Valentine ‘s Day holiday will soon be here. Store under the weight of groin cupid-shaped chocolate, flammable nylon underwear and bunch of the same rose. It’s easy to misunderstand Valentine’s Day. A huge teddy bear is a bit too “manipulating Yewtree”. A group of red hairy handcuffs Donald over the breath.
But the days between Christmas and Easter can be bleak, to be honest, most women will be disappointed if Valentine’s Day passes completely through them. The credit card to sign up is still a lovely thing. Paper and free do the best. Pick a gift person is the hardest part. There are five ways to say “I love you” while keeping your Integrity.
Under no circumstances should flowers be sent to an office on Valentine’s Day. The poor recipient will spend the entire day worrying that people think she has sent them to herself. However, a beautiful bunch of flowers waiting at home will always go down well. There are some very good florists around these days. Petalon send flowers by bike. Floom lets you order flowers – such as the above – from independent florists. Freddie’s Flowers deliver charming boxes of English stems. Love should be wild and wonderful. Pick a bunch that suggests that, and avoid anything with a red colour scheme.
Choosing some suitable flower as a gift for Valentine’s Day is very common for girlfriends. If you want to combine two Bangpa & Parr’s “meat bouquets” a stone stoned two birds. Three, each consisting of a hanging grouse, a pheasant and a quail. If it’s too dirty, send your Valentine’s Day box a box of blue-based rose petal protein cakes, roses and purple frost from Fortnum & Mason or Godminster heart-shaped cheddar cheese. The heart does not need to avoid itself, just strictly rationing.
For something more enduring, a picture would be a lovely present. A botanical print is a stylish way to give someone flowers if you can’t trust yourself to pick a bouquet. Print Club London has lots of limited-edition screen prints, like Rose Electra Harris’s Vase in my Bedroom (above). Steer clear of anything that says ‘I love you’ on it, Printing someone’s name onto a picture does not somehow imbue it with more emotion.
Expressing love in an original way can be hard work. Many great writers have done it far better than you will ever be able to, so why not let them do the job for you. In Praise of Older Women by Stephen Vizinczey is risky but amusing, should your lover be older with a cracking sense of humour. American Psycho would show your passionate yet waggish side. The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst would work if you met your beloved on Hampstead Heath. Avoid anything too obvious – this is not the day for Jane Austen – and remember to write a note in the front. If you want to seem serious, send a book of traditional French or English verse. Do not pick up anything called ’50 love poems for the one I love’ or other similar sounding titles.
And nothing wrong with the occasional choice a bit vulgar, but only when cautious. If you are the kind of person who would not dream of sending a huge helium balloon shaped heart / unicorn / flamingo, then it might be more surprising than sending – and heartfelt. Pop makes a good arrival to a brown box. Valentine’s Day is a trap set for men. A little bit of easy relief can help you to see.