Tag: Valentine’s Day

Five Valentines Gift Suggestions for the Book Worm

Let’s pretend Valentine’s Day isn’t all about consumerism, though I really don’t have much of a problem with it, along with the other “holidays”.  It’s nice to be remembered or for a day (other than their birthday), make your love one feel special, although under no circumstances should the gift-giving be an obligation, right folks?

If you’ve been following me for awhile now, either my blog or Instagram, you will probably have guessed by now that I love books like most of us here. I also get a high in anything books related, and I’m sure many book-lovers out there will be able to relate.  So I thought of coming up with a list of presents you could buy for your partner/husband or wife who share the same passion as me.

Who said Valentine’s Day is all about cards, flowers and chocolates?

1. If they love poetry, instead of a card, get them a poetry pamphlet like this Ten Poems about Love:

It comes with a handy bookmark too!

And if you think love poetry isn’t their thing, you can also choose poems about cats, bicycles, you name it, they probably have it.

2.  And if you think jewellery is their weakness, I’d say get them this lovely, I want-it-too, Brown and Black Stack Book Necklace:

Isn’t it just the quaintest necklace you’ve ever seen.  I want it too!

3.  For the next item, I know you might think, there’s nothing romantic about giving a mug on Valentine’s Day, not if it’s this! ….

Or this … I also want …

All items from #1-3 are all from The Literary Gift Company.  Also photo credit also go to them.  They’ve got other lovely items in case, my choices isn’t your kind.  Browsing them is a must!

4.  And if you think, I might as well by him/her a book then.  Look no more!  Get them Ivan Turgenev’s book “First Love” with it’s beautiful illustrations from the Folio Society.  I’m currently reading his other book “On the Eve” and I’m really enjoying it.

Photo Credit: The Folio Soceity

Then again, there are lots of beautifully illustrated books from the Folio Society, guaranteed that if you choose any book from them, your loved one would certainly feel special.

5.  And lastly, what spells romance other than scented candles?  This scented candle may look anything but romantic, then again, who cares?  Just imagine a candle smelling papery with a hint of vanilla?  I don’t know about you, but I’m sold!

Photo credit here.

If you want to buy any of the items listed here, just click on their links! 🙂

I’m hoping my husband would read this post in time.  He does read my blog every now and then when he has time, but I have a feeling he’ll miss this and I’m guessing I’m getting flowers and chocolates again, which is absolutely fine of course 😉

Then again, you don’t really have to wait for anyone to buy you any of the items mentioned above.  If you fancy them, buy them yourself!  Treat yourself to a lovely item that will always remind you about your love for books, as if anyone would need to be reminded 😉  I’ve got my eye on that stack of books necklace, its mine! 😉

What about you?

Do you like any of the items mentioned here?

Do you exchange gifts with your partners/husbands/wives for Valentines?

Valentine's Day on Rough Tor

We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, except maybe give each other cards and my husband buys me flowers, and of course, he buys a bouquet for little T too.  Last Saturday though, he had a lecture in Plymouth and we had a guest over, a close-friend who lives in Bristol stayed with us over the weekend.

We (little T, Doc and I), decided to take our friend up on a hike on Rough Tor.  According to Wikipedia, the word Tor is Cornish for hill and this particular one is known for its Logan stones (meaning balanced stone), neolithic tor enclosure and a large number of Bronze age hut circles.

It’s a great place for a hike and a picnic.  We once brought another close-friend here for a birthday picnic when he visited a couple of years back.  Of course, it’s also been used in many films, the most recent one was Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn where they shot one of the end scenes in the movie.

Anyway, the hike started with a picnic of sandwiches, custard donuts, strawberries and blue berries by the side of a small stream.

And here she is demolishing strawberries.

Then it was time for the hike.  At first, little T was all energy, running ahead, many times I had to call for her to slow down.

And there she is stomping ahead of us, while Doc had to stay on his leash as we passed some sheep and other dogs on their leash.

But as soon as we were pass the sheep, I let him off and he bounded happily up the hill ahead of us, zooming fast but always coming back.

I knew she was going to start whinging half-way up and sure enough she did:

And here she is doing a dramatic-slump on a rock.

Trying to coax her up, we pointed to the man up on one of the rocks, this got her all excited again.

“Are we nearly there mummy?”

“Almost, sweetie”

And then before we knew it, we were really nearly on the top.

By this time though, our friend had to hold her hand since it was getting a bit tricky to climb on her own.

Look at those rocks, it’s almost unbelievable the way nature stocked-them up like that.  You can almost imagine a child-giant playing with the rocks like blocks, stocking them up one after the other.

Then we were up!  Here’s Doc enjoying the view from the top of Rough Tor.

Little T posing in front of a war memorial plaque.

“I’m on top of the world mum!”

And on our way home, she fell asleep of course.

And Doc?

Let’s just say he was quiet too.

What about you?

How did you spend Valentine’s Day?

All About The Flowers

As I’ve mentioned, my husband and I aren’t big on Valentine’s Day.  Last year I baked a cake and we ordered a Chinese take-away.  This year we talked about having our own fruit de mer, but when my husband said he’d have to go out first thing in the morning to get the seafood fresh, I tried to convince him that it wasn’t worth it.  But he was adamant, not knowing that fresh seafood was not the only reason why he wanted to go to the shop first thing in the morning.

He wanted to get us fresh flowers and apparently, during Valentine’s Day, the lovely fresh flowers are known to disappear real fast and if you buy them mid-morning all you’ll ever get are left-overs.  Come to think of it, this may be the reason why I never got any roses on Valentine’s Day, not that I ever complained or that it mattered.

So there he was along with other husbands/boyfriends rushing to get the first blooms and all they found were crap ones.  When they asked a member of staff, it turns out that the delivery van was late! I found that funny, of all days, he was late to deliver the flowers on Valentine’s Day!  He probably just made a side-trip to deliver his flowers to his wife/girlfriend.  Anyway, seeing the disappointed/panicked faces of the bewildered husbands/boyfriends – the same staff took pity on them and told them that there were actually about five fresh bouquets at the garage.  Before she even finished her sentence, my husband was out in a flash.

To make the story short, he got the best two bouquets from the bunch.  Of course I was really touched, I finally got my lovely red roses, but what really, really, made my Valentine’s Day is that he didn’t forget his daughter.  You see, little T loves flowers too.  I guess she sees her dad buy me flowers every now and then.  She once told me “I want Dada to buy me flowers too” I told her I’m sure he would oblige if we asked him.  I’ve been meaning to, but keep forgetting.

We heard him park up in front of the house, still in our pyjamas, Little T and I watched him from the window.  When I saw the flowers I said to her “Dada has bought us flowers!  It’s for you and me”  Her face broke into the sweetest smile and when he came in, I quickly said “Dada, thank you for buying me and Little T flowers“.  And winked at him, just so he’d know that I was going to share my flowers with her, not knowing that she had her own!   So here she is, smiling for the camera with her tousled hair and first ever bouquet.

My husband said “I just wanted to be the first one to ever give her flowers”  Wasn’t that sweet?  She was ever so pleased and even asked me if she could arrange the flowers herself.  I let her.  Now her beautiful flowers are in a vase in her bedroom.  She likes to look at it and say “I love my flowers!”

As for the fruit de mer – it was absolutely delicious!  Never mind if we didn’t talk about anything romantic and instead ended up talking about history.  Actually we were talking about Hilary Mantel’s multi-award winning book “Wolf Hall” which I haven’t read and he liked.  He mentioned about how Cromwell lost his wife and two daughters in the sweating plague at that time.  What was sad about this is that he never really knew his youngest daughter and his only memory of her, is a little girl in wings (which he made for her) and refused to take off.  He never even had the chance to have her portrait taken, so there was nothing for him to remember her by, except that one memory of a little girl in wings.  It broke my heart.

This post is linked up with PODcast’s What’s The Story.

And the Oliver’s Madhouse

How was your Valentine’s Day?

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, last week was my in-law’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary, sixty long years of being together.  I don’t even think they ever spent a night away from the other, apart from of course the time when my father-in-law had to have his gallstones removed.  Other than that, as far as I know, they have never been apart.

The day before the celebration,  I asked my mother-in-law if she could share the secret to a lasting marriage.  She laughed and said “Nothing really”.  After awhile turned serious and shared a few pointers which I’m sure you have all heard before.  It really is no secret, but I still thing it’s worthy enough to share or perhaps this could be like some sort of reminder to married couples?

So let me share with you the Four Important Things I learned from my Mother-in-Law :

Have things in common:

My in-laws met at church.  This was before my father-in-law went away to university.  She had to wait till he finished before they got married.  Aside from church, they also share the same love for books and reading.  They also like to travel a lot and have even visited warm countries.  I mention this because in spite of her aversion to heat, they still visited many Mediterranean countries and even Africa.

I found it a bitt sad though when they said that their trips abroad are over and didn’t even bother to renew their passports.  At 80+ insurance for them is very high and instead they continue to do their trips around their home-country, at least two to three times a year. And lastly, like me and my husband, they too are homebodies.  I sometimes think that we are their younger version.

Although of course there are also couples out there who are opposites and yet their relationship/marriage works.

Compromise but …

Of course, people always say in marriage, or for any relationship to work, compromise is of utmost importance.  She added though that it shouldn’t be difficult to make or do and what struck me, was what she said next which to me seemed a bit of like a contradiction.

Learn to dig in your heels

While compromise is important, learning to dig in your heels when you feel that you must should also be done. I was a bit taken aback with this, especially since she’s from that generation where women stayed at home, didn’t go to further education and didn’t question their husbands.  But clearly, here is a woman who knew her mind.  I shouldn’t be surprised actually, because she’s always done her own thing.

She recalled how one day, after walking her son to school, while pushing her daughter’s pram, she was suddenly engulfed with a sadness so heavy it actually made it difficult for her to walk.  She wondered,  “Is this my life?  Is this all that I am?”  That’s when she decided to take her life in her own hands, went to night school, got her degree and became a teacher, although knowing my father-in-law, he  must have wholeheartedly supported her decision.  I guess that’s what she meant when she said, learning to dig in your heels and saying – This is what I want.  This is what I’m going to do!  

Plodding on

Plodding on was actually the first thing she said when I asked her what the secret was. “Oh you just plod on Dean”, she said smiling.  I think I’d like to add though that when the going gets rough, that’s when you plod on.  You don’t just give up, pack your stuff, slam the door and walk out of your marriage.  Instead you plod on.  Do what you have to do to deal with whatever problem there is, whether it’s through silence and delving into your self before dealing with it again.  It’s your call.  But the important thing is, you both plod on … together.

And if you’re both lucky, you might also be celebrating your 60 years of plodding on together.  Here in the UK, you even get a card from the Queen of England and signed by her royal highness herself.  See photo below.

I would like to add another one which my mother said to me once.  “Marry a friend.  Love sometimes comes and goes.  But with friendship, it will always last.  And when the love goes, the friendship should resurface and that should glue things together till the love comes back

My husband and I so far are doing great.  We’ve got all four nailed, especially number one.  It’s interesting to add that, the first time my father-in-law met me, he told my then boyfriend that we were soul mates.  I was shocked, because if you knew my father-in-law, you wouldn’t think that he was the type who said things like “soul mates”.  Upon first meeting he’s the kind of man, you would automatically address as “Sir”.  Yes sir, that kind.

And we are friends too.  My husband calls me his best-friend and I feel guilty sometimes when little T asks me “Who is your best-friend mum?”  And instead of saying your dad, I mention my friend in the States who’ve always been my best-friend.  But yes, he is also my best-friend. You can have more than one right? We laugh at the silliest things and like each other’s company and of course, we also annoy each other too.  But that’s part of any friendship or marriage right?

Anyway, since today is  Valentine’s day (even though I’m not really a big fan of this occasion), to all the couples out there, married or not, I propose a toast to plodding on.

Happy Valentines Day!

Do you have any tips/secret to share?

This post is linked-up with #PoCoLo