My Gutsy Valentine

Ok, I realise it’s a bit early for the Valentine stuff, but consider today’s post a poke in the ribs, to make sure that whatever your love life situation, you do something memorable, brave even, to celebrate 14th February this year.

Time for a true story… are you sitting comfortably? Tough, I’m starting anyway…

Once upon a very long time ago, there was an ordinary girl on a train. Everyday the girl-on-the-train looked out for the handsome boy-on-the-train and daydreamed about all sorts of things that a handsome boy and an ordinary girl could do together on a train and other more stationary locations. The girl never spoke to the boy, and the boy never noticed the girl. It seemed that even though they caught the same train, every day at the same time, and got off at the same stop, their tracks were never destined to cross.

However, on Valentine’s Day the ordinary girl decided to take destiny in to her own hands. She made the handsome boy a special card and inside it she wrote him a special poem. (I know you’re thinking why am I reading this two-fingers-down-the-throat rubbish? Bear with me.) She didn’t sign it. But, as an after thought, she slipped her phone number inside the envelope and packaged it up with a red ribbon. In a moment of wild bravery and passionate hope she made her best friend leave it on the windscreen of his car. (A handsome racing green MGB, in case you’re wondering.)

But he didn’t phone. Valentine’s Day came and went. The ordinary girl consoled herself with Biarritz chocolates and a video of Pretty Woman. Still nothing happened. The handsome boy never got on the train again and the ordinary girl started to wonder if she had imagined him into life.

Then one evening in March, when the ordinary girl had quite forgot about being brave or passionate, there was a phone call. Yes, you’ve guessed it – from the handsome boy.

‘I liked your card,’ he said, ‘and your poem. I’m sorry for not phoning sooner, but I’ve been away at sea. Would you like to go out for dinner?’

Here endeth today’s lesson. So, don’t wait for fate to pull into your station… be brave and bold and daring. Build your own train track; the stops you make, the sights you see, and the passengers you meet are all up to you. Choo Choo!

What? You want to know what happened next? Well, you probably guessed that the ordinary girl was me.(well, d’oh!) I’d love to tell you that we lived happily ever after, but we didn’t. We did, however, share lots of pizzas, plenty of poems and rides in the racing green MGB and other stationary locations.

What did the card say? Oh, the poem? It went something like this:

If pigs could fly, if rain was dry, to you my love I’d swear.

I’d wait for you by your MGB, then my passions I’d declare.

But rain is definitely wet and I haven’t seen a pig fly yet,

So I’ll have to ask you to be mine, by giving you this secret valentine.

So what are you waiting for? Go on – do something dramatic for Valentine’s Day – I dare you… x


Don’t You Want Me, Baby?

Today is a difficult day. I have been rejected. Well, not officially. There is no letter, email or rejection slip to tell me in black and white that I have been unsuccessful this time. I almost wish there was, painful though it would be to read – it would at least put me out of my misery. Instead as the “don’t call us we’ll call you” deadline approaches, and the Human League’s Don’t You Want Me becomes the soundtrack to my life, I have to make the decision myself to give up wondering: Could that phone ringing be them? Is there news in the letterbox today? Did they even get my stuff? Did anyone actually read it?

I sit back down at my desk.  Carefully I open the box to check that they are still there. They have moved a bit, so I fix the fragile folds and smooth down the wispy edges. I wrap the dreams back up in their little shreds of hope. I look out of the window. It is the first day of February today but already I can see the familiar green fingertips of the daffodils poking out of the soil to check the temperature. They return every year, even here, on this wind-whipped edge of the Atlantic. Despite the inhospitable weather, and the fact that my husband destroys their lingering stems with his lawnmower, they always grow back. They keep growing.

Not quite Wordsworth

So, that is what I will do. I will keep lingering and growing, ignoring the rain and the scythes of the gardeners. I will keep writing – regardless.

Shhh, just a minute – there’s the phone. I’ll be right back…