G's birthday is on February 14th, so we never celebrate Valentine's Day; instead it is always a birthday celebration - and one that involves G's wider family as G's brother's birthday is on the same day and his father's is on the day after. We are not married, so don't have a wedding anniversary either. Our first proper date was on 11th January 1997 and that is the date we take as our anniversary - but mid-January is never very romantic because we are always feeling poor and puritanical after the excesses of Christmas.
More romantic have been moments when G has appeared home from work with a book for me that he thinks I would like, or when we spent on our first holiday together walking the Pennine Way and eating endless meals of egg and chips. Little, daily acts of love like bringing me a cup of tea in bed were what I thought romance was based on.
But, my thinking has changed over this past weekend....
This afternoon G and I came back from a weekend that we spent at The Dial House Hotel in Bourton On The Water, in the very heart of The Cotswolds. The hotel is a very old, classically Cotswold building with stunning gardens, a few beautifully designed bedrooms and a fabulous chef. Our room also had its very own, private garden, opening out from french windows at the foot of our bed.
The whole setting was deeply romantic and luxurious. In the main garden of the hotel was a summer house. A little, square wooden house that looked as if it belonged in a child's picture book. Inside, there were low sofas around three of the walls, which were scattered with silk cushions. In the centre of the room was a large, square table with some little candles in the middle. There was even a button to call for service.
On Saturday evening we took our coffee in the summer house after dinner. We brought our iPods and little portable speakers with us, plus some board games. The setting was the most romantic thing I have ever come across. Night fell, the stars came out, and we were in a little, cosy house built for two, with music to match our mood.
Here is a list from my iPod of music for romantic moments:
- You are always on my mind by Michael Buble
- Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
- Crazy by Patsy Cline
- All You Want by Dido
- One Love / People Get Ready by Bob Marley
- Promenade Sentimentale by Vladimir Cosma
- The Secret Marriage by Sting
- Don't Know Why by Norah Jones
- I Put A Spell On You by Nina Simone
- God Only Knows by The Beach Boys
- It Must Be Love by Madness
- Sky Holds The Sun by The Exploding Thumbs
I would like to say that in the spirit of romance and sharing, we didn't just listen to my iPod, but G's favourite Danish ambient glitch-techno band, Trentemoeller, didn't really set the mood....