Alternative Valentine's Day presents and ideas
Four unique and romantic ways to celebrate this year
This article is from 2011.
Kirstin Innes explores a few romantic alternatives for Valentine’s Day
Being a List reader you’ve had the infinite good taste to pick a partner who can’t be doing with the corny hearts, flowers and factory-line V-Day dining experience we’re sold as ‘romance’. All well and good, but how on earth do you celebrate February 14th? We’ve got a few alternative suggestions. And we promise, no sex. We’re knackered.
1: Learn to massage each other
So, your partner comes in from a long day at the circus or the fire station or wherever they work. They’re stressed and tense, and you try to give them a little back rub to ease that. ‘Ow! Get off me!’ they shout, and an argument ensues … well, not if you’ve actually taken the time to learn to do it properly. Sensational Oils offers couples lessons in aromatherapy massage, from their own homes – they’ll travel to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Fife, too. They also film and give you a DVD of your session, but that all sounds a bit kinky if you ask us …
2: It takes two …
… to tango. Well, actually, most beginners’ tango classes will encourage you to dance with a wide range of partners, and when you get to social dancing level you’re expected to change every three dances. However, learning Argentine tango, rather than the super-choreographed ballroom version you’ll see glitzing away on Strictly, is an organic, improvised process, each new dance born out of a sensual connection between the participants and the music. With the basics learned, the two of you should be able to create infinite new dances in the privacy of your own kitchen, deepening your own sensual connection … oh dear, we’re getting sexy again.
Learn where all the best beginners classes are: www.tangoglasgow.org.uk or www.edinburghtango.org.uk
3: It also takes two …
… to ride a tandem. Why not take a V-Day trip out to the Isle of Cumbrae, and spend the day honing your team work skills on a bicycle made for two? Cycle round the island and finish the day off by sharing a bag of chips as the sun goes down. Sometimes it’s the simple things, you know? Also, tandem cycling: not remotely sexy. Unless you’re in the second seat and your partner has a nice bum.
Rent tandems from F.G. Mapes & Son, Guilford Street, Millport, Cumbrae. www.mapesmillport.co.uk.
4: Get a bit of perspective
One of the things those moaning singletons hate most about Valentine’s Day is that it tends to make already smug couples even more self-absorbed. Three cheers for Glasgow’s Hillhead Library on Byres Road, then: their Love Out of Bounds exhibition is a collection of stories from a number of different sexualities and ethnic backgrounds, of relationships that have faced disapproval or been forbidden by families, communities or culture. It finishes on Mon 14 Feb, with a free storytelling performance at 6pm.