing the household chores and responsibilities.  He takes the weight off my shoulders. We connect everyday, finding our moments even in the mundane.  We don't need Valentine's Day to keep our spark alive - but we love the excuse to do something a bit special and to include our kids, which makes them feel a part of it all.

Our Valentine's Day history goes back to a snowy February in 1984.  After painstakingly cutting out letters from a magazine to make an anonymous message in the card I had bought him, I cajoled my two best friends to walk the 3 and a half miles to Ian's house.  I didn't realise it was that far as my sense of geography is pretty pitiful.  Had I understood what a seven mile round trip in the snow would feel like, perhaps I would have thought twice about it.  But we made that journey and so begun the relationship with the boy that would later become my wonderful husband.

This year, like every year, Ian took the day off work.  We spent a very nice morning together while Freddy was at nursery. We exchanged gifts and snuggled under a blanket to watch a film together, uninterrupted by anybody or anything - a rare treat!  Our choice of film was the movie Sinister, not a traditionally romantic title but perfect for us and our shared passion for horror.

Afterwards, we picked up our boy, who came out clutching a card he had made us, and went for lunch at Starbuck's. Always a good idea!  Once home I hit the kitchen making Pink Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Chantilly Cupcakes with Strawberries and Blueberries.  That's why I love Valentine's Day.  It's an excuse to make themed food and to decorate the house and interject a dose of loved-up fun into everyday proceedings.

cakes, balloons, flowers

We had a fabulous Mexican feast for five this evening.  All the flowers, homemade cards and balloons are decorating the living room and the girls are watching the gift that we got them "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" on DVD.  Ian is putting Fred to bed, as he always does and we have a bottle of Champagne chilling for later.  It is just perfect.  Knowing that Megan and Joe are also having wonderful Valentine's Days too is just the icing on the heart shaped cake!!

The only blot on the landscape of today was the news about Oscar Pistorius.  He is one of my greatest heroes.  The fastest man on no legs.  The blade-runner.  The first paralympian to compete in the Olympics.  I saw him run at London 2012.  I cried tears of total wonder and awe at this amazing individual as he broke down boundaries, challenged preconceptions and changed history. Now he is being held in custody over the suspected murder of his model girlfriend, having shot her four times in the arm and head.  Early reports suggested that he thought she was an intruder and acted in self defence, but four shots seems excessive even in this scenario.  The fact he has been refused bail and that the police have been called to his address numerous times in the past for domestic disputes suggests something far more horrible. Seeing his arrogant outburst at the Paralympics made me concerned about his state of mind.  Was there some mental health issues or extreme anger issues at play?  Was this a terrible accident or a deliberate act of violence?  Either way, I doubt that my sporting hero will ever be running again.  I'm glad I got to see him run.  I am sorry that his heroic journey has ended in this way.  Whatever the truth is, my hero has fallen.

Olympics, paralympics


  1. Loving that you include all the family in your valentines, perfect! Mich x

  2. When I saw the headline earlier I could not bring myself to read the finer details. So I am now hearing the gory details for the first time on your blog, but also simultaneously hearing about it now, on the BBC1 10 o'clock news.

    Well done on being romantic after all of these years. 1984 wow, that is the year I started secondary school. We got together in GCSE year in 1988.... Not much romance going on here though, although I was very shocked today to receive champagne, chocolates, a card and two dozen red roses.

    Liska xxx

  3. I am so shocked about Oscar Pistorius. It's horrific and so upsetting.
    I'm glad you received those lovely Valentine's Day gifts from your husband - you deserve nice things :) xxx

  4. I hope you are enjoying your break. Have a lovely time. xxx

  5. Lovely Valentine's Day, you have both got something very special going on there which is clear to see. As for the sporting hero, oh deer what a mess he is in now. I hope the truth comes out what ever that may be.

  6. Your beautiful looking cakes could proudly stand out in any high class confectioner - your cooking skills have certainly excelled themselves over the years - it sounds as though you had a thoroughly enjoyable Valentines Day and what a lovely idea to include the family with this special occasion. xxx

  7. Sounds like such a lovely day - definitely less tiring than the 7 mile round trip :) Those cakes look really yummy too!!

    The news about Oscar Pistorious was so shocking I couldn't stop thinking about it all day. If it was a tragic accident then its just so sad how he'll be tried for murder. The whole thing is so sad isn't it? After everything he's achieved and gone through in his life.

  8. Oh that sounds and looks lovely. I agree we are lovey dovey every day. Valentine's isn't another day to show each other - it's to tell the world too lol.
    Glad you found your soul mate too. Love the walk in the snow story.

  9. What a lovely story and great that you all celebrate together! Jacob came in in the morning and said Happy Valentines to us both which I thought was so sweet.



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