How romantic are you?

THE Herald asked readers across the Axe Valley what Valentine s Day means to them and to share their ideas of romance. It found romance is not simply the domain of the young...

THE Herald asked readers across the Axe Valley what Valentine's Day means to them and to share their ideas of romance.

It found romance is not simply the domain of the young - with 93-year-olds Ellen Trevett-Humphrey and Robert Humphrey celebrating the day in style.

The Seaton couple will lunch at the Westcliff Hotel in Sidmouth and Mrs Trevett-Humphrey has bought Valentine's cards for her husband and his family.

She said: "Romance is for any age. I have found it. I like flowers, but I prefer everyday gestures. Flowers are only for one moment."

She added that romance was easy to find with the right person.

"Some people are born to love, others have to learn about loving - it doesn't matter about their age. It's about how you blend with each other and if you are with the right person it's good."

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Engaged Umborne couple Rhea Shave and Oliver Lawrence, both 25, have been together for seven years and prefer to stay at home.

Rhea said: "Oliver is a typical man and thinks it's a very commercial thing, but he still gets me a card and presents. We tend to stay at home for Valentine's and celebrate our anniversary in March instead.

"I would find it romantic if I came home from work to a bubble bath, with candles, and possibly dinner cooked for me. I like to be pampered as it doesn't happen every day."

Civil enforcement officer John has just the ticket for his perfect Valentine's.

He said: "Fortunately it falls on a Sunday this year, a natural rest day, and I'm off work. I suppose the perfect day would be reasonable weather and to go out on the day with my beloved wife."

He said they would have a meal together and added that having fun was just as important as romance.

"Laughter is important," he said. "I think it's nice to laugh together and have reasons to be cheerful."

Others will be marking the occasion with less traditional romance. Terry Barker, from Shoe Mate in Silver Street, will be telling his wife Laurie to get on her bike - for the Jurassic Bikers' Valentine's Dance.

He said: "That will be about all the romance for the weekend. I'm not a romantic person. We've been married for nearly 17 years - that's enough romance! It's more important to make the effort throughout the year, not just for one day."

While some criticise the commercialisation of the day, it clearly has international appeal.

Turkish national Musa Yalcinkaya said that, as a fickle youth growing up in Fethiye, he used buy flowers for several girls on Valentine's.

Today the father-of-one, with another child on the way, will only be treating his wife Monica.

The owner of The Charcoal Grill said: "I will get my wife flowers to make her happy. I would like to take her out, but now that she's pregnant it's more difficult.

"But going out and having fun together is more romantic though than just buying flowers."

For others, the event detracts from the true meaning of romance.

Jeremy Walden, town councillor and owner of Sandy's Sandwiches, feels the day is too commercial.

The widower, who had been married for 31 years, said: "When I was married, every day was Valentine's.