Red hearts. Pink hearts. Red roses, silk or real. Mugs with messages of love. Chocolates wrapped with extravagant red bows. Jewellery. Novelty items. Beautiful cards with declarations of love. Just a few of the romantic gifts you can buy for your loved one.
MY 1ST VALENTINE’S CARD FROM RICHARD
I still have the first Valentine Day’s card which Richard sent to me in 1979, the year before we got married. I will always treasure it as I treasure his deep and abiding love.
TO MY ONE AND ONLY RICHARD
You are the beginning of my day,
My first thoughts are with you,
Throughout the day
I stop and think about you,
A smile on my face, my heart overflowing
With love for you;
In those more serious moments
When we have challenges to meet,
I still think about you and the depth of our love;
As the last rays of daylight fade away,
And night encloses us in its velvet cloak,
I am held close to your heart,
Secure in our love.
ORIGINALLY A WESTERN CHRISTIAN FEAST DAY
February 14th is an annual celebration of love and romance. Originally paying homage to St. Valentinus of Rome who died in AD 269. Pope Gelasius 1 is said to have established this feast day in AD 496 his honour. One of many St. Valentines, but the name Valentinus meaning worthy or powerful in Latin differentiates our Love Guru from the others.
WHEN IN ROME
Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome and check out St. Valentine’s skull. Gruesome but true. Other bits of him can be seen in Ireland, Scotland, France, Czech Republic and England. So, if your loved one presents (pardon the pun) you with a skull on St. Valentine’s Day, don’t throw a hissy fit. He’s trying to be authentic.
UNIQUE GIFT FOR YOUR LOVED ONE
Google wasn’t around in 496 or earlier, so all of the above may be as true as some of the fake news abounding online. Could Geoffrey Chaucer have been creator of the Day of Looove? There’s no record of romantic celebrations before 1375 when Chaucer penned the “Parliament of Foules.” My spell check is working, and I think we should all revert to Olde English. Get a load of this? This is the perfect gift for your loved one. Read this poem to him or her. It’s about 700 lines, so a worthy gift. Don’t forget to dress for the part in your hose and breeches, or tight corset with tons of layers over them.
“For this was on Seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,
Of every kinde, that men thynke may;
And that so huge a noyse gan they make….”
EDMUND SPENSER’S EPIC “THE FAERIE QUEENE”
These are my favourite romantic lines.
“She bath’d with roses red,
and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres,
that in the forrest grew.”
(Hamlet, scene 5) OPHELIA SINGS:
“Tomorrow is Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber door,
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.”
Everyone has heard of Casanova, born in Venice in 1725. He was known for his reckless behaviour. Now that surprises me. A man with a chequered career that led him from the seminary to a stint as a scribe with Cardinal Acquaviva in Rome to the military.
We had to make a stop at Caffè Florian in Venice . It is a coffee house situated in the Procuratie Nuove of Piazza San Marco, Venice. It was established in 1720, and is the oldest coffee house in continuous operation in Italy, and the oldest in the world. Apparently Casanova made this his favourite jaunt surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women.
He became a professional gambler at age 21, but soon lost all his dosh and became a violinist in the San Samuele theatre. He was also a librarian, a spy, sold state bonds, and spent time in prison. But is anyone interested in all of that. No! We know him as the womanizer, the lover, the heartbreaker and as he said himself:
“Cultivating whatever gave pleasure to my senses was always the chief business of my life; I never found any occupation more important. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite of mine, I have always loved it done all that I could to make myself loved by it.” (Courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Next time you do the lottery think about Casanova. He tried to sell the idea of a state lottery to England in 1763.
KING CHARLES 11
Do not confuse this fella with the Charles who likes gardening and loves bedding camellias. King Charles 11 had no shame. He was always boasting about his affairs and had a huge ego as opposed to anything else huge. According to himself he was an expert in the bedroom and that wasn’t putting up shelves or hanging a picture or and two.
His decadence knew no bounds almost resulting in bankrupting the country. He would have made a great bedfellow for many of our Celtic Tiger ‘businessmen’ or indeed many politicians here and abroad. But I suppose if you’re going to be bankrupted go out with a bang.
BAKE A CAKE: Bake a heart shaped cake and decorate it with all her or his favourite chocolates and sweets.
COOK A SPECIAL MEAL: Lay the table with glitz and glamour. Your choice to go the extravagant route or the simpler route. Light a large red candle. Play your favourite music. Set the mood.
UNIQUE GIFT: Create your own card. Write meaningful words that come from your heart (but don’t steal mine!) Decorate your card simply with a ribbon or bow.
MY GIFT TO RICHARD
When the trials and tribulations of life come our way,
What do we have?
When daily chores and duties must be done,
What do we have?
When pain and grief spill over into our lives
and we feel hurt and alone,
What do we have?
Our Love is a personal glade,
Sheltered by heavenly leaves,
Carpeted with nature’s moss,
A peaceful haven where we can retreat,
Complete in our love;
A peaceful haven where we can gather strength,