In print in the February issue of Scots Magazine
Valentines Day needs to be renamed Friendship February. Keeping a good thing for just one day of the year isn’t that good really. We need to love our loved ones every day. Ok, for Christmas I get it or a Birthday but for Valentines we need to be spreading the love for longer. So lets share Valentines with all the people we love and those that need a little more love. Let’s face it, that’s all of us from time to time.
Following social media and listening to the TV, negative and hurtful comments and actions are more common and more tangible than I ever remember growing up. The old adage of if you have nothing nice to say don’t say it had long gone and it’s all too easy to complain, be rude or even be cruel.
Maybe it’s living in a city as opposed to growing up in a small seaside village but it’s so much more obvious all around us. In the city you become faceless. Online we’re faceless. Over the last year there has been a massive rise in the number of homeless people in our major cities. In Edinburgh it is worse than I’ve ever seen it. It’s easy to walk on by. Pretend they are faceless. A little eye contact and a smile will make you feel more human never mind the poor sole that’s made their bed where they’re sat on the pavement.
We’ve become frightened to talk to people we don’t know. We’re scared. On the bus, it’s heads down and don’t talk. I can walk from The Scottish Cafe to George Street and not get any engagement or eye contact even from customers that I served a few days before. I laugh about it but it’s such a shame. If I’ve done it to you, I’m sorry, it’s probably because I’ve forgotten my glasses and didn’t see you. Just shout my name and I promise I’ll wave and say hello.
February is frosty and usually freezing. Let’s leave the frost and freeze to the weather and get our heads up and share a little friendship. When you’re out for a walk, in the chemist, at the bus stop, spare a look and share a smile with a stranger. When we’re commenting on line, let’s read it back and see if we’d like to receive the message ourselves. Maybe we just need to take a little time, slow down and February becomes the best month of the year for sharing a little more happiness and love to our fellow humans.
This year instead of sending a card to my other half, I’m sending a big hug and a smile to all of you.
Jam Biscuits with hearts – A sweet treat with a lovely message
Makes about 12 biscuits
200g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
300g plain flour sieved plus extra for dusting
100g raspberry jam, sieved
Icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy
- Slowly fold in the flour and corn flour until well incorporated. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes
- Transfer to a floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 3-5mm
- Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 24 rounds
- Using a small heart shaped cutter cut a heart out of 12 of the pastry circles
- Place on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack
- Spread a teaspoon of jam onto the flat biscuit and gently place the cut out on top. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar to finish