So my Valentine's Day present was inevitably a copy of Kermode's autobiography book "It's Only a Movie". It's brilliant and I've already read it from cover to cover and laughed aloud multiple times (additionally, giggle-struck urges to read sections aloud to Neil are a good sign it's tickled my funny bones).
Anyway, this is therefore added to the long list of quirky - and much appreciated - Valentine's Day gifts I have had from lovely Neil which over the years also included the original film [on VHS] of 'The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3'.
However, Neil is not without his romantic side, albeit that he approaches it with endless quirkiness.
Tuesday evening he calls from downstairs to me. I struggle to the top of the stairs.
"Lisa, Lisa... sit down!"
He proceeds to sit on the penultimate stair facing towards the front door; struggling with sciatica I sit behind him.
"Okay, we're on a plane, taking off... vroom..." he 'pilots' the plane 'upwards' with an arm gesture.... "and now here's some food and a drink..."
[My partner is lovely, but utterly, UTTERLY bonkers]
"... and now we're coming in to land" and he gestures the nose of the plane downwards.
He stands up, offering his hand to me: "so we're off through immigration... and to collect our suitcases..."
We walk through the back living room/former dining room towards the back porch.
"... off we go, into a taxi"
.... and then he pushed at the shut kitchen door, revealing it to be in almost complete darkness.
On the kitchen work surface he had set up, lit by tea candles, a set of wooden figures of New York (from Muji) thus recreating our night-time first arrival into New York over 10 years ago.
I must admit, I cried. He is lovely.