Sunday, 14 February 2010

happy gourmet valentine new year!

Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐

I was born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger, so it's good to see it come round again :-)

Our Valentine celebration started early this year, with a gourmet candle-lit meal at The Nut Tree Inn, Murcott - a gift from Maralyn, my friend from school days at Godolphin and Latymer.  We chose the menu "en surprise", a selection from the main menu, but in taster size portions.  By the time we had eaten our way through seven courses and three different wines, I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to stand up at the end of the meal - quite an exceptional experience!

..Still full of food but undeterred, we treated ourselves to another gourmet meal this evening - this time a little more down to earth: three courses, plus pink fizz and chocolates courtesy of M & S.  I could only manage it by skipping lunch, but we couldn't let Valentines day pass without a celebration!  Steve's card to me was a brilliant Lego heart design in plan, elevation and bird's eye view (he's still a little boy underneath it all!). I gave him a living Valentine of red, dark and light pink tulips (one of his favourite flowers) set in a heart shape arrangement.  Still picking up the tiny bits of forists' oasis from the floor, but it looked fine after surviving a night hidden in the loft!

The passing of Valentine's Day means we are fast approaching our wedding anniversary - we got together on 29 February 1972 and decided to make it official not long after.  Wanting a memorable date for a wedding, we decided against 1 April, which seemed a bit of a joke.  In the end,  we settled on 1 May, a wonderful event in Oxford if you can get up early enough to see (and if you are lucky, hear) the choir sing a hymn from the top of Magdalen College tower, followed by general revelry and festivities including Morris dancing, impromtu music...and the pubs are open too.  We didn't get to May morning that year, but we did get married! 

We're looking forward to this year's anniversary.  Not sure what we'll do yet, but it will be special for us.  Last year we were in Florence, which was when Steve first started feeling ill. My goodness - it seems like another lifetime.  Nevertheless, almost eight months post-diagnosis, he's still going strong, notwithstanding the tingles in his hands and feet, which come and go like tidal waves...just when we think he's getting better, it starts getting worse again.  Very frustrating....

...I'm back in London tomorrow, but will be home for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday :-)  Happy tossing!

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