the first I ever received was the toy that came in a Rice Krispie packet, dropped for me in my front garden by the wall to the left under the shrub, by a boy in Year Six at Primary School
the second the sonnet, Shall I Compare Thee, written out in tiny beautiful script with edge decoration on a scrap of paper, by a boy who dated me when I was fourteen
the third a boquet of flowers delivered to me "anonymously" in the depths of a Canadian winter (-30 in Edmonton in December is cold cold cold!), by a boy from Wales (there is no such thing as anonymous with flower deliveries from a shop)
the fourth two books, The Rubyat of Omar Kayam (sp?) and The Prophet, given to me by someone almost twice my age who should have known better
the fifth the time of someone who used to take the night bus across London in the small hours, if I needed company
the sixth (which I have described before) four Valentines from the four corners of the earth all timed to arrive within a matter of hours on Valentine's Day, from a man who loved me
the seventh a small ivory elephant - now lost, given to me by my mother to look after for her when she had died
the eighth rooms full of flowers on my honeymoon night (because there had been no flowers at my mother's funeral and I was determined to have masses at my wedding) (but actually didn't have the budget for them at the end of the day) (so XCH had arranged for our room - which The Savoy very kindly upgraded to a suite at no extra cost, because I'd complained about the cost of the "honeymoon package") (you paid extra for the "free champagne and bunch of flowers on arrival" - and I'd pointed out, in the innocence of my youth, that that really wasn't good enough) - I admired the flowers and took photos of them for posterity, but it was only years later that XCH told me he'd paid for them all - they hadn't come with the room courtesy of the management. . .
the ninth a very handsome wooden handmade Noah's Ark (I have one of those "things" that you have, about Noah's Arks) under the xmas tree the first year that XCH finally got a decent payrise - it is a Shaker style one, and each of the children had chosen a pair of animals to go with it, which I found wrapped in my stocking before I discovered what was in the large box under the xmas tree
the tenth a handful of white roses, thrust at me across the threshhold - confidently not nervously and certainly not anonymously - freshly cut from one of those rambling rose bushes, lots of long wirey stalks all bent and crooked, masses and masses of flowers: some in bloom, some with the petals dropping off all over the place, some still in bud; the roses lasted far longer and looked more beautiful than any bunch of flowers I'd ever brought into the house or had delivered by a florist
the eleventh (my favourite number) your time and thoughts and someone very special pointing out the difference between "worrying about someone" and "caring for someone"
the twelfth (how do you spell that?), almost a constant in my life these days, and most certainly the most important, my Small (but Growing) People