Chinese Valentines Day, Shanghai, 2012.
This time last year, I was getting over a thing, and I took myself to dinner and a movie. It was Chinese Valentines Day, which means watching a balance of overt displays of affection (and matching outfits) sitting side by side with the little moments that make love special and universal. I saw women carrying teddy bears bigger than themselves, and men struggling with the bulk of the bags filled with gifts that they have presented to their loved ones. But I also saw the softer side of love: the subtle moments where couples sneak glances, steal kisses, share smiles and lightly hold hands, with just the tips of fingers touching. And it was these little things that made me miss the way I had felt, and miss being part of something with someone else.
This year, I'm back in the same boat. I watch as flowers are delivered to offices, couples giggle as they walk together at lunch time, the matching outfits, the snuck glances, the little moments. Hands held, kisses stolen. A new city, but still the same show.
It's Valentines Day again, and I'm buying flowers to put in my own home. Something nice for when mum arrives.