#LoveIsReal for Valentine’s Day

We find ourselves living in a time, when like no other we need to embrace LOVE. We need to LOVE each other, our friends, our neighbours, our loved ones, everyone. Come on show the LOVE. So whilst Valentine’s Day might be a man-made invention, love isn’t. Love is beautiful and creative and thoughtful. Love is passionate and Love is real. And in today’s world, with a nation full of flat-lined feelings, we need as much of it as we can get. With this in mind our friends at are reminding us, encouraging us, prompting us to remember, with Valentine’s Day just over a week away #LoveIsReal and as part of this loving campaign they want you to celebrate LOVE in all its guises, with meaningful unique gifts co-created with people who care. Because, remember when a gift is made thoughtfully, it’s loved completely.

With all this talk of amore and that #LoveIsReal it brought me to thinking about how myself and the wonderful and long suffering Mrs Mc met. Well let me set the scene of our own Mills & Boon-esque saga. Love was well and truly in the air, my friends loved her, her friends loved me, naturally and pretty soon after we met we’d started looking at rings. I know I’m a bit of an old romantic so I’d started dreaming up scenarios to pop the question. Over the Summer we found ourselves on holiday taking in the delights of the Emerald Isle and came across the beautiful Belleek Castle in County Mayo, so I thought, OMG what a perfect moment. “Should we stay here overnight?” I found myself saying. The place was incredible, as beautiful on the inside as out and as luck would have it, they had one room free for the night, strangely enough, the honeymoon suite, I kid you not, promise.

Amanda, as she was known back then, was enthralled and took herself off exploring, to which at this point somebody asked me, “Will ye be staying for dinner tonight? I hope so.” I span around to see a chef asking me this question and I blurted out rather confusingly, “I think I’m going to ask her to marry me tonight”. “Oh Jesus”, was his response. We sat down and between myself and the chef came up with a cunning plan. He decided he would build a box of Choux pastry in which the box containing the engagement ring would seat and he would construct the desert around this.

So dinner time arrived, “You OK? You look a little pale”. “Yeah, course, what’d be wrong.” I nervously laughed. In all honesty I have no idea what I had for dinner that night, all I can remember is eating and each member of the hotel staff that visited our table or caught my eye either gave me a big thumbs up, smiled radiating positivity or mouthed to me “you OK?” In an exaggerated manner. This resulted in the whole meal uncannily resembling a sketch from a hybrid sitcom somewhere between Faulty Towers and Father Ted.

The moment had come. Desert was served, I was sweating, the staff were buzzing around and Amanda cracked open the Choux pastry box……. “What’s this?” Was her question and what did I do. Well simply, nothing, I opened my mouth, for no words to come out. I tried to get out of my chair to get down onto one knee and assume the traditional position, but no, my mind and my body had decided to render me incapable. If only I’d have had an Artisan Chocolate Heart With Hidden Valentine’s Message of Will you marry me? To help fullfil this life altering event and complete the whole moment.

Yes #LoveIsReal. And just in case you were wondering, she said yes, and we are celebrating 10 years of marriage later this year. As you can see from the image below we are blessed, or is that cursed, no blessed with two amazingly crazy children. Ohh and we loved Belleek Castle so much we booked it that night for our wedding reception and were married exactly one year later, happily ever after.
That’s why this Valentine’s Day I’ve chosen one of‘s thoughtful gifts from their Love is real collection to express my love to Amanda and remind her of the amazing night we had together when I asked her to marry me.

Now if you feel all warm after reading this true life love story, share with us what love means to you. Go to Twitter and tell us your story tagged with @notonthehighst and the campaign hashtag – #LoveIsReal for your chance to win £150 to spend on thoughtful, unique gifts this Valentine’s Day at