GET THEE TO A LIGHTHOUSE
Situated at the end of nowhere, often in isolated places, lighthouses make the perfect place to get away from all things heart-shaped and loved up.
The Galley Head lighthouse, near Clonakilty, has two ex-keepers’ residences, now available to let to the public via the Irish Landmark Trust. While the houses are modernised and complete with all mod cons, there is no phone, TV or internet access.
Be inspired by the great unspoilt views, go for long walks, commune with nature, and experience love of a totally different kind to the merchandised tat pedalled at this time of year.
GET TOGETHER WITH OTHERS IN A SIMILAR SITUATION
Organise a night in, not with the usual wine, pizza and drinks from jam jars with handles. Rather, be traditional, light a roaring log fire, toast marshmallows, and bread at the hearth, and drink homemade cocoa from chipped enamel mugs.
OFF-LINE FOR 24 HOURS
Before going off social media completely, for 24 hours, first proclaim, on all available platforms, that you’re severely allergic to all forms of plant life; but especially to any red flowers and dangerously so to roses.
You also have a propensity towards Type 2 diabetes, and your doctor has forbidden sugar, in any form, and especially in the shape of chocolates.
GIVE YOUR TIME TO OTHERS
On a serious note: think about volunteering. If you’re solo you may have time on your hands. Think of the various charities or organisations that might need help.
The Cork Volunteer Centre on North Main Street, has a list of organisations that require assistance. And, for the cynics among you, perhaps going out to help others might just be the very thing you need on this loved up day.
Do something you would never dream of doing with a significant other, or something you’ve always wanted to do, but they didn’t. Or something that scares you so silly you’ve never shared it with anyone else. Skydiving, parachuting or bungee jumping are some gravity-defying things that people often take on as a challenge. And, in keeping with the last suggestion, many people do these as sponsored events for charity.
BOX SET BINGE
Films of a historical or horror nature — certainly not romantic — would be the best option for a box set binge. Complement the evening, with foods and drinks, as far removed from the red, pink, cuddly teddy bears, and hearts themes, as you can find. Dress in black and have something as mundane as curry cheese chips.
RESURRECT NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
This year, February 14 is also Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Lenten season for Christians. Traditionally, it has always been a day of fast and abstinence. So, join a gym and spend the evening doing rigourous workouts, followed by those green, cabbagey, soupy thingies.
You will have fasted from all saccharine foods and abstained from all things romantic. And will detox and lose weight at the same time.
TAKE A HOLIDAY
As it falls the week before mid-term, when prices are sure to go up, have a mini break to coincide with the dreaded day. Avoid anywhere in Italy, where the usual OTT Italians will be loving it up more than ever with pasta and opera. You would also do well to avoid Paris for much the same over the top romance reasons. Try somewhere hot, tropical, and deserted.
Do a fun variation on Secret Santa. Give gifts to friends and family, but with the added challenge that they cannot have cost any money. That leaves you the choice of making something, or stealing something. The latter is likely to afford you, ‘accommodation with a difference’ for the night that’s in it.
TAKE A DUVET DAY
Remember, it’s just a day like any other. It only lasts 24 hours hours. Let those who want to go over the top and spend money on padded cards the size of the Lough, and gooey chocolates, do that, if they so wish. You can look away, you know.
For take heart, the evenings are lengthening, the birds are singing, the bulbs are flowering, and soon it will be summertime. Whatever you do, think of others. There are more in the same boat than you can possibly imagine.