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Your shout: Sam Baines - 'I detest a Valentine’s Grinch'

Samantha Baines

Stop hating on the Day of Love, you bunch of miseries. It’s all the best things in life in 24 hours!

The best day of the year comes around this month. Yep, you heard me. Some people wait in muddy anticipation for Glastonbury each year. Not me: I wait for the love festival – no outdoor sleeping required. Theoretically you could go camping on Valentine’s Day and gaze up at the stars while holding hands but you’d definitely have to leave London. We have no stars here, they’ve all run away from the paparazzi and the pollution.

If you don’t like February 14 and act like it’s just another day you should be shot with a cannon full of heart confetti and then hugged by a stranger. I detest a Valentine’s Grinch: they look like the hairy Christmas Grinch but they’re red and they seem to be multiplying rapidly. Valentine’s Day is 24 hours of holding hands and snogging: what’s not to like? Stop your moaning, London. Whether you are single, a couple, or ‘other’ (meaning you haven’t had that conversation yet) you should celebrate Valentine’s Day.

‘But I don’t need to celebrate love on just one day: I do it all year round.’ Yeah but you don’t, do you? Stop lying to yourself and your secretly-romantic-but-agreeing-with-you-just-to-keep-the-peace significant other. Seriously, you’re not telling me that you get all dressed up, organise a special meal, buy a card and a heart-shaped present, 364 days a year. Mind you, if you actually do, can I come and live with you?

In London we work to schedule, everything is diarised and on this one day of the year, love is too. Add it to your to-do list: top up Oyster card, buy teabags, put away that box of Christmas decorations, celebrate love. Everyone loves a list, although I would suggest that love should never be last on that list: it should be at the top with heart doodles, initials and the magic love word ‘4eva’ underneath it.

‘But Valentine’s Day is just for couples.’ Erm, no. If you are single you can have lots of fun on Valentine’s Day because everyone wants to play tongue hockey and do some rhythmic cuddling and even if you’re not up for that, love doesn’t just come in the sexy variety. Why not organise a Valentine’s Day girls’ night with all the ladies you love and eat loads of heart-shaped sweet things, buy each other flowers and just feel special and loved with your nearest and dearest? That’s what this marvellous day is all about.

Now, gifts: I love a gift. If you are rubbish at saying those three little words ‘You are alright’ (London speak for ‘I love you’), a gift can be an ideal expression for the shy of mouth. Think cuddly toys saying ‘I love you’ are too cheesy for the modern, grown-up, independent woman or man? Think again. I love them, and whether or not you’d display one on your bed or be too embarrassed to carry it home on the tube, you love them too. You receive the novelty love bear, and once the teenage you has said ‘That’s not “cool”, everyone will laugh at me’, the real you will give a little smile. These little smiles can be difficult to spot on the faces of hardened Londoners but they are always there, combating train delays and grumpy bus drivers. So, this Valentine’s Day go cheesy love bear, and GO BIG! Put love in your diary and never look back.

Are you convinced? Take a look at the best things to do in London this Valentine's Day

Or get in the mood with the 50 best love songs


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