Valentine’s Day

So it is that schmaltzy, red-and-pink-bedecked, money-making holiday today. The one that got us excited as high school girls, when we’d spray perfume on paper and send red-enveloped letters to the boys, hopingwishinghoping to get one back. I think I eventually got one in my final year of school, when I had my first boyfriend. Luckily, Valentine’s Day was before I found out he’d kissed my best friend’s sister at a party we were both at, causing wild throes of fury and teenage angst. And a rapid end to our budding affair.

To be honest, I don’t think I was all that perturbed. I remember kissing him in his bedroom while looking around his room and thinking that his choice in posters was poor. It was obviously not meant to be if I was bored enough, while kissing him, to be judging his wall art. I know that now, what with a couple more – ahem – years’ of experience of such things under my belt.

Valentine’s Day at the All Girl’s Boarding School I spent five long years at, was A Big Thing. The dining room was decorated by the Std 9’s and breakfast consisted of everything pink – milk, rice crispies, French Toast, the lot. With the amount of red colouring used, my stomach is probably still a deeper shade of red than it should be.

Then, at break time, roses were handed out, in front of everybody, from the boys at our brother school down the road. Mortifying for some, glorious for others. Me? Let’s just say I tended toward the mortified, mostly.

And now? Nope, no pink milk, but instead, this, the offering from the hospital canteen for lunch, which, honestly, is hard not to smile at:


Beetroot and watermelon hearts for lunch. I kid you not.

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