Ah, the day that really counts, St Valentine’s. Blind cupid, winged with his naughty arrows, is flitting around doing his mysterious transformations. There were fourteen blokes called Valentine matryred in Rome, it seems, and little or nothing is known about the one buried in the Via Flaminius, on February 14th, although perhaps his head was cut off for refusing to deny Christ, before the Emperor Claudius. The link to lovers doesn’t seem to have appeared until Chaucer, and then to have been established in the 18th Century. At least it’s more of a real tradition than that famous marketing fake, once so beloved of UK pubs – The Ploughman’s Lunch. Love, joy and luck to all lovers then, from Phoenix Ark.

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