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A Valentine's Message from Gwyneth and I

Ok, so obviously this post is not endorsed by Ms. Paltrow, but how wonderful and Valentinsy is her head garland? Imagine wearing that with some cut off shorts, Hunter wellies and a crochet top to festivals this summer. Massively upstage everyone else's puny one strand flower head garlands.

So this year I've decided I definitely like Valentine's. And not wholly because I have a boyfriend who I can (by teaming up with Hallmark,) emotionally blackmail into showering me with gifts and alcohol.

I've had some absolutely excellent Valentines' days when I have been so single I feel like I have forgotten what a boy is, like the one when I was at university and my housemate bought me a pink sparkly hoola hoop. I loved Valentine's day when I was really little and thought boys were disgusting, as it meant getting a Fry's Turkish Delight and a card, signed "guess who?" (Even at 4, I could guess this was obviously from my Dad).

And I've had some terrible Valentine's days when I've been with Will - the first one I had glandular fever and hadn't seem him (or indeed anyone but my parents) for 3 weeks, the second one I left it to him to the book the restaurant and he left it til the day before (so we stayed in and bickered about what movie to watch), and last year I went to Abisko in Northern Sweden with Will, my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. Will and I spent the day being pulled around a frozen lake on skis by a snowmobile before having a "romantic" triple date dinner with my family. Actually that one was pretty amazing, but not the most Valentinsy. 

Nutella on toast and a cup of pukka's Love tea (rose, lavendar and chamomile). The perfect Valentine's day breakfast.

Even in those perfect heady days of early romance, Valentine's can be a bit of a minefield - is it too much pressure to frequent restaurants full of established couples if you've only been going out for a little while? Should you paint yourself green or amber or red at the Valentine's traffic light party?

Sometimes I love Valentine's day, and sometimes I'm unfussed, and I don't think it has much to do with my relationship status. To be honest, the reason I have decided to love Valentine's this year, is because I've realised it is a nice little opportunity to celebrate just something - a friendly stopover on the way from Christmas to spring, something to feel happy about, an excuse to treat myself and loved ones.

Under the guise of Valentine's, so far I've bought myself a (teeny tiny) box of £13 chocolates, a bunch of £1 daffodils and a lush bath bomb. I was going to call this post "self love this Valentine's day" but that sounds super dodge, and well, a different kind of post.

Lush are doing a lovely range of Valentine's Day bath bombs, but I couldn't resist this one, Tisty Tosty, available and smelling lovely all year round. 

We all know loving ourselves is the most important thing, it is only when we love and appreciate us that we can appreciate how others love us, and be able to love them back the best we can.

As I sit here writing this, right in front of me are two framed photos. The first, of my Mum and my Dad, back in 1988, slumped on the sofa, my Dad's head resting on my Mum's shoulder and a teeny tiny new baby (me) nestling in between them. In the next, my friends Katy, Beth and I sit on the grass in our evening gowns at Henley Regatta, a sunbeam shining through the gaps in our bodies. Both of those photos have so much love in them, neither of which are the red roses and champagne kind.

Sometimes, I've found in the past if I am single on Valentine' day, it can become a time to count the love I don't have in my life. But how much nicer would Valentine's day be, if we made it about looking after and loving ourselves, and appreciating all the different types of love we receive?

My Valentine's trip 2014. To take this photo, I am out the front of a sledge (trying to avoid being pooed on by the huskies), leaning back on my Dad, leaning back on my boyfriend. Romantic. 

Copyrights: the top photo is obvs not from that time I photographed Gwyneth Paltrow with my Samsung Galaxy 3 (that never happened). The photo is taken from Harper's Bazaar March issues for their feature celebrating the florist Eric Butterbaugh. On sale February 17th. 

Don't mind reading all my ramblings and musings? Then maybe check out Loner: A big HIYA to 2015 here.

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