No fancy dinner or flowers, but we make our own cards

I was amazed to learn this week that only 40 per cent of people celebrate Valentine's Day, yet 50 per cent get involved with Shrove Tuesday.

Saturday, 13th February 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 7:40 am
Making pancakes can be a messy business

I assumed nearly all couples marked Valentine’s Day in some way.

We certainly don’t go big – no fancy dinners, big bouquets or surprise city breaks (well I’m certainly not expecting any of that).

But we do tend to make each other a card at the very least.

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The past few years I’ve not really bothered to make pancakes, but this year for the first time in a while I did go all out, with wholemeal savoury pancakes with cheese, onion and tomato followed by salted caramel pancakes for pud.

To be honest, it was quite a lot of effort. Pancakes and their toppings make an awful lot of mess.

But imagine having to do it with small children attempting to flip pancakes and spread Nutella!

Perhaps this is the problem for couples with kids. The thought of all the syrup, sprinkles and batter mixes involved in pancake-making and then the massive clean-up operation necessary afterwards is just so exhausting, they simply don’t bother with Valentine’s.

Jez: If I’m being completely honest I’m not really a huge fan of pancakes. I find them a bit boring.

I’d rather tuck into a baguette or a crusty roll but, despite my moaning, we do celebrate Shrove Tuesday as my kids enjoy getting involved.

Normally my wife will supervise some pancake-cooking at teatime and I can normally summon up enough strength to polish off a Nutella and lemon one.

I wasn’t surprised to discover that most British people prefer Pancake Day to Valentine’s Day.

Most of my married friends are now in their 40s and have been married for almost 20 years – and hardly any of them choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Most of them say it’s a rip-off and they prefer to save their cash and enjoy a romantic night out in March or April when it’s half the price.

Most years I normally purchase some red roses, a card and some steak at the supermarket on my way home. So by the sound of it my wife is a very lucky lady!


When you start a new job, the most important thing is making a good first impression with your new colleagues. One bloke made headlines this week for doing the exact opposite – he fell asleep at his desk on his very first day!

Naturally his new colleagues all gathered round, posed around his chair for a photo and posted the shot online.

Thankfully no-one in the photo looks annoyed with him, as it’s clearly a pretty chilled-out office.

But you can’t blame him for falling asleep. I mean, who sleeps well the night before starting a new job? The poor chap was probably absolutely exhausted.

So the second most important thing to do in a new job is to identify the location of the kettle to make a coffee.


Last Saturday my wife and I attended a Burns night party at Titchfield Community Centre.

We enjoyed a haggis meal and then washed it down with Scottish whisky.

During the party we were treated to a display of traditional Scottish dancing and bagpipe-playing.

All very rousing. But to my horror, after the demonstration everybody was encouraged to learn how to do Scottish dancing.

My wife took my hand and attempted to drag me on to the dance floor. I was having none of this behaviour and decided I needed to head to the bar for more whisky.

As I heard the teacher explaining how the next dance would work, it was way too complicated for a man who specialises in dad dancing!