There is some silence between us.
She has bought me a driftwood frame, with space for three photographs. The first depicts the two of us in Prague, sat at a metal table outside a bar, two large glasses of beer sparkling in the sun. It is like a publicity shot for the British Contentment Society.
The second is of me, lolling on the steps of the Pantheon in Rome, a short city break at one of the happiest times of our lives. I have the blissful look of a man who has eaten well, and used his hotel room to the full.
The third photograph is one which we took ourselves, holding the camera away from our faces and clicking in hope. We are stood on one of the local beaches at Brancaster, which is like a cross between New Zealand’s spectacular Ninety Mile Beach, and Antarctica. No professional could have taken a better shot.
It is not my fault that my romantic gift of a subscription to New Scientist magazine, complete with credit-crunch busting 30% discount has failed to arrive in the post this morning.
I cast my mind back to the previous evening in the Village Pub.
I had been quite open with the LTLP that I had not been able to get her a card, as I had got sidetracked with the need to get a new laundry basket. Unfortunately, Short Tony had mentioned in front of her that he had got Mrs Short Tony a card, and Big A had talked about his card, plus flowers. This was not helpful.
I do not quite know how Valentine’s day crept up on me this year. It is ridiculous. Part of the thing is because it is so confusing – if it were held on the same day each year then everything would be more straightforward. Plus it is just a commercial thing, plus I do not need a ‘special day’ to remind the LTLP why she loves me so much.
“At least I got us a table,” I comment.
The lady plonks two fry ups down in front of us.
“This is not,” says the LTLP, “quite what I had in mind.”