Valentine's Day 23 years ago…
It was Saturday 14th February 1987, and my boyfriend Olley had booked us a table for two to eat at our favourite wine bar, Le Cochinet, just around the corner from our flat in Maida Vale, in west London.
As we were reading the menu, several friends walked in, saw us and hijacked our romantic evening! We moved to a larger table and enjoyed a sociable meal full of laughter and good wine – it was six days later that I learned what I had missed out on…
Popping the question
Olley had planned to ask me surely the most romantic of questions that night, but his plans to propose marriage to me had been thwarted by the arrival of those friends of ours.
It was at our kitchen table on Friday 20th February, while he was eating a bowl of re-heated bean stew and I was nursing a heavy cold, that he finally managed to put it to me that I might like to spend the rest of my life as his wife. (You can see a picture of us on our wedding day). The rest, as they say, is history.
I'm actually quite happy that it turned out that way – it's fine to enjoy a romantic moment along with the rest of the world on Valentine's Day, but I like having my own special day. The 20th of the month is more important to us as a couple than the 14th.
Our plans this Valentine's Day
Having said that, we'll be out on Saturday night this weekend. Yes, in fine tradition we'll be eating with friends again, but celebrating Chinese New Year at Kong's, our local Chinese restaurant.
There'll be live music and lion dancing, and no doubt lots of good food and wine, and more laughter.
So whether it's Valentine's Day, the New Year of the Tiger or anything else you're celebrating this weekend, I'll raise a glass to you.