Anti-Valentine’s. An extract from Tiger Tiger by Nicola Sheehan

Sunday 18th January 10am
I’ve had such a busy few days; Ana and I decided to spend a bit more time together than we have done over the last couple of weeks. We talked about Postroom Pete (a lot), we talked about the party (always nice to bask in past glories), we discussed my plans for an anti-valentines party (a concept that Ana quite sweetly supported even though she’s all loved up) and we discussed my New Year’s resolutions. Ana agrees that the novel writing should definitely be my priority and also shared Jemima’s opinion that undertaking extra writing might help get the creative juices flowing. So she’s letting me do extra features for the magazine on a freelance type basis. We’ve decided, given both my New Year’s resolutions that I should do my first piece on anti-Valentinism and I’ve been super busy researching it.
It turns out that the whole Valentine’s thing is, as I suspected, a big fat con. You see ‘Saint Valentine’ had nothing to do with romantic love (although there were so many of them one of them must have had a bit of an eye for the ladies) and it was only when Geoffrey Chaucer talked about sending love on Valentine’s Day that the horny courtiers thoughts perhaps they should follow. It’s really nonsensical, Chaucer talked about the time that birds mated, how many birds mate in February? It’s too cold for hanky panky, which is why Valentine’s Day leaves me cold. And it’s not just me who thinks it’s a load of old claptrap. In Norfolk apparently a character called Jack Valentine knocks on your back door and leaves sweets and presents for the children…. for the children? On Valentine’s Day? Talk about stranger danger! Understandably Jack Valentine strikes fear into the hearts of many of the Norfolk kids who probably never get over the trauma and end up screaming and fighting on one of those morning chat shows “My Fiancé won’t buy me a Valentine’s card because of his fear of Jack”. It’s all very unnecessary. There are actually groups of people who are anti valentines’ activists, they’re mainly in south east Asia but I’ve found one in North London, they’re called “lovers go dead” and their spokesperson is a guy called Spike. They seem a bit ominous but I’m trying to pin down a meeting next week.

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