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Blog : Posts tagged with 'romance'

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Ordinary

In which nothing special happens


It’s another ordinary Saturday. We lie in for a bit, then we get up and put the kettle on. We don’t have any plans; we’ll probably watch some of Saturday Kitchen on the telly. K’s brought some work home for the weekend, the car needs a headlamp bulb changing, and of course I can always do a bit of work drafting up some blog posts and tweaking the Secret New Site Design. But, generally, we don’t have any plans big enough to be called plans. It’s just another ordinary Saturday.

Lots of people, of course, will be going out and doing stuff today. They’ll be going out in pairs and trying to have a romantic time together, after giving each other giant cards in Arterial Blood Red. Restaurants will be packed, and shops everywhere will be running out of flowers and chocolates. Because it says, on their calendars, that that’s what you have to do today.

To my mind, though: that makes the day less romantic, not more. You shouldn’t do something special for your special someone, just because of the date. You should do something special for them if you want to show your love, yes, but if you want to show your love you shouldn’t have to wait for today. Christmas is slightly different, it’s a time for getting in touch with people; but Valentine’s Day is something of a pointless exercise.

So, today shouldn’t be different to any other. As a form of affirmative action, we’ve said to each other that we will specifically avoid doing anything special today; we’ll do everything we can to make it as ordinary a Saturday as possible. There are 364 other days in 2009, after all.* I’ll find some way to surprise K, to make her smile and blush, to remind her how much I love her. It won’t be today, though. It’ll be any day she deserves it; any day of the year.

* although, if you want to be pedantic, there are only 320 left after today.

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Romantic

In which FP wonders where the romance of IT has gone


A quick news story from last week: A chap called Dr Brendan Kelly has analysed 20 random medical romance novels and spotted that they are all written to a very similar template. If you’re a romance novelist and want to bash out another, all you apparently have to do is change your characters’ names, and you’re set.

Dr Kelly noted that the heroes of these novels are generally handsome, arrogant surgeons with a traumatic past; you don’t tend to get handsome, arrogant psychiatrists popping up, for some reason. Never mind about psychiatrists, though. Where are the handsome, arrogant IT technicians? Never mind saving the lives of patients with mysterious illnesses just when you thought all was lost – where are the romance novels about data rescue and mysterious ARP caching? The world needs, clearly, an IT romance novel. I’ll let you know when I manage to get a couple of scenes down on paper.

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Memories of the year (part four)

In which we remember Scotland


This is just a short one. A romantic breakfast, in a supermarket in Greenock, squeezed between the railway and the firth. Haar is hanging over the firth,* and the far shore is out of sight. I’m sitting, looking at you, and wondering how many times I’ll be back here.

* except that it isn’t, because – according to East Coast people, at any rate – you only get haar on the East Coast. So any sea-fogs you get hanging over West Coast firths, and towns like Greenock, Rothesay or Wemyss Bay, can’t be proper haar. Any Scots reading feel free to correct me on this.

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Things I Just Don’t Get (part 94)

In which we wonder why people set themselves up to suffer


There are many things I just don’t understand about people, but this is one I’ve been thinking about lately.

A month or more ago now, I wrote about Big Dave’s Dating Life. In particular, about one particular girl from his darts team, who was constantly tempted to go back to her ex-boyfriend even though he tended to beat her up whenever she visited him. Big Dave’s romantic contribution: a few vigilante-style threats to help persuade him to stop.

Anyway, Big Dave’s wooing proceeded according to plan, with a few dates which got more and more serious as time went on. Until last week, when he was cruelly dumped,* because she’d decided to go back to the abusive ex, with still no sign that he really was going to stop the beatings.

No sooner had this happened, then one of the worse gossip-mongers at our branch in Another Part Of The Forest starts telling us that one of her underlings – a woman who I’ll call Antivirus – is on a diet, because she wants to look good for her wedding. Which is, well, news.

I don’t know Antivirus very well, but we do chat to each other on the phone every week or so, and the last I’d heard about her relationship really didn’t sound promising. To put it bluntly, a few months ago it had broken down. Not only was she moving out, but she was moving out secretly. She’d planned to wait until she knew the boyfriend was securely at work, then she rushed in with some friends in a van, so that he’d come home to find her, her kids,** all her possessions gone. Because she was terrified of how he’d react if she told him she was leaving.

If you ask me, that’s not a good relationship to be in. It’s not the sort of relationship you’re going to want to go back to. But, for some reason, she has. Not only that, but she’s agreed to marry him.

Obviously, I don’t know the details of either of these cases. Maybe there’s a good reason for everything here. Maybe both of these men have turned over a completely new leaf, and are going to be perfect partners from now on. That’s what they’ve probably promised, at any rate. If it was me, though, I wouldn’t be convinced. There are lots of aspects of relationships I don’t understand, but there are some people who really baffle me.

* “cruelly”, because she did it by text message.

** not his, in case you were wondering.

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Old romantic

In which we feel a community spirit


I was a little doubtful when I saw, on the front page of Friday’s Guardian, the tagline “Steam trains – the great aphrodisiac”. I like trains, but I wouldn’t say that about them.

It turned out to be subeditor’s hyperbolae. The article turned out to be about the radical romanticism of the steam engine, and eroticism was only briefly mentioned. I’m rather glad. Train-into-tunnel might be a classic visual metaphor, but I don’t think very many people would say that the train itself is what gets them going. There are people out there who haven’t just had sex on the train, but can remember the numbers of the trains they’ve had sex on – but I somehow don’t think it was the train itself that was turning them on.*

What I do like about trains is what that article calls “the rigmarole of trains”. The ritual surrounding the railway. The little bits of peculiar terminology that you don’t get anywhere else.** The natural romanticism of rail travel, and the community feeling that can spring up around the line.

* but if it was – on balance, I think I’d rather not know!

** phrases like “not to be used outside possessions”, or “not to be loose or hump shunted”.

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V-Day

In which we consider what makes a day special


Happy Valentine’s Day.

If, like me, you’re sad, single, and filled with self-hatred and self-loathing, you can at least take pleasure* in thinking that a lot of coupled people don’t enjoy Valentine’s day at all.** They participate because they’re obliged to. Moreover, if you love someone, show it to them every day of the year.

* well, schadenfreude at least

** and, coupled people who do enjoy it, please don’t write in to ruin my cotton-wool world of illusion.

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