The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

February 14th – Valentine’s Day

loveFebruary 14th. It’s a big day as it celebrates love.

Traditionally it was the day when your special partner andor secret admirers espoused love and beyond. Now it has blossomed to include every sort of love. Perhaps the Min Pins are now carefully positioning their muddy paw prints on cards as my fingers fly across the keyboard.

At my grim boarding school there were really pretty girls that used to receive several cards on Valentine’s day. I can still hear their shrieks now as they ripped open the envelopes and honed into the messages.

My mum always sent me a card. With curly wurly writing so that I might not recognise who had sent it. Of course I saw through that but I was so grateful to walk up to the ‘post monitor’ and receive my card.

Opened alone and so appreciated. I even carefully glued them into my one day a day diary.

With Danny, those early days were such a time of hope and joy. We exchanged cards, a bit embarrassed, like teenagers. Most of these were eventually framed and added to The Love Gallery. These small framed tokens used to give me so much pleasure when I passed them on the way to the bathroom.

Over the past few years Valentine’s Day became a time of stress. I’m sure for both of us. I do remember several supermarket Valentine Meals ending up in the bin a couple of weeks after the event. We’d lost that innocent appreciative mojo.

A friend once said years ago,
“You are one of the last of the old romantics.”
I was surprised – thought most people were like me.

This year, dazzled by the hoards of signs reminding me that Valentine’s Day was approaching, I reckoned that it might be a bit of a struggle for a newby singleton.

Last week a bulky card arrived from America. Intrigued, I carefully opened the envelope.

I pulled out the longest Valentine’s card that I’d ever received. It was ‘signed’ in absentia by a few blog readers and CSH forumites.

I flopped down onto my old fur lined chair at the kitchen table and wept with a strange mixture of despair and delight. I’d been dreading Valentine’s Day but suddenly I felt cherished.

Thank you Michelle and Dan from Oregon and everyone who connived with this glorious plot. You have made this Valentine’s Day so special for me.

I need to go out and find a page a day dairy now that’s big enough to cosset this card. That drive into town will be a pleasure and I’m sure that I’ll smile all the way there.


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54 Comments

  1. Dorothea

    Jon, you are right and not alone. Life is so so hard and sorrowful at times but one has to keep trying to find a good reason to carry on. Often the reasons allude us and we are tempted to give up but we have to keep going don’t we. I’m sure it is worth the effort…we cannot let misery win. Fiona…you are creative, caring and empathetic…you have it within you to spread so much joy and happiness…give it a go please…I think you will find that the joy and happiness will go round in a circle and end up in heaps in your lap…what have you got to lose ? Love to you and Jon…and… can we look forward to a new phase for the Cottage Smallholder in time for Christmas ? I hope so.

  2. I still find it very hard to believe that all of those years of hard work to make this site and the Cottage Smallholder a success and to have so many people that really care about where you are and if you are ok, it would now seem that you have given up, not only on this site but on your friends as well. We have all had our problems over the years, i myself have lost my Wife and my Son but you take what you can and keep those memories and move on. Fiona we do care and not even to acknowledge the fact that we are here worrying about you really hurts. I hope you find what you are looking for and wish you well, i shall still continue to use this brilliant site and maybe, just maybe you will pop back to say hello, Regards Jon

  3. Badcat666

    ewo F,

    Just an ickle note to say we are all thinking about you and hope you and the pins are ok. This site helped me during some very difficult times and just wanted to let you know that your little blog and website helped me no ends.

    really hope you are ok. I keep popping on to check for updates from you.

    sending you hugs xxx

  4. Original Redhead

    Don’t know if you are still logging in Fiona. Been AWOL, from CSH, for a wee while – well nearly 18 months and just catching up.

    This is just a quick ‘sorry I wasn’t here when you needed people’ and ‘hope your life is full of if not happiness then contentment’ message.

    Love & Huggles

  5. Hi Fiona… Just wanted to pop in & say I’m missing your posts. Hugs to the min pins too..

  6. Liza Thomas

    Dear Fiona,
    You’ve been gone for 6 months now. Please come back soon! At least please let us know you are ok.

  7. Joy Clark

    I came on here to look at your rose hip syrup recipe, Fiona, and was saddened to see that you’ve been gone for quite a long time now. I hope that you are safe and well and I miss you – we all do. Thinking of you.
    Love
    J x

  8. Fiona, I miss you, hope you are getting along ok. X

  9. Dorothea

    ….I understand the “..I want to be alone…” syndrome. It’s vital for a Virgo but Fiona…you’ve been alone from us for long enough. We need you, we want you and it’s time you came back….so please, please…come back…NOW ! Thank you and lots of love from me and all.

  10. As one of the many “checkers”, I add my comment to Jon’s – Invaluable recipe source, and inspiration to try new things… I have made Redcurrant vodka! Used the same principles as Raspberry vodka, hopefully will taste good 🙂 Trust you’re well Fiona

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