“I wrote a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it, someone must have picked it up and put it in their pocket, it wasn’t you, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t Father Christmas, look behind your back!”
That chant was repeated over and over in my primary school days, it was even endorsed by the teacher as a legitimate form of exercise and a way to distract unruly children for an hour. Love and romance are hardly a novelty, but it is quite fascinating how we come up with funny little ways to symbolise it. The little song from my childhood is a perfect example. Another fond memory is where you pick each petal off a daisy and chant “he loves me” then “he loves me not” and the number of flowers supposedly seals your romantic fate.
When eating an apple with the stalk still attached, you can also superstitiously conjure romance. Simply twist the stalk in time with reciting the alphabet, when it breaks, that is what your future love’s name begins with. Gosh, I didn’t realise how love-obsessed I was as a child.
A new phenomenon sweeping Melbourne and around the world is what I overheard a young child describe as ‘Love Locks.’ On the Southbank Bridge, lovers gaze out over the Yarra River and toss the keys to their lock overboard after securing it on the wire railing. The ritual symbolises unbreakable love. The scene has been captured many a time in tourist and wedding albums alike. Maybe it’s time to add it to the itinerary, fellow travellers.
Like many trends, the concept dates back to over 100 years ago in Serbia during World War I with a ‘Most Ljubaci’ or Bridge of Love. It is rumoured to have started in France but that is likely to be the revival. Either way, locksmiths are rubbing their hands together. They probably haven’t seen an opportunity like this since we started engraving our Pet’s details on their collars.
Yesterday a woman passing the love locks told her friend of a bridge collapsing in France under additional strain from the volume of padlocks. Google confirmed her tale to be true. If you visit the Southbank Bridge and look closely then you’ll see my name amongst them. After a childhood filled with romantic daydreams, I’m hardly about to stop participating in romantic traditions now, am I?