It's no secret that I'm not big on Valentine's Day. A whole month before the "big day" of being visually assaulted by red hearts on everything and anything that can be sold for a few quid is enough for me to want to just skip the whole thing. Not to mention cards with what has to be the last word in bad taste (huggy bear anyone?) including some for relatives other than, you know, your significant other and cuddly toys that look like fire hazards and should really never, ever be bought for anybody above the age of 10 anyway. I don't really do the colour red (apart from lipstick and of course some foods) very often and red roses to me are more "hey baby!" than "I love you" and look like a throwback to the 80s - and who'd want to go back there? So no, Valentine's Day in all its garish commercialism, power-ballad selling, red heart pushing and Hallmark-isation isn't for me.
All that is not to say that I don't like love and romance. I love it! But not in the form it's being sold to me at this time of the year. Of course I like a walk on the beach with Monsieur or a candlelit dinner, but it's not even that either. Well, not only, anyway.
It's all the small things and the romance of daily little moments. Monsieur - despite having fairly little hope of ever holding anything even close to a Michelin star - cooking for me for three days after I had injured my finger. Cuddling up together and watching our favourite tv series. His laugh, his nickname for me, his determination to fight unjust parking tickets (there are many overzealous parking wardens in London and he has yet to pay for one of those tickets), his insistence on biking to work in the snow (crazy!), the mean lemon drizzle cake he bakes and the mushroom soup that will make anybody smell of garlic for days, the way he can put on a "South London street slang" accent that cracks me up, his trust in my professional abilities, the hidden getaway gems he manages to find for us and the surprise Christmas gifts that are so much better than the ones I ever manage to give, falling asleep arm in arm and trying to wake him up on a Sunday because it's lunchtime already. The fact that I'm looking forward to him coming home from work every day and still get those pesky butterflies. He puts up with my terrible mood swings (which can't be easy) caused by my insecurities and I know that he isn't always able to understand the darkness I feel and how desperately low I can get because I often struggle to articulate it and tend to retreat into myself, but he does his best to reassure me in those moments...
None of these things have anything to do with red roses, love hearts, and champagne and that's fine by me. And the table here? Well, this is my idea of a romantic table for Valentine's Day which doesn't have to be on the 14th February. It could be any day of the year. You know, just to celebrate the daily romance. If you'd like to find out more about my table decorating, pop over here where I have written about how to create this "non Valentine" look.