Anti-Valentines Day in Edinburgh

Take a sibling out for dinner. It will freak out everyone else in the restaurant when you continually refer to your partner for the evening as 'bro' or 'sis'

Feature by Xavier Toby | 15 Feb 2006

It's the Hallmark Holiday designed to make you feel inadequate. If you are in a relationship, then you don't talk to your partner enough, see them enough, love them enough and this one brilliant day lets you make up for all that neglect in one expensive swoop. A lot like how Christmas works for kids with rich parents.

If you're single, Valentine's Day screams, 'What the hell is wrong with you?' You ask someone to dinner because all the people you fancy are in relationships, and they say yes because no-one else has asked and it's better than staying in and watching re-runs of Friends. If like me you abhor the whole day, here's five things to do in Edinburgh other than downing a heap of Valium then stumbling around the Grassmarket trying to get hit by a taxi.

1) Only drink lager – in pints – all day. It's surely the world's most unromantic drink. No half pints – they can look a little cute. Any of Edinburgh's numerous 'Old Man Pubs' would be perfect, but avoid the style bars of George Street since they are sure to be overrun by that worst Valentine's couple – professionals.

2) Dress up as a cupid complete with bow and arrows. Then shoot all the most annoying lovey dovey couples – with real arrows. Princes Street Gardens would be perfect for this with its many exits to crowded streets, and if you have any arrows left you could pick off a few of those people with clipboards on Princes Street as you retreat.

3) Take your date to the Edinburgh Dungeon and suggest that the different methods of torture might be useful in the bedroom for some 'extra pleasure'. If your date agrees, run like fuck.

4) Give out candy love hearts with really offensive messages (they're real – I've seen them on The Simpsons) to students at any of the campuses around town. Every time someone screams at you, it'll feel just like being in a real relationship.

5) Take a sibling out for dinner at any one of Edinburgh's overly snobbish eateries. Most people don't spend enough time with immediate family, and it will freak out everyone else in the restaurant when you continually refer to your partner for the evening as 'bro' or 'sis'.