Valentine’s Day.

Tomorrow is St Valentine’s Day, which got me thinking about the day’s origins.

Valentine’s Day has been marked in liturgical calendars for centuries. As a Christian feast day, Valentine’s Day actually commemorates two Saint Valentines: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.

But Valentine’s Day only became associated with romantic love during the late fourteenth century, when Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343-1400), author of The Canterbury Tales, made the association in his poem ‘The Parlement of Foules’ (written to honour the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia- both fifteen years old).

The poem features a parliament, or assembly, of birds, which have gathered together in order to choose their mates:

 ‘For this was on seynt Volantynys day / Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.’

Since literature seems to be the origins for modern  Valentine’s Day, then it is still the perfect medium in which to talk about love, and here are two of my favourite literary love quotes:

“You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how”

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell

“I’ve never had a moment’s doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life”

Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

Pride and Proud

Friday 28th June 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, which led to the gay liberation movement in the US.

It was also the day my beautiful daughter married her equally beautiful partner.

Fifty years ago this was unthinkable. How proud I am to be living now in 2019 when this is possible.

Below is a picture I took at London Pride 2016. It summed the day and the meaning behind Pride celebrations up perfectly for me The sheer joy!

the girls by Lisa Jewell

The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was good. I was quite sad to leave those moody, complicated teenagers behind. They stayed with me most of the day after finishing the book. I’m still not sure who ‘did it’ but I guess that is the point- the closed world of the teenager that the parent never quite gets a handle on. This was a good ‘sunny bank holiday in the garden’ read.

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