A Coeurless Mudgeon….

Valentine_heart_black.crop.1407It may not surprise you to know that my view of Valentine’s day is dim. At boarding school I dreaded the distribution of the post on that day, fully aware that those who did not receive a card would be carefully noted by the total bastards, of whom there were many, and that life for the cardless would be a total misery for the next few days. I felt that martyrdom was too good for Valentine and that it might have been more appropriate to have celebrated a Claudius the Cruel day,  as Valentine’s tormentor certainly seemed to have the upper hand in my small world of that time.  There is a school of thought, of which I am probably the only proponent, which has the view that the tears before bedtime caused by Valentine’s day are only equalled by ToysRUs. If you want to see massed children crying, pay a visit to ToysRUs around Christmas time, and if you want to see adults on the cusp of tears and fisticuffs, go to any restaurant serving a special Valentine’s Day dinner. Both the idea of Valentines and ToysRUs are well meaning conceptions but, like democracy and religion, an awful lot of luck is needed for the ideas to work once human behaviour is added to the equation. Faith, dissimulation and promises are the cornerstones of these enterprises. You will have noticed that I have only named three corner stones – there isn’t a fourth which is why the whole thing teeters, precariously balanced, waiting for the first unfavourable circumstance to drop it on its arse.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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33 Responses to A Coeurless Mudgeon….

  1. Does this mean that Jennie is not getting anything for Valentine’s? Beautiful picture, of course.

  2. Dick Polak says:

    Master piece !

    Dick Polak

  3. spree says:

    Such a curmudgeon, Roger! 🙂 And SUCH a pulsingly beautiful image!

  4. It is all so artifical isn’t it. I do have to confess though that we are going out on Valentine’s night but mainly becuase it’s a local restaurant we like and the menu looks amazing. Add to that they had tables available late (when we tend to eat), we couldn’t resist. Not very romantic though as we’re motivated by the menu and not the romance!

  5. Mad Dog says:

    If you love someone, it should be Valentines every day 🙂

  6. Can’t stop laughing at the poetry of the coeurless mudgeon!

    I can only assume that Valentine’s Day was created by some higher being to raise torment in the average teenager. It is only with age that you realise you don’t care and can’t understand why you ever did. Oh bah humbug!

    Beautiful photograph – the berries are just reaching out of the screen! (Which sounds a bit creepy but is actually rather beautiful!)

  7. Great title, great essay. Are those tart cranberries in that lovely compote?

  8. I totally agree. Another unnecessary frustration reason for kids? We didn’t have that in Spain, but I just learnt my youngest is supposed to write a Valentine’s letter to a randomly chosen person of his class… stupid.

  9. When I saw the picture I thought this post was going to be a recipe for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

    We have agreed not to send cards, flowers or candy, but I must admit that it would be kind of nice NOT to cook. If the homemade dinner involves help with clean up I would feel much more willing.

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    For such a “coeurless mudgeon,” how ever did you come to possess a heart-shaped vessel? On second thought, don’t tell me. Some things are better left a mystery.

  11. Eha says:

    Am full of puzzlement: always thought Valentine’s Day a rather artificial date for a ‘show of love’ twixt a man and a woman: now I read [and you are not the only one writing] that somehow those of tender years are also affected . . . am all for romance, but . . . .

  12. cecilia says:

    I never got cards either, once I was sent a huge bouquet of red roses and thanked my boyfriend of the time and he growled that HE never sent me any fucking roses as he walked out and slammed the door. oops i thought! c

  13. At least you gave us a wonderful photo!

  14. Tammy says:

    Well done! I suppose that I couldn’t agree more given that the day is here and I’ve not given it any thought. I love the notion of solid ideals that waver under the banner of human behavior.

  15. Tandy says:

    I’m a romantic. Dinner out for us tonight 🙂

  16. Beautiful photo as usual, Roger. It seems like Valentine’s Day is a day of forced romance for many. I don’t need flowers or a card to know I’m loved…I’m sure it is that way for most of us.

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