Thursday, 13 February 2014


Valentine's Day.  A celebration of love. A day, a whole day celebrating love and affection.  Hurray.  Bring it on!  I'm single, so I should be one of those people who dread Valentine's Day.  I don't.

Valentine's day is associated with romantic love, with courtly love, and the day has popularized the tradition of the sending of cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts.  Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's day has only recently been celebrated as the day of love.  The 'day of love' was traditionally 12 March, which is Saint Gregory's day, or 22 February, which is Saint Vincent's day. The patron of love was Saint Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on 13 June.  Blimey!  That's a lot of love and a lot of days to celebrate.

There was a tradition of sending valentines anonymously, I'm not so sure if this is as true in modern times, although I did receive an anonymous card a couple of years ago and still to this day I don't know who it was from. Other traditions said that, if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor.  If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy.  If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a rich person (her happiness upon marrying a rich person does not appear to be determined!).

Why do we need a day to tell us when we should tell people that we love them?  Show people that we love them?  Surely you should tell and show the people that you love them every day?  Are my expectations unrealistic? Or am I just grumpy because no one appears to want to be my Valentine?  I think that the people that I love know that I love them; I certainly hope that they do.

Over the years people have always recorded their passionate feelings in love letters, Valentine's day is a good day to remember and celebrate these; such as the famous love letter of Ludwig von BEETHOVEN, which was addressed to his 'Immortal Beloved' (the identity of whom still remains a mystery) and which concludes:
"ever thine
ever mine
ever ours".

And, well, Valentine's Day, it is a good excuse for a bit of poetry.  Personally, I think this is my favourite of all:

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(March 6, 1806 – June 29, 1861)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

This week (10-16.02.14) has been Random Act of Kindness #RAK Week,where we have all been encouraged to promote the well-being and happiness of others through words and actions and kindness.  Last week's BLOG was on the topic of kindness. I thought that RAK week was a timely reminder to be a bit kinder to yourself, to promote your own well being and your own happiness too.  So, Happy Valentine's Day. Whether you have a significant other or not.  Let someone know that you love them.  Let me know! Love Yourself! Yes. Let there be love.


  1. Hello Hanya (second go at comment). There are some exponents of Beethoven who believe that his song cycle "To the Distant Beloved" is intended for the subject of his letter. Perhaps his most famous piano piece "Fur Elise" does not actually specify who Elise was. If you listen to any of Beethoven's late string quartets you will be in no doubt about his capacity for heartfelt passion and expression. But it is one bagatelle-op 126 in G major which for me says it all. Happy Valentine's day.

    1. Thank You for that info. I'll go and have a listen x

  2. Happy St V's Day to you Han, because friends can have this day to express their feelings, same as romantic fools! Some say that friendship is an even stronger force than love - so in that spirit, we can honestly say:
    With our Love in Friendship, Jane & Philip xx

  3. Hi Hanya. I decided a few years ago that I preferred St. Raphael, Saint of happy meetings and lovers, among a host of other things. Happy Day to you to and may we both be happy with or without a 'Valentine'. X

  4. Rachael, please join me in a toast to 'St. Raphael' and to 'Happy Days'. x

  5. Another brilliant post & I learnt something as I didn't about the folk law of women seeing different birds on the 14th.

    Couldn't agree with what you said more about love being for every day. I couple of years back I sent Sarah a "Valentines" card each month, on the 14th for a year. A "friend" at the time couldn't see why because "it's enough of a pain remembering it once a year, why do it 12 times" ... no doubt you can see why I said "friend" now.

  6. Good Morning Hanya, Oh yes, it is absolutely true, when I was a young girl, and single, it was so exciting to receive a Valentine's Card from someone who remained anonymous.... and if you received two or three, well you were the envy of all your friends. The most I ever received was two..... which was fun.
    George doesn't believe in Valentine's Day, he feels it is too commercial, and he hates being told, that on 14th February he has to go out and buy a gift, he prefers to buy me flowers when he sees them throughout the year. I know it doesn't mean he loves me any less, he just stands firm about 14th February.
    I still love all the hearts and flowers associated with Valentine's Day.... I'm a bit of a softy really.
    I loved all the information about St Valentines Day.... it was really interesting.
    Best Wishes

  7. Hello Daphne. I think that really George is an even bigger softie than you, even if he doesn't believe in Valentines Day x

  8. My worst Valentine's Day ever was when I was about 17 and received 2 dozen roses, a dozen each from 2 different people. (Oh woe is me, boo hoo! I'll continue!) They had both been delivered to my house but the card had fallen off the 2nd bouquet. When I got home my mum was so excited and happy because she had thought the 2nd bouquet was for her. I'd honestly never seen her like that (sober anyway lol!) She was like a euphoric young teenager, it was lovely. Course I should've known my dad would never be that flippin thoughtful or romantic! She found the card a short while after and handed them to me. I could tell she was really embarrassed and dissapointed and I felt terrible, so guilty. I was mad at my dad and told him he'd bloody better do something special for her next year. Of course he didn't. Bah to Valentine's Day, unromantic men and disappointed women! (Love your blog tho! xxx)

  9. I'm a single girl, but my Dad always send he a card - it is great when your Pa takes pity on you! One year I sent 32 Valentines cards - all hand made, took me sodding ages! I wasn't romantically interested in any of them all, but think it is lovely to let people know they are loved. My friend David is gay but has been my Valentine for 16 years! Love that your story started that your 'worst Valentine's Day ever was when you received 2 dozen rose!' There is an 'expectation' about Valentines Day due to the commercial nature that I don't like. I think that love is linked to Kindness, Well Being, Friendship and we should do what we can to promote those ideas all the time x