People say that romance is dead, but it’s just evolving. Candles have been replaced by LEDs, poetry has been replaced by txt spk and long walks on the beach have been replaced by the 100m sprints in Asda carparks. It’s just how things go. Pretty soon compliments and doing fun things together will be replaced by the simple Facebook poke. This much I know.

In a bid to kick it back to the old days I decided the take my lady friend for a Spring stroll on a cliff, the third most romantic generic location (behind a hilltop and a frozen lake respectively).

Knowing that hunger could very well be an issue in this isolated location I prepared a picnic basket filled with the most romantic foods (Toblerones, Mint Aeros and Flakes). To increase the romance tenfold I decided to have the basket already planted there, which meant leaving it unguarded. This thought worried me. Although this was not a popular spot, I could not cope with the idea that some stranger might stumble upon my romance hamper, and so, I buried it. Precaution is my middle name, so I buried it far deeper than I needed to. I also buried the shovel in a separate less deep hole, for fear that someone might find the shovel and decide to go on a random dig, which could unearth my basket.

The day of the date came, and we walked hand in hand, staring out at the bleached white sun. Maybe I’ve imagined this, but a tiny lamb leapt into my arms and we both stroked it whilst laughing manically at the joy of such a thing.

We reached the spot where I’d buried the shovel in a shallow grave. “Look over there!” I yelled as I pointed at a bush. As she turned her back I got to my knees and began to dig with my bare hands. “Well, will you look at what I found” I said. “I bet there’s some treasure around here.”

I set about digging, as the woman of my dreams looked out at the sea. “Come and see this view.” She said.

“In a moment” I replied “I think I’ve found something.”

Minutes passed, and I was still far from unearthing the picnic surprise. My date was losing patience. Half an hour had gone, and the treasure was still far my grasp. I’d been too cautious with my burying. By this time I’d become quite manic. Her pleas for moving on or conversation were met by screeches of “Leave me. Let me work. I’m onto something.”

The sun began to set and the sky became a rainbow of purple, violet and peach. “Come and enjoy this sunset with me, please” she begged, but I gave no reply. It was officially dark and getting cold, so after two hours of digging I looked up to offer her my jacket, but she’d already gone. I’d gone too far to give up now.

You’re probably expecting some funny twist, like I dug all the way to China or I’d been digging in the wrong place, but there was nothing humorous about what I found after eight hours of hard digging. Someone had stolen my picnic basket. Maybe romance really is dead.

James, Lincoln.

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