On Valentines Day…

(With my apologies to those of you who are only here for the recipes – occasionally I digress into other things that I feel are important, too, and today instead of sharing my Love Soup recipe or Come To Bed Carbonara again, this came pouring out of my fingertips instead.)

Happy Valentines day… 

To every man and woman who ever told me I wasn’t good enough.

To the one who said my reflexive shutting down sometimes was like ‘fucking a corpse’. (Abuse survivor here, that’s not how to make it all start working again btw). To the one who hit me across the face when I said no.

To the one who strangled me and assaulted me when I was pregnant.

To the ones who call me fat, porky, that tell me I’ve let myself go.

To every anonymous egg on Twitter who has fantasised about my death, rape and torture, and told me so.

To the naysayers, the abusers, the violent, the deeply unhappy.

I wish for you – nothing but love. Because all of these things come from a place where love is void. They come from the darkness. They come from the polar opposite of the patience and kindness, the benevolence, the warmth, the self-acceptance, that is love. 

Happy Valentines Day to the lonely, the dispossessed, those sitting in their bedrooms typing furious shit to strangers on the internet. Love yourselves. God damn love yourselves. 

Start with liking yourselves. 

Write down one thing that is good about you. 

Do something good for someone else. 

Repeat and repeat and repeat.

 And see what changes.

Because in spite of all the damage, I love myself. 

I like myself. 

My god it’s been a long road to here. A long dark road of dragons and loss and loathing but I’m here. God damnit, I’m here. And you can be too.

Happy Valentines Day.

 I hope you find love, know love, are love. With all my love, Jack. XX

(And whoever ‘R’ is, you can see how happy those flowers made me…) 

And now I’m heading out to dinner with this handsome fellow, to the Drapers Arms, where Nick donates all of the evenings takings every year to Refuge. I hope whatever you are doing tonight, you do it with a little love for yourself.

Back to recipes tomorrow!


   My new book, Cooking on a Bootstrap, is now available to order HERE.

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Categories: Blog, The Joy Project


  1. Lor Lass you rock!!!!!! Happy St Valentines day your superbly articulate piece has bought a tear to my eye from your keyboard to their ears and hearts I hope xxxx

    • Oh you both look so lovely – and full of love – yep, that’s what it’s all about – dragons and demons be gone ! xxx

    • oh jack,i think youre wonderful,and your litttle son is adorable.,i just wish you whatever you wish yourself!god bless you xxxxxx

  2. I was sad to read the first part of your post today – I’ve not known of you for long. So….just a message to say I think you’re great, clever and resilient. Very clever, in my eyes. And I wish you well. Can’t help but say I think you’re a stylish lady with a terrific lad. I’ll keep an eye out for future posts.

  3. Hi Jack
    Wonderfu! thanks for sharing…I am a lonely old mare. You and SB look happy and beautiful. Enjoy your evening xxx

  4. That’s perfect Jack. Enjoy your dinner with your handsome date and let’s all hope for more love in the world x

  5. What a great message to everyone Jack. Particularly loved your last sentence.. Enjoy your evening with your lil man -you both look fab. Where did u get your dress please ? x

  6. Happy Valentine’s Day Jack! (and to SB as well) What a great role-model you are! Love and hugs.x

  7. I wish nothing but love for you. I love your recipe’s but your commitment to the fight against injustice and intolerance in all its ugly forms is inspiring. Love your date. Bless! As a support worker I thank you for supporting Refuge xxxxxx

  8. Love you xx

    From: JACK MONROE To: frank_sudlow@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Tuesday, 14 February 2017, 18:22 Subject: [New post] On Valentines Day… #yiv4804648648 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4804648648 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4804648648 a.yiv4804648648primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4804648648 a.yiv4804648648primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4804648648 a.yiv4804648648primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4804648648 a.yiv4804648648primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4804648648 WordPress.com | Jack Monroe posted: “(With my apologies to those of you who are only here for the recipes – occasionally I digress into other things that I feel are important, too, and today instead of sharing my Love Soup recipe or Come To Bed Carbonara again, this came pouring out of my fi” | |

  9. From across the pond…every recipe and every post you have given me has filled me with warmth…So I love you, and wish you joy in every day as you conquer the hardships that life (and trolls) hand you. Keep smiling. Your son’s smile says it all.

  10. We all, whether hating trolls or just humans with emotions, need this reminder, Love is the light that outshines the dark. May that Boy beside you never face, let alone do, what you’ve seen in your life, and thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Surely you know just how many people love you Jack – just look at the posts on here. (AND someone gives you flowers!) You’re a human, Jack. Sometimes you say, think, or do things you regret later. So does every single cotton-pickin’ one of the rest of us! Basically, if you like you most of the time, it doesn’t matter a …. what anybody else thinks. Just be who you are, and let the rest of the world take it or leave it. Looks like a lot of people think you’re just great, so you must be doing something right. Concentrate on that, and be happy.

  12. Happy Valentines. Mine is with my other half, David Bowie and some smoked Herring. As my yoga teacher says ‘breathe a lot of love in, breathe a lot of love out’, and I say keep doing it in spite of anyone else.

  13. Firstly Jack I hope you have the best time with your lovely young son! Secondly you are an inspiration – as a nearly sixty something with God knows how many recipe books on my shelves- I came across you by chance on a Greg Wallace programme- and bought your book ( all the rest can now go to the charity shop) – what you have been through has completely touched me – take no notice of people who have nothing good to say, they really do need to get a life and start looking at what’s good not at all the negative crap. You have in my view the answer to some of the biggest problems in society and anyone with any sense would ask you for those answers . Keep doing what you are brilliant at – being a Mum ( and of course the recipes) but most of all being you! I recommend anyone reads your book – and have the greatest respect for you- so keep going Jack , you are loved far mor than you are not.

  14. Like someone else said, I’ve only recently come across you, looking for ways to make money stretch. My apologies that I sometimes find gender issues confusing, I think, I hope that you’ve brought me closer to understanding.
    What I’ve read of you, the things you’ve done, do and achieve, you impress me greatly.
    Happy Valentines Day

  15. Thank you, Jack Monroe, for your honesty, good-heartedness, sharing and your books. I hope you and your little man have a brilliant evening!

  16. Great Valentine blog Jack. Thanks for baring your soul, and writing so passionately for love. Hope you’ve had a good evening at the Drapers Arms…..

  17. Jack,

    Seeing you and little one smiling! Awesome! Battling cancer here in Colorado, some difficult days. This made the day a little easier!

    Be well

    • I was thinking the same thing! SB is so grown up and is obviously immensely proud of his Mum! What a beautiful happy couple you are! Thank you for all that you do to help us stay on budget!

  18. Just read this with a tear too and if only everyone stopped to think and realise how the world is full of more good than bad. and like the Beatles sang ` All we need is love love love! Thanks for being an inspiration all the best to you and your adorable son.

  19. Jack.You are simply sublime.Thanks to Your recipes and inspiration I was able to provide a lovely meal tonight,for a fantastic Woman,who I do some support work for,who can no longer get out to a cafe or restaurant .We both had a delicious evening.I hope that You and Your very handsome date also had a gorgeous night.Thank You for Your inspiration,Your honesty,humanity,drop dead gorgeous recipes ,and You.Love to You,Your beauty Boy,Your fellow followers,and all who fall and get back up again.Chop the Chilli and spread the love.

  20. Hope you and Little Man had a lovely evening and fantastic post! Don’t you both look fab!! So absolutely spot on again Jack and have faith and continue on your path- you’re doing well! Can’t wait to receive the new book! Super excited xx

  21. You are magnificent and well deserving of your self love. Thank you for this lovely reminder, and enjoy dinner with your very handsome date!

  22. Good for you and your little man!! Much, much love to you. It’s true what they say…Love is so much stronger than hate. Love is why we are here and Love always wins! You have done THE thing by extending forgiveness and compassion to those unfortunate souls who only knew how to connect by hurting someone. We let them go into the light. They have done their part in our lives by giving us the opportunity to see our worth and beauty. Hugs to you!

  23. Wow, you guys look stunning! 😍 What a lovely post, I know it’s hard to forget the horrible comments but the majority love you and all that you do 💕💕💕

  24. Hi Jack.
    This is a day late, but happy Valentine’s to the beautiful SB and his beautiful Mother. You said the only thin that was right to all those that hurt you in the past. Tor every hurt send love, to every pain send love and it will be returned to you in abundance.
    My love to you Jack. You deserve all the good things that the universe can give.xxxx

  25. Great post. Love and support always from this direction. I hope you had a wonderful meal with your VERY smart escort. SB scrubs up very well, as do you.

    Something that made me cry a little recently, I stopped reading the late Shirley Goode’s blog a couple of years ago as she was uncharacteristically waspish about you. This made me sad, I have all her books from the Eighties.

    Then in her very last blog post of all, which I only discovered the other week, Shirley posted proudly how one of your cousins was involved in her care plan up in Morecambe, Lancs. You had obviously won her round. Cue sniffs.

    Some really good recipes on that blog of Shirley’s. I tried a version of her very last recipe of all the other week for fish cakes. My version was made using tinned potatoes and skinned smoked mackerel fillets instead of fresh potatoes / smoked trout, using sage and onion stuffing mix as the coating. Gorgeous.

    To her memory, and to you, continued strength. Much love.

  26. I was going to SAY that I thought that you are great the way you’ve picked yourself up and dusted yourself down, but every one got there first, so ditto to them all.

  27. You are such an inspiration. I spent Valentines day with a thumping migraine worrying, feeling lonely and generally miserable with no idea how to feed myself and generally get by until payday but as always you were there with strong words of hope and wisdom. Thank you, thank you, thank you

  28. Brilliant post.

    I hope the date with SB was as lovely as you both looked. What a smart little man you are raising, and I have to say how totally soft and pretty you are looking at the moment. 🙂

  29. Thank you for the lovely message and pictures of you and SB. Your first book and other writings gave me the confidence to cook again, and to love it and be comfortable with substitutions. I am not quite vegan yet but I would choose your aubergine and lentil vindaloo over a steak any day. I love that recipe; I sometimes use chestnut mushrooms instead of aubergine, and sometimes a combination of thw two. I love that, thanks to you, I can make a delicious meal out of a couple of cans and some spices.
    Please write more. I read anything you write over and over, recipes and all. I hope you had a fab Valentine’s dinner.

  30. Fab blog and great vegan resource. I am going to link to it in my latest post on my blog which I will publish this weekend. Hope that’s ok!

  31. Congratulations – “never underestimate who (you are) capable of becoming”, Benjamin Clementine..

  32. Just saw this post and, once again, your strength and courage astounded me. May you find much much love of every kind as you certainly deserve it. Take care, sweetheart.

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