Looking back over my previous posts, I realized this morning that I generally write something less than romantic on February 14. So, in the interest of continuity, here goes this year’s.
While a lot of us are off being all romantic today, it’s good to reflect on other things that make St Valentine’s Day special.
Firstly, and possibly an important cure for the less scrupulous and loved up among us, the 1929 discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming.
Alex left a plate of germy stuff out without any cling wrap and the next day, amazingly, it had gone mouldy. Rather than celebrate the 14th with his goodly wife, he worked out that the mouldy stuff was good for killing bacteria which had proved rather handy in most medical situations.
Imagine, if Alex had gone out with his wife instead of staying at the lab, life expectancy would be a lot lower. So, thank you, Dr Fleming, and well done for not subscribing to such a silly occasion.
Secondly, in 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed to the world that a printed book was far more powerful than his religion. Afeared for the belief system he yelled about from tall towers almost every day, he told all of his followers that they were allowed to go and kill Salman Rushdie because he was a better writer than whoever wrote the Koran, or Q’aran…or however you spell it.
Speaking of religious nuts…the power of St Valentine is extraordinary. Even stronger than Rushdie. In a few Moslem countries, the observation of February 14 is illegal. In Saudi Arabia, for instance.
Not that it stops people buying their loved ones roses and chocolates. They just buy them over the phone and they’re hidden at the back of the shop until they pick them up. Presumably it’s all carried on very cloak and dagger like.
A little more mad though was a demonstration in mostly Moslem Pakistan where one group said Valentines Day was harmless while the other side claimed it led to all sorts of debauchery, descended into violence. It started with stones being thrown and ended up with shots being fired. Yep, that just about sums it up.
As for us…we went to our first NGS garden for the year, Timber Hill over in nearby Chobham.
The beauty of Timber Hill is that they welcome dogs on leads. Our three enjoyed themselves though Freya tried to eat the metal deer.
One of the highlights was the massive oak tree surrounded by bulbs.
So much better than chocolate. Though we had our usual candle lit dinner.