Finally... the longest month of the year is behind us! Hello February, the month of love.

Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated in 946AD from a Roman festival in the middle of February, called Lupercalia, which officially started their spring time. Around 1000 years later, the sweet smell of hyacinth bulbs placed in every corner of my house are enjoying the odd spout of sunshine. Alas, within days they grow so tall their heavy heads need a walking stick to prop them up. It’s almost how I feel waking up in the morning as the kids shout up at 8am “Mum. Wake up! It’s packed lunch day.”

Without doubt, love in my house solely belongs to the kids. We are already discussing waffles for breakfast (a loud alarm set for the 14th) and what kindness we can show each other. Admittedly, my girl is embracing the whole concept more easily than the boys.

Wimbledon Times:

Wimbledon Village Stables

For those who shudder at the thought of Valentine’s Day, look to the Greeks who never intended the word LOVE to be squeezed into one romantic meaning. From the moment I meet up with our Cypriot family, the word ‘Agape’ is adorned upon the children, as cheeks are squeezed and kisses planted on foreheads. Agape is frequently used to express the love of family, charity and God.

Eros, however, is ‘intimate love’. We may translate it as eroticism, but more deeply, it is an appreciation of the beauty within a person. Plato believed it helped the soul recall knowledge of beauty and contribute to an understanding of spiritual truth. Whilst ‘Philia’ is used as an affectionate regard to equal friendship, it captures the loyalty between friends. This somehow can explain the pain we feel when friends let us down, as it can also feel like heartbreak. Finally, Philautia, means self-love; to have regard for one’s own happiness, self compassion. I can only conclude that love doesn’t ever belong to one person. It has equal status with our partners, friends, family and self. Even the person you crush on can awaken the senses and has a place in the Greek meaning of love.

Wimbledon Times:

The world is changing so fast. Valentine’s is having an almighty shake up that lends itself better to all the Greek meanings of ‘Love’. Women are now celebrating Galentine’s Day (female friendship day on 13th February), a time for girls to spend the evening with their best friends. New lovers may still be keen to impress with an imaginative evening of a gig, theatre, gallery or spa, whilst exhausted couples are content with a warm cooked dinner at home. With 2020 being a leap year, I wonder if there are some romantic stories yet to unfold of women asking the one they love to marry them. If you have not yet made plans with your partner, friends or TV and sofa, there is always an invite to attend The Wimbledon Love Ball at Hotel du Vin on 12th February. A chance to drink fine wine, dance, meet friendly local folk and contribute to our raffle in aid of the Mayor of Merton’s charitable trust.

For over a thousand years, St Valentine's name has been used by people to express their feelings to those they love. So be it your kids, parents, lover, partner, crush, friends or horse, I hope you get the chance to show someone special in your life just how much you truly care deeply for them, even if that person is you. Luckily, for those short of time, energy and money; the words ‘I Love You’ say it all.