A few days ago, Ian and I entered into a pact - to celebrate our love for one another, Saint Valentine and his feast day in a greener and more sustainable way than ever before. Basically, this means no flowers.
I first winced at the idea, having been to flower-free funerals, but soon came around. And today is no funeral.
Most flowers given to loved ones today, here in the UK, are either grown in Kenya or in European heated greenhouses. Which is worse than the other? If it's too close to call, perhaps they are both bad news for the planet:
Roses grown in Kenya rack up the horticultural equivalent of thousands of food miles and in a country where water is scarce, shouldn't we be doing something to stop water being diverted to quench our thirst for luxury in the West?
St Valentine's Day is not celebrated in June. If it were, gifts of roses might be more acceptable in our aching for a greener lifestyle. But it's not. And North European roses don't bloom in mid-February. Unless they're grown in greenhouses heated by burning fossil fuels. And that's not very green, is it, dear reader?
So Ian and I are exchanging gifts we can treasure, if not for ever, for a very long time, today. I did think of a flower alternative in the form of daffodils, but they're not very romantic. I can find more romantic things in chocolate shops, department stores et al. So that's what I did.
I had some lovely things from Ian: A Paul Smith fragrance, Notes On A Scandal by Zoë Heller, a travel guide to Tokyo and a Creme Egg! I found them this morning on going downstairs. I also had a very beautiful and romantic card. I've put it in the living room along with the one my Mother sent me (she never fails). Oh, and I had an e-card from my delicious freind, Fee, too. How fabulous!
I don't feel bad about not having bought Ian a dozen red roses this year. But should I? Does this mean romance is dead?