I must confess to being something of a Valentine's Day cynic. Sure, after spending the first half of my twenties as a singleton, that first 14th Feb with an Actual Boyfriend saw me gleefully running down to Clinton Cards with the best of 'em, heading off for an overpriced 'lover's set menu' and giving knowing smiles to girls touting single roses sheathed in shiny plastic wrapping. Nowadays, it's more of a good excuse to get involved with an M&S Dine In for Two deal and watch some crap telly, smug in the knowledge that we're not curtailing to the corporation.
But I'm here to write a products column, so I guess you're here for a little Lover's Merch, right? Well fear not, I'm coming to it. Instead of forking out a small fortune on that fancy night out, invest your cash on one of these fabulous needlepoint cushions from Fine Cell Work, the charity organisation that helps train convicted felons in the joy of stitching, allowing them to earn a modest wage and, most importantly, foster hope, discipline and self esteem, thus standing them in good stead for life on the outside. As well as shopping for such a good course, the designs more than stand up for themselves too: with witty Heart & Birds and Love Eagle tattoo cushions, £75 and £62.50 each respectively, or for a slightly different love token, the Ace of Hearts applique cushion, £25, and finally this outstanding Fox needlepoint cushion, £47.50
Now that really is heart warming.
(Oh, and yes - the fox one's got nothing to do with Valentine's but I couldn't bear to leave him out, so let's just pretend, alright?)
Images all taken from Fine Cell Work