Marie’s March Article

Valentine’s Day which was on the 14th February, seems to get more and more popular, whereas when we were young Valentine cards were supposed to be anonymous and there were no flowers or presents.  I have a Valentine’s card from 67 years ago but Dave couldn’t resist signing it!

There are many stories about St. Valentine – one is that after Emperor Claudius 11 banned all marriages and engagements taking place in Rome, St. Valentine continued to conduct weddings in secret.  Claudius the Cruel soon found out and ordered that the saint be clubbed to death, although legend has it that St. Valentine was beheaded.  Some believe the martyr’s name is the inspiration behind Valentine’s Day but the origins of the annual celebration of love remain shrouded in mystery.

When we went to a Garden Centre at the end of February it was great to see the Spring flowers.  We also saw acquaintances we hadn’t seen for ages but before we went we decided we wouldn’t buy any more plants.  However, Dave bought a standard rose in the sale and I was tempted to buy a weeping Pussy Willow, which I had always wanted.

A few weeks ago when we had our car cleaned and it was a bitter cold day,   six young men did the cleaning and I have never seen such happy workers.  They said they were from Afghanistan and I would imagine they earned a pittance.  I found myself singing the old hymn, “O happy band of pilgrims.”

I wrote the following poem many years ago but it is still true:

“March sounds like a soldier’s harsh command

But is a month when Spring is suddenly to hand.

It brings sharp cold breezes and nightly frost

But plants arise which once were lost.

So welcome March with its wind and cold;

A month to banish the winter of old.

Welcome March as it heralds the flowers

And makes way for the next month’s showers.”