It looks like his handwriting, but given his tendency to forget significant dates, it seems feasible the cards symbolise the unrequited love of some stalker or other. Whoever ‘?’ is, his or her cards are much appreciated and always recycled.
Single people are said to hate Valentine’s Day. As a married person, I can tell them they’ve had a lucky escape. All those couples dressed to the nines and shoehorned into tables at fancy restaurants aren’t having fun but withering under the strain of trying to have the perfect romantic evening. Ninety-nine per cent of which will end in tears, recriminations and finally relief that it’ll be 364 days before they have to go through it again.
Putting romantic meals to one side, what girl doesn’t like receiving one (or more) of the Valentine holy trinity: flowers, chocolates and lingerie? Mr Green knows better than to buy me frilly pants, but should any eco-minded Casanovas be of a mind to purchase such things for their goddess, I am pleased to say there are several ethical brands that meet your needs.
Luva Huva (www.luvahuva.co.uk) has some very swanky lingerie handmade in the UK using organic and sustainable fabrics, not to mention a splash of vintage lace. Gilda and Pearl’s (www.gildapearl.co.uk) luxurious offerings are also handmade in the UK and, by its own admission, will appeal to “pampered princesses, burlesque cuties and high-heeled beauties”. Bunny Smalls (www.bunnysmalls.com) has lots of ethically sourced, brightly coloured, ribbon-festooned pants for the more creatively minded gal.
Onwards to chocolate, and you can find the fairly traded stuff in the supermarkets these days, a godsend for the forgetful green Prince Charming. With a little more planning, chocs that’ll make your good lady swoon include Montezuma’s, Booja Booja and Green & Blacks. Or hunt down locally made chocs. They can be found at Edinburgh’s Coco Chocolate (www.cocochocolate.co.uk) where the organic dark stuff with rose and black pepper has won awards; Cocoa Black in Peebles (www.cocoablack.com) whose signature collection is also an award winner, and my local Jedburgh Chocolate Shop (23 High Street) – I was recently presented with a gift-wrapped box by Mr Green, who’d hidden them in a shoebox under the bed before Christmas then forgotten them.
Then there are flowers. Do red roses out of season make you think of air miles and pesticides or the opportunity for people in developing countries to earn a decent living? If you choose a Fairtrade bunch, you’ll be on the right track – visit www.fairtrade.org.uk to find stockists (which include M&S, several supermarkets and Interflora). The alternative is a bunch of British flowers. I am particularly taken with the tulip and pussy willow bouquet from Essential England (www.essential-england.co.uk), while the superbly named Wiggly Wigglers (www.wigglywigglers.co.uk) have very seasonal winter foliage bouquets – the perfect expression of love for a green goddess. Take note, ‘?’