It is said that Valentine’s Day started in France during the Middle Ages as people noticed the birds singing and pairing off at this time. The birds in the garden certainly seem to be becoming more lively. We have become rather fond of a woodpecker who was on his own last winter but now turns up with a friend. This is a picture of him taken at Christmas.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem to be so commercialized in France as in the UK. Cartes d’amities and Valentine’s gifts are most likely on sale but I haven’t really noticed. We make all ours!
It’s a pity that the old custom of la loterie d’amour has been banned by the Government. Apparently single people used to go into houses opposite each other and call out through the windows for a partner. If a man was paired up with a girl he didn’t like he would promptly abandon her. This gave the spurned ladies licence to light a bonfire to burn effegies while cursing the ungrateful men in a thoroughly unladylike manner.
Poor old St Valentine isn’t having too good a day. It’s the first rainy day we have had for weeks. I doubt the birds will be singing in the forest or the ladies lighting bonfires!