Belfast Telegraph

Valentine's Day: Love stories from the heart

Love is in the air... as Cupids with crushes make their feelings known today, Amanda Ferguson hits the streets of Belfast to find out what loved-up local couples will be doing to mark St Valentine’s Day

St Clair and Kathleen McAlister, who have known each other for 51 years, split their time between Belfast and France.

St Clair: "We have been married for 47 years. For Valentine's Day we are going out for dinner because we are celebrating my birthday on the 15th as well, so we mix them. I got an iPad this year and we are out shopping now to see what Kathleen wants.

"I think Valentine's Day is great. I'm an architect by profession and years ago we used to make our own handmade Valentine's cards. It was great fun. You could really personalise them."

Kathleen: "I have them up in the loft somewhere!"

On the key to a long and happy marriage the couple is singing from the same songsheet.

St Clair: "It's a question of give and take."

Kathleen: "That's it."

Jordan Kernojhan (16) from Ballyclare and Francesa Orr (20) from Lisburn have been dating for four weeks.

Francesca: "We've been going out for a month today. I'm not sure what Valentine's Day is meant to be about. Is it for people who have a crush or for the one you love? He's coming to my house."

Jordan: "I love it when she makes me food. We are getting a take-away for Valentine's Day. The joys of being poor!

"She likes me because I'm adorable! I've just learned that she is always right."

Francesca: "Yes. You should never argue with a woman."

Elaine Bride and Christopher Bradley from Ardoyne, in north Belfast, have been together for nearly 14 years.

Christopher: "We'll go for a meal if we can get a babysitter.

It's just another day, but it is a day for adults. It's a romantic day. I get her chocolates and a card."

Elaine: "And I get him socks and boxers! It's just the same as any other day to me. We're together so long.

We've two sons and a daughter. It was our son Dean's confirmation today. He has a girlfriend, so he might be getting something in the post!"

Erin Wilkinson (18) from Crossgar and Calvin Angove (19) from Belfast have been in a relationship for 18 months.

Calvin: "We were introduced by friends. We're similar but very different at the same time."

Erin: "We've been together for one-and-half years. We like the same things, like computers and photography.

"Valentine's Day is not any different for us. Personal dates are special to us, not this global one that everyone seems to celebrate. We haven't got any plans for Valentine's Day yet."

Calvin: "I think it will be a surprise!"

Fiona (45) and Nigel (44) Kneen from the Isle of Man have been married for 22 years.

Nigel: "We arrived in Belfast today. It's our first visit. We're here to see Titanic Belfast -- how romantic can you get? I never let Valentine's Day go by. In the current climate, I think it is a lovely day."

Fiona: "He makes more of an effort than me. We have three daughters so we've left cards for each of them. For Valentine's Day we are going to Titanic Belfast and then to the Cloth Ear for food. We pretty much get on really well. We have the odd argument, but nothing we can't sort."

Jenny and Kali Vasunikasi from Holywood have been together for eight-and-a-half years.

Jenny: "We have been married for nearly seven years and get on very well. We are very different people, but it works. Kali is from Fiji originally, so we are from very different cultures.

"I think Valentine's Day is a bit over the top. You feel under pressure to do something, so we just do our own thing. We haven't made any plans yet. It's nice to be able to celebrate, but we don't got overboard. He might surprise me!"

Kali: "I have my moments!"

The couple's beautiful little daughter Alicia (5) isn't buying into Valentine's Day just yet. On whether she is sending any cards this year, it was a definite "NO!"

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