Valentines Day

heartroseOh the joy of February the 14th!!

Overpriced red roses, crammed restaurants, nasty chocolates, polyester undies…..

There are 364 other days in the year where you can tell the special people in your life just how much you love them.  I’m sure they would be pleasantly surprised, as the level of expectation on those days is not as high ……

So who is this Valentine fellow? Is his life about red roses and love? Well, not really…

Valentinus was a bishop in third century Rome who was persecuted by Emperor Claudius.

Claudius needed young men to join his army and was under the impression that unmarried soldiers fought harder than married ones. So he banned marriage for young people (as you do!)

Valentinus went underground and performed secret weddings until he was caught and sentenced to torture, stoning and deheading on the 14th of February.

Then nothing happened for about 900 years until the High Middle Ages where Saint Valentine became the symbol of courtly love. If you were in love you chose this day to send an anonymous message to express your feelings.

Nowadays its all a lot more of a commercial affair and many people gasp at the prices of red roses. I often have to explain why red roses are so expensive on Valentines day.

Most flowers you buy at a florist come from Holland where they are auctioned. Prices vary enormously throughout the year depending on supply and demand. For instance at the height of summer demand for flowers is low as many people go on holliday but supply is high as most plants flower in summer, therefor prices are low.

For Valentines day the demand is globally high and only for a single flower, the red rose. Therefor demand is very high but supply is relatively low, as roses don’t normally flower in february. That makes the price shoot up at auction and the florist has to pay a lot more wholesale and pass this on to their customers. Supermarkets who buy flowers directly from Kenyan farms (alongside the green beans) can bypass the auction system and keep the prices low.

In my humble opinion its all a load of nonsense. Most women I know would be a lot happier with an arm full of daffodils at this time of year than an overpriced slightly limp red rose, and most importantly why wait for this day to tell somebody you love them!