Alternative Valentine's Gift Guide for Your Better Half

   Hey chaps - the biggest romantic day of the entire calendar is coming up again and, as part of an annual tradition, you've forgot to buy her/him any presents again right? They'll tell you they're not that bothered if you don't get them anything this year but we both know that isn't true. As we all want to avoid any unnecessary drama, its time to get your thinking cap on.

   Selecting a gift can prove incredibly tricky. Believe it or not, our partner's (largely) aren't that interested in a subscription to Fantasy Football Scout - philistines, I know. There's only so many times you can buy Dirty Dancing on DVD and 50 Shades of Grey is soooo 2012. Ditto ApocaLips. As this is the case, and as time is running out, what can one possibly do?

   Thankfully, and you can thank me later, The Totality has come to the rescue. Here's a guide to some unique and original presents which I'm sure will get you brownie points with your better half (and let's face it mate, she's definitely out of your league):


Death to Flowers

   This is a brand name which tells you everything you need to know. If you love your other half, don't get her those strange cliche cards with bears on or those cuddly toys holding hearts - death to flowers indeed!

   So, now we've established what not to buy your partner, what exactly do Death To Flowers provide instead?

   Available from their web-site, the brand sell four separately themed "Boxes of Fortune". Each one is delivered in a miniature Chinese takeaway box and contains a "heart eyes" emoji temporary transfer - the piece de resistance, however, is the fortune cookie found within the box. Shying clear of the platitudes one would normally associate with the snack, Death to Flowers have included quotes from celebrities as varied as Leslie Knope, Beyonce, Snoop Dogg and, my personal favourite, Jeremy Corbyn.

   Alternatively, equally off-beat gift boxes are available from the brand too. For men, their This Charming Man box includes an array of fantastic items (including Pashana American Bay Rum Hair and Scalp Tonic, a musk candle and Japanese Chilli chocolate amongst other goods), whilst the Tokyo Ghost Stories and Club Tropicana boxes are full of items your partner has no idea she wants... but will wonder how she lived without when they arrive.


Hannah Brown Interiors




   Hannah Brown Interiors represent something of a classy choice - purchasing your partner one of the titular artist's designs illustrates a sensitive and keen eye for art which will go down almost as well as the gift itself.

   A quick browse of the store shows an array of beautifully-crafted and enchanting pieces of art consisting of the capturing and framing objects on a multitude of complementary material choices. Ranging from pressed leaves to fishing flies and tree slices, Brown re-purposes items we may not have paid much artistic attention to and allows us to re-examine their beauty. Looking at the artist's Fly Study, in particular, reminded this writer of the early films of cinema pioneer Percy Smith - a director who combined art and science to create the sublime.

   That said, this writer's favourite item in the entire collection is her moth orchid pressing - it is sad that we often have to wait until February 14th to remember how spectacular and interesting flowers really are. Hanging one of Brown's items on your walls would be a year-round reminder of the delicate wonders which can be found in nature.

   Each product available at Hannah Brown's store is hand-made by the designer herself and each frame is bespoke.


BestPlayEver



   These are a brand I won't ever not recommend. (I acknowledge the previous sentence was somewhat clunky and requires some grammatical mathematics to make sense of but, alas, I'm trying to be a literary auteur of some kind).

   Based in Bradford, the brand are known for re-purposing popular culture to create unique, oblique and humorous designs and prints. At their store - bestplayever.com - you can buy an array of posters, films, hats, badges, notebooks and T-shirts inspired by everything from the films of Wes Anderson to the proclamations of Kanye West.

   For Valentine's Day the brand have a winning collection of cards to show your loved one how much you cherish them. From the sweet Obama card (see above) to designs based on quotes from Parks and Recreations and The Royal Tenenbaums amongst many others, BestPlayEver provide an array of outlandish ways to display your affection. My favourite of all their cards, however, may well be their Larry David inspired design, as seen below:



   For those seeking the less obvious Valentine's gift, it is also worth further browsing the rest of their collections. For instance, I can imagine no better present for the David Bowie fan in your life than BestPlayEver's Let's Dance print - a gorgeous design inspired, equally, by 1920s children's picture books.

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