My first ever Valentine's Day card

Sometimes love across borders has more than a few hurdles to overcome.

Valentine's Day in February 1981 was about four months after I'd first met The Englishman at the British Embassy in Helsinki. In those days Valentine's Day wasn't really celebrated in Finland, or in Sweden, so I had no idea of the significance of this romantic time.

When on that day, there was a letter on the doormat of my flat in Helsinki, at first I was disappointed to see it was just a card (I knew it was from The Englishman because I recognised his handwriting), but when I saw the black and white picture of a woman and a man kissing at the front, a scene which looked to be from some old Hollywood movie, I had to smile. I didn't recocgnise the actors, but the man had dark hair just like The Englishman and the woman blonde curls just like me.

Inside the card there was a poem,

'Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Honey is sweet
and so are you'

More puzzlingly, all The Englishman had written below the poem was a question mark and a cross. I had no idea the cross meant a kiss, or that the card was supposed to be anonymous, so it wasn't until a few days later when I spoke to my love, that he told me what it all meant!

Needless to say The Englishman didn't get a Valentine's card from me that year.

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