‘When did a bottle of bleach, or a screwdriver, become a gift of love?’

Future Voices: Are you feeling the love?

Future Voices: Are you feeling the love? - Credit: Archant

When did a bottle of bleach, or a screwdriver, become a gift of love?

When Thorns, one of my family's favourite stores in Norwich, included it in its fabulous pink-and-red themed Valentine's window display! And who can blame them?

Every chocolatier, restaurant owner and card manufacturer looked to cash in one on the first big event since Christmas – that's if you don't include National Popcorn Day and Penguin Awareness Day.

So can money buy love?

Well, millions of us clearly hope it can. It is estimated that Valentine's Day is now worth over £13bn and last year almost £280m was spent on flowers, a further £1.5bnspent on jewellery. Surprisingly, the least amount of money was spend on greetings cards with a mere £700m spent. But is all this money really necessary?


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Of course, here in Norfolk we have a much better excuse than many to celebrate Valentine's Day. After all, Norfolk is home to Jack Valentine.

If you've never heard of Jack Valentine, read on - it could result in a nice surprise.

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Mr (or sometimes Mrs) Jack Valentine is a mysterious figure who knocks on a house door, leaves a present for the child inside and then magically disappears before the door is opened.

I think this is a great tradition, unique to Norfolk, and I really hope it continues for many more years to come.

A couple of years ago our family really enjoyed the Norwich Lanes Jack Valentine Evening – we were even given our very own Valentine's present. After the event Dad treated us to chips at the wonderful Grosvenor Fish Bar – there's someone who knows how to treat a lady.

So whether you decided to go all out on gifts this February 14 or not, we can't forget the true meaning of Valentine's Day – to show people we love them. After all, sometimes an 'I love you' means much more that any teddy bear or box of chocolates could.

Emily Oxbury, 14, Thorpe St Andrew School, wrote the above article as part of the EDP's Future Voices series.

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