Saturday, 13 February 2016

Valentine Thoughts


"...Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience;
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace; 
Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love and obey.

Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come, you forward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown;

But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband's foot:

In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready; may it do him ease."

I've been reading some Valentine Blogs and wondering.

Everyone around here seem so romantically inclined that I started to think that Dan and I have been kind of restrained all these years. The thing is that although I love to get little reminders of Dan's love for me - I don't really need them. I know he loves me.


It's in every tangible moment of our lives together.

The brush of fingers; the meeting of eyes across a room; the smile of contentment; our concurrent reflexibility.

I do have my memories. Of course I do. I often think we've been together for so long that we are symbiotic. A joining of two souls.

One of the first Valentine Cards Dan sent me was of a caveman with a large club, tugging his girlfriend (who had a big smile on her face) along by her hair. I put it on my desk in my office, and all day people passing through could hardly contain themselves for laughter. My boss included. Strangely, I loved it. Maybe it was an indication of how things would be.

Over the years I've had cards with hearts and flowers, and cards that said he loved my dangly bits; big cards and small cards; pretty cards and funny cards. 

And never once has he forgotten.

We don't celebrate in any particular way. These days we just seize the moment and make a decision at the time. We are often away on holiday, so that tends to take some of the decision-making out of our hands. Last year we drank cocktails in Barbados, and one year we celebrated with a walk up a hill in the Cotswolds in the rain. 


Perhaps our most memorable Valentine's was cruising down the Nile and watching a string of water buffalo swimming alongside us as we passed - the early morning sun all pink and pearly as it rose over the desert.


This year we are moving house, so tomorrow will be a family lunch. There won't be many more Sunday lunches in this house, so each one is precious. We love to observe how our own offspring choose to celebrate Valentines. Both our son and our son-in-law are very romantic in their given ways. It is a joy to us.

And now I am off to bake my Valentine's Cake. It is a little custom when we are at home on February 14. I always bake a heart-shaped chocolate cake for everyone to enjoy. It doesn't last long.


Have a lovely Valentine's Day everyone! Enjoy it to the full, however you choose to celebrate it - quietly or noisily (giggle!).

And the prose? It is taken from Kate's speech near the end of The Taming of the Shrew - one of my favourite plays by William Shakespeare. 


26 comments:

  1. Oh, Ami. What a beautiful post. I love those lines of Kate's for a start! I agree that romance is not always something you can hold in your hand.

    When you have been married and in love for a very long time, I think romance is like a dance that takes you through your days. You may not always touch, but you will soon twirl back into his arms. And you always know that he is waiting for you.

    Hugs Across the Pond,
    Ella

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    1. Thank you, Ella. I always used to refer to Dan and I as 'dancing'. Think I like the Viennese waltz the best.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  2. Lovely post. I too know that Ray loves me to the tips of his toes and the depth of his soul so I don't need reminders. He is much more romantic than I though, sometimes I feel guilty, but I don't seem to have that gene.

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    1. Thank you, Leigh. It's interesting that Ray is the romantic one and not you. I think I am very romantic, but Dan just doesn't see things the same way. However, he always lives up to the occasion.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  3. Ami,
    Happy Valentine's Day to you and Dan. This is a holiday that inches us closer to sweet spring.
    Meredith

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    1. Thank you, Mere. Not much sweet spring here yet apart from some very early spring flowers that are now going blue with cold. But nice to know that it is ahead of us.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  4. We always get each other a card, sometimes a bit of candy, but it's not a really big day for us. I laughed when my son-in-law posted this yesterday,

    "There's no greater joy in life than being married to someone who cares as little about Valentines Day as you do."

    As long as they're happy - and I agree with them.

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    1. Well, you get a bit of candy more than me!

      That is lovely what your son in law posted. It suits the pair of us!

      Hugs
      Ami

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  5. Taming is one of my favorites also. No doubts about Master's commitment and love here either...but no fancy cards or flowers....lost of leather tho:)!
    hugs abby

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    1. Love your "lots of leather"!!! I do like my card from Dan though. Keeps me happy.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  6. Lovely post Ami. Valentine's Day is not a big thing in the Ronnie an P household. I know how P feels about me so I don't need reminders.

    Have a wonderful family gathering.

    Love,
    Ronnie
    xx

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    1. I wonder if maybe we don't go so much on Valentine's Day in the UK? I did get my card, and we did have a very good Sunday lunch with the kids. It was also a treat just to relax and take it easy for a change.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  7. Happy Valentine's Day to you and Dan. Hope you have fun with the family!
    love Jan,xx

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    1. Thanks, Jan. We had a very good day.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  8. I was born a romantic at heart always imagining my happily ever after. However, I do not need gifts or grand gestures. Just hearing three simple words is enough for me. :-) I know my husband's love for me is true. And, when my usually unromantic husband surprises me with flowers or a card for any occasion it is always a welcomed surprise. Truthfully Valentines Day for us is just a day...I am just happy that this year he is home as usually he is away for business... Thank-you for sharing the beautiful post... Hugs

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    1. You know, I think when your husband isn't a born romantic, the surprise of a card or flowers means much more, because they have had to put some effort in. I am so glad you have your husband around this year! I know just what you mean about husbands being away as in the past Dan was away a great deal.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  9. Happy valentine's day to you and Dan. We're not romantic here. Probably will exchange cards, but we've no other plans, excepting the usual Sunday roast!
    hugs
    DF

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    1. Thank you, DF. Cards is good! And I just love having a Sunday roast, even though I am the one to cook it!

      Hugs
      Ami

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  10. Wishing you and Dan a lovely and loving Valentine's celebration, Ami. Thank you sharing this beautiful post...hope you had a sweet family dinner.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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    1. Thank you, Cat. We had a really good dinner and I put my feet up in the evening with a roaring log fire! It was a very pleasant way to spend a day.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  11. LOVED this post, Ami! :) Happy Valentine's Day to you and Dan. I hope that you had a great day with your family. And eating cake! YUM!!!

    I'm with you- it is not the day that is needed to remind each other of our love after all these years. It is instead, the little things each day. These past few years with ttwd has only strengthened how we now view those little things I think. We did no big thing- a nice drive, a cuddle when I jumped back in bed and dozed, a sweet response to my usual flossing text- those things made the day special for me. They could have happened any day, and they often do really. That is love.

    Thanks for sharing the Shakespeare piece. Loved it! I hope that you are doing okay with all the moving. It is really non-stop work. Been there recently (ugh!), and now we are looking for the more permanent move to come! I know the feeling if you want someone to commiserate with! Ring me up! I am sure that it will go smashingly well! ;) Take care! Many hugs,

    <3 Katie

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    1. Thank you, Katie. We had a great day, although the cake was not quite what I had planned. LOL!

      Your day sounds just about perfect! You and that 'flossing'. It cracks me up!

      Ugh! I so hate clearing out and packing up and moving on. But I have to keep telling myself that the spring and summer are ahead.

      Hope you find somewhere soon.

      Hugs
      Ami

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  12. This is a beautiful post. I agree, a day is not needed to celebrate the love we have created over the years and strengthened with ttwd. It's just wonderful knowing that forever this amazing person will stand beside you and continue to make wonderful memories with you. Happy Hearts Day to you both.

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    1. Thank you, Laurel. I love that saying "Happy Hearts Day". I shall think of Valentine's Day as that in future! Hope you had a good day too!

      Hugs
      Ami

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  13. Love this Amy! I agree about one special day.... However it makes people stop and think. If you are always running and frenetic, the celebration can help someone enjoy thoughts of love!
    I always feel bad for my guy, who is a romantic! We are always celebrating my birthday. Unfortunately we don't get to easily celebrate both!

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    1. Minelle - I know you are always running and frenetic, my dear! Good grief, girl!

      But you have the excuse that Valentine's Day is your birthday, and so it's two celebrations in one. And you are very lucky you are married to a romantic! LOL! (I am still laughing....)

      Hugs
      Ami

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