Oh Valentines Day. Last Valentines didn't go so well. Zee and I were new still and not sure of where we stood. I'd purposely said no to anything vaguely romantic and we'd gone to see Dan Deacon with a some of my friends. The next day, though, Zee surprised me with a cupcake. Turns out I hate surprises, and it didn't go down well. This year I wasn't expecting anything. I'd told Zee not to do anything, and after last year he was happy to comply. But, then I felt bad. The reason I don't like Valentines (or opening gifts) is because I don't like a fuss being made of me unexpectedly. I don't mind it so much if I know it's coming. I can throw a mean birthday party and dance on bars and go crazy like anyones business. But unexpected small boxes filled with cupcakes or anything like that makes me anxious.

Anyway, I decided that really, it wasn't fair to Zee for me to cramp his romantic style just because I'm all caught up in what to expect or not expect. So I bought myself a lovely bouquet of coral roses, cooked both of us candlelit dinner (Coriander Chicken with Pomegranate + Almond Couscous - thank you internet!), and made him caramel cupcakes. He had two bottles of delightful red (one was Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Village, which had the most delightful label - the designer in me rejoiced!) and it was lovely night.

Mostly. We forgot to light the candle, and I wish I'd followed the recipe more with the couscous but it was generally lovely.

Afterwards Duke and his friend Petey joined us and we had a lovely night of 500. Lots of wine drinking and laughing. I do enjoy a good game of four handed 500. I've been teaching Zee these last few months, and two handed 500 is not quite as enjoyable. The hoping and silent table talk! When it all goes well and your partner comes through it's so exciting! Equally hilarious when they don't and the hand is lost because someone forgot to count the cards as they came out.

It was a pretty brilliant Valentines, I think. Low key, brilliant people, much aroha all round.

Happy Valentines, you guys x