Happy Valentine’s Day!
I know Valentine’s Day gets a bit of bad publicity for being meaningless and over-commercialised – a friend said recently that she wants to show her husband she loves him every day, not once a year. Well, yes, I see the point. But one of the things about being human seems to be our craving for ceremony and ritual. Christmas, New Year, birthdays, christenings, naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, …you could make the same argument against all of them. You don’t, or shouldn’t, need a particular date in the calendar to show someone you care, or to spend time with family, or to recognise the miracle of birth, celebrate love, or respect the sanctity of life. But it is helpful, to have a mnemonic to remind us in the middle of our busy lives of what really matters.
We’re not doing anything very elaborate to celebrate today. I’ve written a card and baked a heart-shaped chocolate mousse cake. There’s a bottle of wine in the fridge, and we’ll probably order a curry and snuggle up on the sofa together – not radically different to any other Friday night, but it cheers up a cold, wet February, and means that we take a moment to remember how lucky we are to have each other and be happy together. And after all, it takes 14 years of celebrating Valentine’s Day from within the security of a long term relationship to erase the bitterness of sending a card, aged 16, to the boy you’d snogged the night before, just cos it seemed polite, you didn’t even fancy him that much, and not getting one back. I would imagine.
In addition, I’m also feeling professionally pro-romance, as the Romantic Novelists’ Association announced their shortlist for Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award yesterday, and Two for Joy is on it! I’m completely overwhelmed, and starstruck at the prospect of the awards ceremony where I’ll have the chance to meet some of my literary heroines.