Thursday, February 12, 2009


My guest today is Sandy Blair, the remarkable author of Scottish Historical Romances such as the recent A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS, which I think will become one of my all time favorites.

Sandy is giving us a special Valentine post, with some very interesting Scottish and Medieval Valentine customs.

“Forever Love” is definitely alive and well.

Recently our confirmed bachelor friend Dave Dion married beautiful Cheryl and a happier couple I’ve yet to see.
The intimate wedding chapel they’d chosen for the ceremony was nestled in a small town just north of Clearwater, Florida, the place where they’d met and fallen head over heels.

The ceremony was lovely. The glow from tall cream-colored candles enhanced the bride’s petite blonde beauty, and the father of the bride struggled mightily to hold himself together as he gave his only daughter away. Dave managed to hold back all but one tear as he said his vows. The bride, not nearly as stoic, was thankfully wearing waterproof mascara.

And the best was yet to come.

During their beautiful reception they held a “married couples dance.” The

music started and after a few minutes the MC said, “Will those who’ve been married less than 5 years please leave the dance floor.” This continued at five year intervals. Since Scott and I happened to be celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary, we hung in there for awhile but by the end only one couple remained. Dave’s aunt and uncle, their once strong but now fragile hands entwined between them, their foreheads touching. Grinning like newly weds these octogenarians had recently celebrated their sixty-third wedding anniversary.

Yes, forever love is still alive and well for those who believe and work toward it.

And with Valentine’s Day so close, here’s a few bits of history about the day.

Valentine’s Day ha
s long been a very important day in Scotland. During the Middle Ages Valentine’s Day was greeted with even more anticipation than Christmas. February 14th was not only a time of gift giving, but an excuse for large parties at which single women would write their names on paper hearts and placed them in a bowl. The single men drew a heart/name from the bowl, pinned the heart on his sleeve (hence the saying) and the lady became his Valentine for the week. Rumor has it that many of Cupid’s arrows did hit their mark.

By the 18th century many of the wealthy wore diamond “scribble rings.” Both men and women used them to etched love messages onto their beloved’s window panes.

By 1840 we had commercial Valentine cards and by the 1890s in New York, young women were tying a knot at the end of a long cord and sally forth on Valentine’s Day, gently swatting the young men that caught their fancy. Hence the term “love taps.”

English tradition holds that a girl will know the type of man she’ll marry by the first bird she spies on Valentine’s Day.

Robin...a sailor
Goldfinch or any yellow bird...a wealthy man
Sparrow...a farmer
Any type of blue-colored bird...a happy man
Dove...a loving man will not marry

Wishing each and every one of you a lovely Valentine’s Day!


  1. Thanks, Sandy, for the fascinating post! After reading it, I couldn't resist making the swan valentine because it seemed so appropriate!

    And it made me wonder- what would be the prediction if the first bird a girl saw was an eagle?

  2. Sorry to be a bit late on this. Neat post and wonderful pictures. Thanks Sandy.


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