In four works of fiction, Lee Siegel has written about love in all its forms: youthful, fated, wistful, erotic, foolish, intellectual, romantic, fatal, mysterious, and definitely carnal. Who Wrote the Book of Love? is his comedic chronicle of the romantic and sexual life of an American boy in the 1950s.
Get your free e-book edition of Who Wrote the Book of Love? during the month of February.
Surprisingly perhaps, for someone who has been single for four and a half years, I adore Valentine’s Day. I enjoy all the things to do with celebrating love and affection and companionship and passion. I love watching movies like Moonstruck and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (apart from Kirsten Dunst) and I love treating me to all my favourite things. Seeing as there is just the one of me, however, I probably don’t need a whole cooked meal at home or a delicious dinner treat somewhere fabulous. For those of you who do hold someone’s hand when you’re strolling through Bristol, you might find the following service by chef Danielle Coombs useful. She has been kind enough to let me publish her Valentine’s offer.
Just realised that Valentine’s Day is a week away and you have nothing planned? Tried all your favourite restaurants and they’re all booked up? Want to do something special to show your other half that you care?
Don’t panic! I offer the following options;
Private cookery lessons – I could help you prepare and cook a romantic 3 course meal for you and your loved one, with full recipes and instructions, I can even supply the ingredients, and guide you through, step-by-step.
Private chef – I could come and cook a romantic 3 course meal for you and loved one in the comfort of your own home, I would supply all the food, and clean up afterwards.
Private restaurant – You and your loved one could come and be my guests at my private restaurant. One table. Real fire. Candle light. Up to five courses of yummy food. (BYO drinks.)
So, if you fancy any of those, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details and prices.
Don’t have a Valentine? I’m planning a singles’ supper club, coming soon. To be included on the mailing list please email at the above address to receive details of upcoming events.
Bill Hicks was an American comedian who was a fervent opponent of commercialism, elitism and the mainstream reality that makes the world go round with money and blood.
He died of pancreatic cancer at the young age of 32 in 1994 but his work sounds as impressive now and I wanted to share one item that is one of my favourites.
The following video clip is Bill Hicks’ piece ‘Just A Ride’:
But it doesn’t matter because: it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.
My mum makes a cup of coffee, instant with milk, in the morning and then sips at it during the day. I do the same. At work, my morning take away coffee has lasted me up to seven hours.
There’s a small table in my grandmother’s kitchen in her Athens flat. It is wedged between the fridge and the cupboards that separate the little area from the living room. That’s where she and my mum sit to have their cigarette after they wake up from their siesta. The balcony from the kitchen looks out towards the back of three other apartment buildings, all grey and dark from the pollution. Central Athens is dirty and comforting and has little parking.
My grandad’s paintings hang on the walls in the apartment. A koala on a tree surrounded by green foliage. Ancient Greek columns by the sea. Jesus. He died in 1994 and his birthday is on January 30. He came home from the hospital after his chemotheraphy and looked pale and hollowed out but he smiled when I played a song on the saxophone. It reminded him of his father, he said. I wasn’t the first saxophonist in the family.
My grandmother at the village would cut up and pass along pieces of mandarin or orange. The peel was placed on top of the wood burning stove as a type of home made potpourri.
My sister and I, not yet adults, explored Melbourne through its coffee shops and cinemas. Small glasses filled with cafe latte. Pellegrini’s on Bourke St. Little known movies at the Kino cinema such as Gas, Food, Lodging where a woman gives birth thinking that love had left her while in a cave his body slowly decays.
A good friend and I sitting on a pavement’s edge in Athens, she putting out matches on her tongue, me refusing. Decades later, her, recovered from leukemia, me, with a broken heart, and we’re swigging single malt whiskey on the parquet floor in her Edinburgh apartment.
Meeting my best friend at Bristol Bridge and him hugging his birthday present to his chest all the way home.