SATURDAY’S post delivered a shock – or rather it didn’t.

For the first time since my golden locks chose not to provide suitable head cover, there was no Valentine’s card on the mat; only another begging letter pointing out how fortunate I was not to live in Equatorial Africa, and a window cleaning bill.

Even the person who had first received a card from me when we were sweet 16 had put early spring cleaning first – and forgotten.

“What do you expect at your age?” said fellow Yorkshireman George when we met for tea, coffee and treason in our favourite Covered Market café on Tuesday.

“You’re no spring chicken let alone an eternal rooster.”

George can be unkind on occasions.

Martin, who worked for years at the Graven Hill army base near Bicester, was more sympathetic.

He remembered when his last Valentine card arrived; it was the year the sender’s husband objected to the secret liaison.

He also admitted that, although a loyal reader, he had stopped looking at the birthdays column in the Oxford Mail. Five times over the previous fortnight the oldest person named had been younger than he was.

“What’s a missing card when you look at the facts?” he said. George and I murmured in agreement.

HOWEVER, the air of romance thrived on Sunday – Valentine’s Day – when I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wedding at the Oxford Sports and Social Club.

Most readers know of my love for Nepal and its people, and the wedding was a Nepalese event. The invitation came as a complete surprise after I had written to the bride’s father on another matter. The beautiful bride was Nisha, daughter of former Gurkha Chitra and Dev Kumari Thapa, and the lucky man was Nagesh, son of Hil and Lalmaya Sunuwar.

The ballroom was a mass of colourful sarees. It was like being in down-town Kathmandu. Traditional food was in abundance. The Nepali band played their amazing instruments of all shapes and sizes. Even the bandmaster displayed his skill as a traditional dancer.

Love and happiness were all around. Western faces were in the minority but that didn’t mean a thing. Everyone blended.

I felt honoured by the invitation, but it confirmed my belief that the Nepalese – whether in Asia or Oxford’s Rose Hill – are the kindest people around. Thank you, Chitra.

BUT is romance struggling to survive?

Four-year-old Emily ran up to Jake. They are the same age. She kissed him on the cheek. His parents and I smiled.

“He’s my boyfriend,” she announced, her blue eyes twinkling.

“No I’m not,” he quickly contradicted – and walked off.

Ah well...